Israeli soldiers have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Being surrounded by enemies has caused them to be one of the best and most elite militaries and, no matter what your stance, has to be one of the most nerve-wracking positions in military history.
The Instagram page, @hotisraelarmygirls, was set up to display some of the most beautiful, and toughest, soldiers Israel has to offer. With over 60,000 followers, the page has displayed some of the women who make up one of the most diverse fighting forces to ever see the battlefield. Here are 12 of those women who are turning heads across the Internet.
#12. Alice Miller’s Breakthrough
The issue of gender equality first came up when a civilian pilot and aeronautical engineer named Alice Miller petitioned the country’s High Court of Justice to allow her to take Israeli Air Force pilot training tests. In 1996, there was a ruling in her favor even though President Ezer Weizman said she should be “staying at home and darning socks.”
#11. Women Allowed In The Military
The ruling led to a law that was passed allowing both men and women to serve a role in the country’s military. Women enlisted in droves for positions in infantry units, the Artillery Corps, and armored divisions and began to break the glass ceiling in the young developing country.
#10. The First Female Jet Fighter Pilot
The year after the law saw Roni Zuckerman become the first female fighter jet pilot in the country’s brief history. Her place in history is next to her grandparents who were among the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during World War II proving one’s sense of duty and defense is definitely a family trait.
#9. Breaking The Glass Ceiling
In 2006, more pilots began passing the training courses joining the ranks of their male counterparts. They began to fill the holes needed in intelligence positions, as well as instructors and engineers. There was no job too small for Israeli women and they began to shape the military to the elite force it has become.
#8. The First Female Major General
Only five years later, Orna Barbivai was promoted to become the Israeli Defence Force’s first female Major General as commander of the Manpower Directorate. She had proven to women across the world that there is no job too small for anyone in the military and everyone can serve their country in a major capacity.
#7. The First Female Ammunition Officer
The next year, Merav Buchris became the first female ammunition officer in the country’s history. She joins a long list of brave women willing to sacrifice her life for her country. As a female, mandatory service is 24-36 months, however, exemption from service can be granted due to religious conscience, pregnancy, marriage, or motherhood.
#6. Mandatory Service
Mandatory service begins at age 18 for the Israeli Defense Forces. Rumor has it the IDF has had operational nuclear weapons since 1967 and has up to 400 in stock at one time. The group’s origins come from the early 20th century in Jewish parliamentary organizations in the New Yishuv.
#5. The First Forces
The first Israeli force was known as Bar-Giora. By 1909, the name was changed to Hashomer and in 1920, the British Mandate of Palestine came to be. Since the Arab riots against Jews that year, the nationwide underground defense organization was established. The current IDF would be established in slide #4.
#4. The Initial IDF
The Haganah was also founded in 1920, which is believed to be the what would eventually turn into the Israeli Defence Forces. Little did they know their elite forces would be made up of hundreds of strong, and quite strikingly beautiful, women. Find out what happens to the group in slide #3.
#3. After The Arab Revolt
After the Arab Revolt from 1936 through 1939, the lives of Israelis were put into the protection of the military and a full-scale defense force was established to counter the violence. The Palestinians were fighting against the British Mandate and sought to end Jewish immigration to the area.
#2. The Haganah’s Three Units
The three units of The Haganah included Haganah included the Field Corps, Guard Corps, and the Palmach. The units modernized by 1948 after a mandate from Defense Minister and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. The military group has not stopped evolving since and has become a bastion of inclusion and equality in military forces.
#1. The First Arab-Israeli War
In 1948, the new fighting force was tested when the Arab-Israeli War broke out. The Israelis were fighting a broad coalition of Arab states after years of tension. The day following the Israeli Declaration of Independence, a military conflict broke out that has led to decades of mistrust and tension between Israel and it’s neighbors.
Despite the tension, these female Israeli soldiers have become a major force to be reckoned with around the globe and throughout the World Wide Web. Proving that beauty can also be synonymous with brawn, the women of the Israeli Defense Forces should be a shining example to women around the world that they can do anything a man can do.
With people around the world hoping for a peaceful and swift end to the conflict in the Middle East, the women of the Israeli military will continue to show that you can be a tough warrior without sacrificing their ladylike qualities. For that, we salute them!