Desert Lynx: When she says “Jump!” you better say “How high?”
First we had word that female police officers (armed with lip balm and sun tan lotion) were going to take the lead in implementing the Gaza evacuation. Now it turns out that the Desert Lynx unit (Caracal), the IDF‘s first mixed infantry brigade (70% female) is also going to participate. The women in this unit are all volunteers but do three years of army service just like their male counterparts (women usually serve in the IDF for 2 years).
Slightly weighed down by their battle fatigues and strapped up with combat belts, Leah and Khen, both 20, sling an M16 over their backs and clamber into an enormous jeep before setting out to patrol the Israeli-Jordanian border … Her face dotted with freckles, Khen is behind the wheel, while Leah gets in the back to take charge of the machinegun.
Three companies monitor the Jordan / Israel border and one company is stationed in the Qalqilya region in the West Bank. However, this summer, all 4 companies will be relieved by reservists as the battalion heads to where the action is in Gaza to lend their assistance.
So the obvious question is, what gives? Are the authorities counting on traditional Israeli macho attitudes that would preclude hitting a woman? Or is the concern that men leading the evacuation would be more likely to lose their cool and resort to violence against recalcitrant settlers? Will this estrogen fuelled withdrawal actually be made easier by the presence of so many women? I guess we’ll see, huh?
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