The appointment of a 59-year-old colonel as the next chief rabbi for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has caused controversy in the Israeli parliament, as the colonel has stated that the rape of women during wartime is permissible.
Col. Eyal Karim is known for his misogynistic leanings. On the religious website Kipa, Karim answers questions people send him. When asked “What are the problems with conscripting girls to the army?” he answered, “In a situation that existed, such as in the War of Independence, that exposed the nation of Israel to an existential threat, and the reality is defined as actually pikuach nefesh [a Jewish concept that obligates believers to save a life in jeopardy, even if religious boundaries must be crossed] then women also participated in defending the people and the country, even though the reality wasn’t so modest. But currently, we aren’t in a situation of actual pikuach nefesh.”
He added, “Because the damage to modesty that is likely to be caused to a girl and to the nation is decisive, the greats of the generation and the chief rabbinate have ruled that girls serving in the IDF is completely forbidden.”
But the response that caused the greatest disgust came when Karim was asked if soldiers were permitted to rape women during war. Karim responded that soldiers are allowed to “breach” notions of modesty and “satisfy the evil inclination by lying with attractive Gentile women against their will, out of…