A recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post stated that 25% of today’s youth in Israel do not want to be in military service, or have been disqualified from the military due to physical or emotional problems. No longer are the country’s youth considering careers in the military either, as even this opportunity is becoming less available due to budget tightening measures to help keep the country’s inflation index at a near 0 level.
Why is this happening when Israel’s enemies are becoming more militaristic, and are willing to become martyrs in order to kill or wound more and more Israelis? The answer may lie in the fact that modern Israeli youth have simply changed most of their values from doing everything for their country to simply doing everything for themselves.
That’s right; Israel has become a “No. 1” oriented society, where people are only interested in looking after their own concerns and not for the society as a whole. Beginning as a country with a “one for all and all for one” mentality in the country’s early years, Israel has become a nation in which social minded goals for its youth have been replaced with materialistic ones; including new cars, private homes, and frequent trips abroad. It’s actually cheaper to fly to Turkey or Greece on holiday than to spend the same time at an Israeli resort hotel â€“ kosher food and all!
Instead of pursuing vocations involving physical work, such as driving a bus or truck (once very desired vocations), or as a tradesman or mechanic, today’s youth prefer to pursue careers in information technology where they also receive a late model car to drive to and from their posh, air conditioned jobs, enjoying a lifestyle that even their parents could only dream about.
Last summer’s Lebanese war did more than simply point out the problems that reserve soldiers faced by a government unable to provide for their basic needs while in the field. This war also indicated a society who simply wasn’t prepared to go to war, while the country’s enemies have been training and building up their military infrastructure. This ‘infrastructure’ now includes a virtual army or more then 15,000 trained soldiers in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip, consisting of 4 field brigades, and an increasing array of munitions and explosives, most of them smuggled in under the obliging eyes of Egyptian soldiers and international “monitoring” forces.
When the country was fighting for its existence in the 1948 War of Independence, many of the men fighting in Israel’s military and paramilitary forces were either volunteers from abroad or Holocaust survivors who had only been freed from Nazi death camps a few years before. These men, and women, knew that it was either fight or die, and many did die during those first terrible months, especially in battles like the Battle of Latrun (in which more than 600 former Detention Camp inmates were slaughtered trying to take the Jordanian held Latrun Police Station) and the Battle of Burma Road, in which the American volunteer, Col. Mickey Marcus, lost his life.
Inspiration: what more inspiration is needed other than the obvious; in that the State of Israel is in perhaps more danger than it has been in since the Yom Kippur War and War of Independence. With Syria and Iran, two of Israel’s arch enemies, now forming a military alliance, and Hezbollah once again at full strength along Israel’s northern border; not to mention Hamas in the South and Israel’s “former” enemy, the PLO, entrenched in the West Bank, the people of Israel have no shortage of enemies to deal with.
The main concern these days for the Jewish State is whether the country’s youth are ready, and able, to accept the challenges needed to prevail.