Does Israeli Army Service Make Orthodox Women ‘Crazy’?

The head of an Israeli pre-military academy said that Orthodox women who serve in the army are turned into “crazy” women with “confused” values.

Yigal Levinstein, who heads the academy in the West Bank settlement Eli, made the inflammatory comments at a lecture to several hundred young male graduates of a different academy. Video of his lecture was aired by Israel’s Channel 10.

“They go in Jewish and they’re not Jewish when they come out,” Levinstein said of Orthodox female soldiers, clarifying that it was “not in terms of genetics” but in terms of values.

He mocked Orthodox female soldiers as “practicing for their wedding” when they put on camouflage makeup. “I don’t know who will marry her,” he said.

Levinstein’s comments were condemned by Defense Minister Avidgor Lieberman, who said that he was considering firing Levinstein as well as other Israeli politicians.

According to the Times of Israel there are 4,000 religious women serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

This story "Does Israeli Army Service Make Orthodox Women ‘Crazy’?" was written by Naomi Zeveloff.

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