The Clash between Feminism and Religion in the Israeli Military: A Multilayered Analysis
- Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 17, Number 2, Summer 2010
- pp. 185-209
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Two social changes that have taken place within the Israel Defense Forces—feminism and religiosity—are marching toward a confrontation. It is a clash between two groups that have significantly increased their presence in the combat units since the 1990s. Central to this dispute is the rabbis' demand that men and women be kept separate in combat units, a demand that may reset barriers to the equal integration of women into these units. Using an interpretative methodology, this paper argues that this clash is a multi-layered conflict, which is nurtured by institutional interests, cultural symbols, and hidden agendas. It is an asymmetric conflict in which religious groups have a definite advantage.