Thursday, December 12, 2019

Facilitating Suicide?

The Army's Life-Threatening Persecution of (yet another) Israeli Girl Struggling to Protect Herself

14 Kislev, 5780 °° Dec. 12, '19

Parshas Vayishlach, ver. 3

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

* The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.


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What happens when the Army takes in a girl with pre-existing emotional health challenges, neglects her confirmable medical needs - to the extent of essentially compelling her to flee, then (of course) arrests her for "deserting," incarcerates her in Military Prison -- and then proceeds to illegally deny her the ability to seek a bonafide mental health exemption - all the while submitting her to a regimen of unrelenting psychological abuse and tormet in prison, at the hands of a coterie of irreverent 18-19 year-old professional bullies employed by the prison?

They've created a suicide threat.

And they're essentially enabling suicidal acts on her part.

Reportedly, in a case now at hand, that is precisely what happened, according to a reliable source who has been in direct contact with the Israeli girl in question, Shir. Moreover, if that tragic saga wasn't all one massive, unintentional series of concatenated goofs, then we can declare "Mission Accomplished:" That's because, as was recently learned, Shir was recently found in her cell, in Military Prison number Four (in Rishon LeTzion area), unconscious, apparently suffering from the effects of what was described as an "attempted suicide." If that's what it was, then, to be technically correct, it would be more accurately identified as a "Facilitated Suicide" attempt. But, first, some background is in order.


1. A female IDF conscript, Shir, has been languishing in an Israeli military prison (#4) for almost four weeks, for leaving the Army without permission.

2. Shir clarifies that she was actually compelled to flee the Army -- by the Army itself - in the wake of acute and unbearable mistreatment. Although military life is incompatible with women in general, in Shir's case, the incompatibility was crystal clear. The Army reportedly refused to pay heed to her documented medical needs. Consequently, Shir had no choice but to escape that toxic military environment, simply to protect her health ("Chaye'hah kod'min").

3. However, for the Army, self-preservation is apparently not a sufficient excuse. After a period of time seeking refuge at home, on Nov.15, Shira was arrested and incarcerated.

4. Shir had her first hearing on Nov.17. At the hearing itself, she suffered an attack and collapsed, requiring hospitalization for about 10 hours.

5. Despite her manifestly weak condition, she was subsequently transferred to Military Prison #4 on Nov. 18.

6. Shir seeks a bonafide "petur nafshi," exemption for emotional health reasons - to which she is fully and clearly entitled.

7. However, in order to obtain such an exemption, she needs an appointment with a psychologist. The Judge has heretofore refused to enable her to see one. (Initially, Shir even had to rely on a government public defender, although now B"H she has a private attorney.)

8. The Justice system keeps stalling, forcing Shir to indefinitely endure ongoing emotional abuse in prison from prison staff, which is composed of 18-19 year olds, unfortunately inclined towards ruthlessness to Shir and other incarcerated conscripts.

9. Additionally, Shir has no recourse to complain about mistreatment. Whenever she does, the offending officer exacts vengeance by consigning her to solitary confinement (for "disobedience," etc.). Shir was also threatened that no one will take care of her if she collapses in Solitary.

10. Furthermore, solitary confinement is excruciatingly difficult, even for girls in perfect health, how much more so for the health-compromised.

11. And it's not clear when this will end. It appears that the proverbially open-ended "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" treatment is aimed at breaking her will to secure her legal and human rights in obtaining the military exemption which she needs, and to which she is unambiguously entitled.

12. Thus, the aforementioned attempted "suicide" didn't just happen by accident. It was foreseeable, if not predictable.

13. Further confirmation of that observation is that even now, well over a week later, she's still being held in the same purgatory that almost killed her. It's almost as if the military's "punishment" for mental health challenges is Instigated Suicide (a.k.a. "Surrogate Homicide").

14. Any lucid system of Justice would have not only allowed but ordered Shir to see a psychologist, provide her a psychological exemption without further delay, and get her out of the toxic military and prison environment as quickly as possible.

15. But no... it's not done that way. Why not? Is it perhaps because then other girls might flee the overstaffed Army, where they are vitally needed to watch videos, and to provide unspecified services to elements of the male sector?

16. Clearly, the military has absolutely no need for such emotionally encumbered conscripts, and has every basis and means to end this case without fanfare or futher delay. So why prolong her torment?

17. This obstinate attitude on the part of the military leadership may "make sense" if the intent here may be to showcase another Facilitated Suicide attempt to any other girls who would consider fleeing mistreatment within the military.

18. Given all of the immorality rampant throughout the secularist- dominated Army, and the consequent, pervasive exploitation of females therein, that option may be seen by elements of the military brass as a much needed expedient.

19. What we do know is that women in the Army are considered - by Army officers - as "miz'ron Tzahali." (We will not translate that here. But we will state that whatever that is, it stands in diametric opposition to the Torah and what the Jewish People have stood for, for four thousand years. One girl, who successfully escaped alleged mistreatment within the Army, reported that the Army simultaneously (1) denied the occurrence of the mistreatment, (2) encouraged her to participate in it, and (3) described it as part and parcel of Army protocol: "Ha'banos ba'Tzava hain miz'ron Tzahali...")

20. Thus, to impede a literal Exodus of mistreated women and girls from the notoriously exploitive Army, deterrence (in the form of instilling terror in the female conscripts) is "needed." This provides insight into the pattern of persecution of girls who were compelled to flee the Army - by the Army itself - in the wake of unbearable abuse.

21. One case in point is Rinat bat Chedva. She enlisted in Dec. '17, was badly mistreated in the IAF, fled home Aug. 29, '18, was dragged out of her home 2:30 in the morning on about Jan.22, '19. She was incarcerated in Military Prison Four until her final release on Mar. 1, '19, after repeated demonstrations and extensive reportage in The Jewish Press (Winter-Spring '19) and elsewhere online. Rinat endured about two weeks of her incarceration in solitary confinement, in an obvious attempt to break her and deter others. B"H, she persevered and broke free, getting her formal exemption mailed to her home Erev Pesach, having braved all odds.

22. Shir describes her conditions, and those of other jailed conscripts, as brutal and intolerable. But she is not the only one. Her depiction of persecution - often by the ruthless college-age "kids" staffing the jail - echoes those of numerous female survivors of Military Prison, e.g.: Yuval bas Tamar (2018), Rinat bat Chedva (Jan.-Feb.'19, reported on in the Jewish Press about five times); Orah Chaya and Moriah Leah bas Bruria, and Lidar Shira Levy (JP June 28 '19, p.70 (cf. Aug.9, p.66)), and Miriam Natan (JP Dec.6, p.18).

23. Unless there's an elaborate, "vast rightwing conspiracy" to badmouth IDF military jails - Israelis are - without a trace of exaggeration - contending with a systemic human rights crisis, pervasive throughout the military prison system, including Prison Four, Six, and Tel HaShomer.

24. Whether the particular abuse is a denial of religious, civil, or human rights - and whether the victim is National Religious, Chareidi, Mesorati, Secular, or not Jewish altogether - it's intolerable for any government, how much more so for a government so loudly claiming to represent the Jewish People.

25. As believing Jews we know that ultimately, no one gets away with anything. As our Sages exhort us, Ma'arich Apei ve'Govei Di'Lei ("He (G-d) extends His Wrath -- (but ultimately) He collects His Dues.").


26. Shir must be acutely disillusioned. When she enlisted in the IDF, she hoped the experience would enable her to strengthen herself in overcoming her emotional challenges. However, not only did the Army neglect her health needs, they're now actively taking advantage of her emotional health issues in persecuting her while in prison.

27. However, Shir should not feel alone, because other girls have endured particularly trying tribulations due to health issues of their own, or of their parents. In fact, this writer knows of about a half a dozen cases of girls who've been hounded by the Draft Offices despite - or perhaps precisely because - they had a parent in very poor health.

28. Such a girl tends to be far more subject to government pressure. Where her parents have a very serious condition, she's thrust into an apparently impossible dilemma: compromise on Halacha and her own personal purity and security - and her very future as a Jewish mother - or risk the life of her parent, with all that spectre entails. Such terrible choices raise up memories of the worst periods of our history.

29. Unfortunately, the Draft Office has demonstrated a pattern of persecution of seriously ill parents, via an irrational vendetta against their draft-age [religious] children, or, vice versa.

Examples include: Yuval bas Tamar (a sefardi baalas Teshuva), Avigaiyil bas R.Ester (Chabad), Orah Chaya & Moriah Leah bas Bruria (Chareidi), Moriah bas Leah (national religious), Ziva bas Mazal (Ethiopian). All share a common denominator: a pursuit of indisputably religious girls by the IDF Draft Office, clearly endangering the health and even lives of their seriously ill parents.

30. How likely is it that this apparent pattern of targeting the most vulnerable is coincidental? If indeed it's not, what does that say about how the justice system and the Army treats Israeli citizens?

31. Most importantly, how many of us can honestly claim that (as the Elders are to declare in the process of bringing an Eglah Arufah) "our hands have not spilled this innocent blood, nor have our eyes overlooked it..."? Have we done our fair share in considering how we may be of some humble assistance in the epic war on behalf of innocent Bnos Yisroel?

32. Ultimately, the wicked conduct of the Army/Government towards innocent girls and women is our responsibility. It would not continue like it is if even a small minority would vibrantly, intelligently, and sufficiently protest these atrocities internationally.

33. How much more so when they're clearly endangering the life of a girl who already suffered so much in the military.

34. During the Destruction of the Bayis Shani, Chazal inform us, the pirchei Kehunah (junior Kohanim) gathered and threw up the keys of the Bais HaMikdash heavenward, recognizing their failure as faithful custodians of the keys to His House. The Gemara relates that, miraculously, an image of a heavenly hand appeared to extend to grasp those keys (G-d has no physicality whatsoever; the image was representative, apparently of His Hanhagah/ Actions in this world).

Have we considered that when HaShem will soon restore His Holy House in Jerusalem (Shel-Mattah) (independent of the location of the US Embassy...) - He may restore those very keys to those worthy thereof? Perhaps HaShem is similarly "extending" His figurative "Hand" to each of us - every day - by offering even average and unworthy Jews monumental opportunities to accumulate untold merit, prior to the advent of Moshiach, opportunities we dare not miss?


  1. Of course you are not bothered by hareidim who stone hareidi soldiers in mea Shearim , violating the Torah and Asarah Dibrot; who attack innocent parents with babies with their avodah zarah stones when they see a soldier, almost killing babies. these are the same filthy idiots who oppose Zahal, yet you blame everything on the army.

  2. It is only newsworthy in your filthy "Jewish" Press when they throw stones at Gedolim, but you don't care if they stone innocent soldiers or babies who don't know right from wrong


  4. Yes to prevent more IDF SCHMAD !

  5. New Jersey shmad is not too nice


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