Five Israeli women get their wings

A record-setting five women were awarded their pilots’ wings in a graduation ceremony with the Israeli air force.

Fourteen soldiers completed the three-year pilots course, which includes a bachelor’s degree; each has signed on to serve the Israeli military for nine years.

“A country where women sit in the pilot’s seat is a country where women should be able to sit anywhere,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the graduates, referring to the recent controversy over women in the public sphere.

On Jan. 1, the chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces told a meeting of military rabbis that they must work to ensure women’s inclusion.

“There will be no exclusion of women in the IDF,” Rabbi Rafi Peretz said. “We especially, who know the importance of respecting a woman, must make sure this controversy won’t penetrate our ranks.” — jta