There’s no better way to phrase the burning political question encapsulated in the debate over the integration of female combatants in the Armored Corps than the recent headline on the Kipa website: “IDF must decide who it wants in tanks: religious Zionists or female combatants.” […]

Maintaining women’s presence in the IDF is the best way to halt the religious Zionist takeover of the army, and of Israel. In a place where there is equality between the sexes, freedom of movement for religious Zionist soldiers is limited.

A paper by the Israel Democracy Institute that was quoted in the Kipa article said it was religious soldiers and their rabbis who are preventing the implementation of the Segev Committee’s recommendations for creating equal opportunities for men and women in the IDF. They are exploiting both the crisis of motivation among secular draftees and the rise in motivation among national religious soldiers.

This situation has led the military to become dependent on the “knitted-kippa wearers,” and as their power increases, more pressure is put on the military to curb the integration of women. The IDI document also warns about a gradual undermining of the source of authority in the army due to the “dual loyalty” of religious soldiers, who are committed to both the army’s authority and to religious authorities.