Israel, Women, Fighter Pilots, and the Truth

by Sarit Catz


You’ve probably heard a lot recently about women on Israeli buses. You may have heard women have to sit in the back of the bus. They don’t. You may have heard that’s not actually the law. It’s not. You may have heard that there’s a lot of controversy about it. There is.


But when speaking of women in Israel, you probably haven’t heard that five of the recent graduates from the IDF’s prestigious flight course were women. That’s five out of 17 or 30 percent. Contrast that with the fact that in all roles within the United States Air Force, women make up just 16 percent. And that’s not counting only the prestigious pilot corps where the percentage is probably even lower.


And speaking of fighter pilots, you probably also haven’t heard that Lynne Hazelden, a British actress who played fighter pilot Karie Neth in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, is undergoing pioneering cancer treatment at the International Centre for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) in Tel Aviv.


Hazelden’s aggressive breast cancer is being treated with one of many new cancer vaccinations being developed in Israel. An Israeli biotech company, Vaxil, is also undertaking clinical trials for therapeutic vaccines that could be applied to more than 90 percent of cancers to prevent them recurring.


So far, Hazelden said that her treatment has been "amazing. I have had practically no side effects." As anyone who’s undergone or had a loved one undergo cancer treatment knows, it’s not usually described as “amazing.” 


Despite its challenges and difficulties, Israel continues to amaze. But the difficulties are real. That’s why at 7:30 p.m. on February 29, the CRC is co-sponsoring “Difficult Truths in a Dangerous Neighborhood” together with CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) and Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, where the program will be held. Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post military correspondent, will speak and take questions. This program is free and open to the public and I urge you to attend. You can register here.


And that’s the truth about Israel. Despite all its difficulties, it is amazing.


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