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Hebrew Women Join the Forces : Jewish Women from Palestine in the British Forces During the Second World

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While female enlistment in any army was unheard of in Jewish history, let alone a foreign and colonial army like the British Army, between 1942 and 1946, some 3,000 Jewish women, aged between 18 and 45, served in the Auxiliary Territorial Services (ATS) and 600 more joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). They came from all walks of Yishuv (Jewish society in prep-state Israel) life serving mostly in Egypt, Palestine (Eretz Israel), Syria and Lebanon, Italy and even Austria (once the war was over). The women were among the 30,000 volunteers from Eretz Israel who served in various branches of the British Army and Air Force in the Middle East theatre of the Second World War as well as in the Jewish Brigade. Granit-Hacohen tells the story of the female Jewish volunteers from the Yishuv during the period between the beginning of negotiation over recruitment (March 1941) and July 1946, when the last of the soldiers were released from duty. The book compares female military services in the British Forces with that of their male counterparts from the Yishuv and touches on female service in other armies and countries during different periods in history. It also presents female military services as part of Yishuv women’s struggle for the right to participate in renewing Jewish life in Eretz Israel together, with a gender-oriented culture and social study of woman’s role in national struggles worldwide. Citing that until now women have been excluded from the Second War narrative and historiography, the author aims to shed new light on their real contribution to the war, national and Yishuv effort, and, includes, for the first time, the voices of these women. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

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