A Christian Woman Fighting for the IDF

The Fellowship  |  June 26, 2020

Elinor Joseph, the first Arab woman to serve in a combat role in the IDF
First Christian Arab Woman Combat Soldier in IDF

An Israeli Christian, Elinor Joseph served as the first Arab woman in a combat role in the IDF.

Born in 1991 to a Christian family in the village of Jish, Elinor grew up in an Arab neighborhood in Haifa. Encouraged by her father to join the IDF — not required for an Israeli-Arab — Elinor did so after graduating high school.

Before enlisting, Elinor dreamed of serving as an IDF combat medic. But upon arriving at the IDF recruitment base, she learned that she would serve as an office clerk. Elinor followed her dream, however, and her colonel made her a deal — if selected as an outstanding trainee after completing basic training, she could continue with the medic training course.

Elinor completed basic training as the outstanding trainee of her platoon. After this, she then completed medic training and earned her medic’s pin from her commander.

In her first role, Elinor served at a border crossing, where she helped translate between soldiers and local residents. Then Elinor transferred to the Caracal Battalion in the western Negev Desert, the first Arab woman to serve in an IDF combat unit. We salute this young woman who gave of herself to serve her country and all of its people.