JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Isreali army’s top rabbi spurred calls for his dismissal after he said women should not serve in the military.
Avichai Ronski, the chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, made the comments two weeks ago during a conference held for religious female soldiers, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Thursday.
"I personally think that a priori, women should not serve in the army," he reportedly said.
Following the report, lawmakers called for the rabbi’s dismissal.
"The chief rabbi crossed a red line in his statements and we mustn’t allow this to pass," Ha’aretz quoted Labor lawmaker Ophir Pines-Paz as saying. "This is a chauvinistic and demeaning comment that encourages draft-dodging, and I call on the chief of staff to remove the chief rabbi from his post. The IDF is deserving of a different chief rabbi."
Part of the rabbi’s responsibilities involve helping religious women with problems that crop up during their army service. Ronski has not dissuaded religious women from enlisting, Ynet reported.