a different side of Israel

No Cop Outs!

A new organization geared to promoting more national pride among Israeli youth is getting off the ground in Israel. Headed by Raanana Mayor Nachum Hofri, himself a retired army general, the organization’s slogan : “Real Israelis are not cop outs” is being made into auto bumper stickers that are beginning to appear on cars all over Israel.

The organization was created in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanese War which resulted in many reserve soldiers expressing their misgivings concerning serving in army units that were hastily sent to fight Hezbollah militiamen in southern Lebanon. This not only caused a lot of embarrassment to the IDF and the Israel government, but it also has resulted in many youth approaching induction age saying that they simply do not wish to undergo military service. The problem has even reached a point where approximately 25% of all youth in the age 17-18 range are refusing to obey the summons they have received to report for their physicals and other pre-induction screening processes prior to actual induction.

When asked by a local television station why he felt his new organization is necessary, Mayor Hofri said that what is severely lacking in today’s youth is a sense of national pride and feeling of wanting to do something for the benefit of their country. Hofri noted that young people even have said that Israel needs to have a scaled-down professional military similar to those in the U.S.A. and most European countries. He went on to say that by the time these youth reach military induction age they do not have the sense of pride and national duty that their parents had a mere generation before. “Kids need to be given this sense of national pride long before reaching the age of going into the army – by then it’s just too late to change their motivation” Hofri said.

The “no cop-out” slogans also apply to reserve soldiers who are a vital element in the country’s military defense structure. Many reserve soldiers seem unwilling to join their fighting units should another serious conflict break out. Of course there is good reason for their ambiguity due to the many mistakes made during the 34 day 2006 war.

In regards to the country’s youth, Hofri believes that programs to instill a greater sense of national pride and public duty need to be introduced into the schools even while kids are still attending elementary school. Together with extracurricular programs such as Gadna, a Zionistic youth program instilled during the early years of the state, and the Scouting Movement, Israeli youth will be better prepared emotionally to assume their national responsibilities. Hofri believes that the military establishment itself must undergo a number of changes in order to better deal with young people once they are inducted, especially those with cultural background and emotional problems.

“We simply cannot afford to let the situation continue as it has recently – our enemies are becoming better fighters from both a quantitative and qualitative aspect” Hofri said.

1 Comment

  1. Very thought provoking piece with a timely message. I hope young people in Isreal get invovled in groups like this. As the well said saying goes: “we don’t have another country!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2023

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑