Would-be Pilot Asked to Shave Beard, Peyot
(IsraelNN.com) "Y," a young yeshiva student from central Israel, was recently determined to be suitable for the Air Force's pilot training course. However, just weeks before his enlistment date, Y was informed that in order to take the course he would be required to shave his beard and peyot (sidelocks).
When he asked if the requirement was truly necessary, he was told that he must remove his beard for "operational and security reasons," and that the IAF wished him to remove his peyot for the sake of "unity among trainees." Y later discovered that there is no operational reason for pilots to shave their beards, and that they are not required to do so.
MK Uri Ariel (NU/NRP) has asked Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai to explain the IDF's "very bizarre" request. The IDF is creating difficulties for religious men who seek to serve, he said. The argument that the change is necessary for the sake of "unity" is ridiculous, Ariel said, adding that women who serve in the IDF "are not in unity with the young men in any way... some even have a ponytail..."