NEW YORK (Aug. 26)
The prediction that the Mizrachi and Mizrachi Laborite parties in the Israel Parliament will vote for the government’s bill conscripting religious women for non-military duty was made here yesterday by Mrs. Beba Idelson, Mapai member of the Knesset.
Mrs. Idelson, who spoke at a press conference under the auspices of the Pioneer Women of America, said that the religious parties would support the bill rather than risk a split in the coalition. She said that she was opposed to the controversial measure in principle, because she felt no exemptions should be granted from military service for religious reasons, but reported that she would vote for the legislation because her party was sponsoring it. Explaining her position, Mrs. Idelson declared:
“I think that it is a privilege for every woman to serve and protect her country. The government is considering the religious aspect and consequently is being very lenient with this element. Every woman regardless of her religious beliefs must and should serve in her country’s national defense program. The innuendoes made by the religious group about the moral behavior of the men and women soldiers is a slanderous assault on the national defense program and the armed forces.”