A controversial rabbi who runs a pre-army religious academy told new IDF recruits that military service drives female soldiers “crazy” and strips them of their Jewishness.
In footage broadcast by Channel 2 news on Tuesday, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein told several hundred graduates of a prestigious religious army preparatory academy in the West Bank settlement of Bnei Atzmon that IDF service has “driven our girls crazy.”
“They recruit them to the army, where they enter as Jews, but they’re not Jews by the time they leave,” he said. “Not in the genetic sense, but all of their values and priorities have been upset and we must not allow it.”
“What happens if there’s a female company commander? This is a question of madness, it belongs in an insane asylum,” Levinstein said.
As for female IDF soldiers in camouflage, Levinstein speculates it’s just practice for something far more important.
“It’s like someone told me recently: They’re just practicing putting on makeup for their wedding day because they don’t know who will marry them.”
Levinstein continued to speak, his remarks apparently unprepared and at times disjointed, about the benefits of marrying young before categorizing all of the women who serve in Caracal, one of the IDF’s coed infantry battalions, as unattractive.
Levinstein drew censure last year after a speech he gave calling homosexuals “deviants.” He wrote a letter to the Defense Ministry, explaining his comments, but has had many of his activities with the military cut short in light of his controversial remarks.
In his televised speech to recruits, Levinstein referenced last summer’s scandal, saying he met recently with an IDF general to smooth things over.
In his latest remarks, Levinstein also discussed gay men.
“They call them ‘new families,’ with two dads. It’s an insane asylum, simply an insane asylum,” he said, shaking his head.