Yael Naïm in the Israeli Military

Yael Naim
Yael Naim

At the coffeeshop today, I noticed one of the baristas had a Hebrew name, Yael. I pointed out that she had the same handle as the Israeli singer, Yael Naïm, who sung that catchy/annoying song New Soul. (Note to all y’all southern readers, Yael is not pronounced Y’all.)

The barista told me she was part Israeli and had served in a combat division in the IDF. There are two kinds of divisions, she said, in the combat corps. All men and the mixed division, like hers, called Caracal.

I then chatted with her about that study, the one talking about how men act differently in combat when women are nearby. It really was pioneering:

Racheli Levantal, left, an Israeli platoon commander, checked a soldier's weapon during a training session at a military base in southern Israel in 2007. Eliana Aponte:Reuters
Racheli Levantal, left, an Israeli platoon commander, checked a soldier’s weapon during training.

“For example, it is a common misperception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield,” John Luddy said

The barista seemed very surprised that someone had heard of the study. I thought it was rather common knowledge. My policy as always on this topic: no special waivers for doing the job. If a woman can carry her load, she gets the billet. But standards are standards.

10 thoughts on “Yael Naïm in the Israeli Military”

  1. Yep, interesting study that was totally ignored by DOD in the push to get women in combat… Those who refuse to learn from history… sigh

  2. I have often said my piece about female front line combatants, I need say no more.

    As well as reading several topics written by John Luddy, I would also like to point out the Dutch born Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld. A theorist whose opinions and teachings are sought after by the West’s leading Governments. I believe he has spoke at length over here in the UK within our Parliament, as well as the European Union and the U.N. He has certainly advised certain Presidents on the why’s and where for of the Middle East.

    Martin Van Creveld has also lectured at the U.S. Naval War College, and certainly up until a few (plus) years ago, his teachings and observations were included within the U.S. Army Officer strategic studies.

    His observations and lecture on the subject of Low Intensity Conflicts i.e. short wars, is still included in most Western Military strategist teachings.

    When he passes forth his theories and teachings over Israeli conflicts it is done so with brutal honesty, and he does not hang back in castigating those at the top who fail through incompetency.

    Yours Aye.

  3. Old NFO: Yes, it was an interesting study. And it was ignored.
    EB: I enjoyed Mr. Luddy’s take. I’ll have to go search out Martin Van Creveld.

  4. Guys, I had never even heard of those studies, or those experts. What they say backs up what I’ve always felt. It’s considered sexist to say these things nowadays (political correctness police) but any man who’s in touch with his feelings, his deep feelings, know that women in battle alongside men will destroy the men’s combativeness. Women, for men, are precious and even sacred beings. It would be hard to not try to protect them, rather than go forward aggressively against the enemy. But even if they’re in separate units, I think that most men don’t like the idea of what could be mothers, lovers, nurturers, being in combat. And, besides the possibility of their being maimed or killed, we know that if captured they will almost certainly be raped, especially with the kind of enemies we face now. To contemplate that possibility is to painful for us. I hope I’m not offending women for saying this. Women might not understand how men feel.

  5. Just a thought:

    What would be the psychological effects, before and after, by men or women, of going up against a mixed opponent unit?

  6. Interesting video.

    Reminded me of the Ernie Kovacs show.

    This is called Eugene part 1:

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