a different side of Israel

Only Half a Country

Ehud BarakFurther to a recent post dealing with the revelation that at lest 25% Israeli youth do not want, or are not able, to serve in the military, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, made a remark that the current attitudes of young Israelis towards their country’s military service is “nothing short of treason and should be treated as such”.

Speaking during a conference on military security at Tel Aviv University, in which deceased and former Haaretz military correspondent Zeev Schiff was being memorialized, Barak added that current attitudes in which young people feel that they are “friers” or suckers if they serve in the army is turning the military from a “peoples’ army” to an army of only “half the people”. Barak said that the country needs to go back to it’s former mentality when serving in the military was a source of pride and not doing do was subject to severe castigation.

One might ask whether Israelis are interested in having an armed forces similar to that in either the USA or in most European countries (including the UK) where enlistment is purely voluntary and conscription, otherwise known as ‘the draft’ is no longer used. So-called “professional” armies have resulted in the severe manpower strain that is currently being felt in both the U.S. and British military forces, both of whom have to continuously rotate troupe units in an out of Iraq and other places due to an acute shortage of available manpower.

Professional military forces may be acceptable to a county who is not surrounded by hostile elements bent on its destruction. Israel is a small country of only 7,000,000, from which only a few hundred thousand men of military age are available to serve in its armed forces; and at least half of those are men serving in reserve units. Compare that to many Arab countries in which a much greater number of recruitible manpower is available to serve in their military forces, including many willing to commit martyrdom, i.e., lay down their own lives for what they believe in.

Israel will never be in a situation in which its young men and women will be expected to become martyrs in the same sense as their enemies are. There should be, however, a return to the country’s previous mentality when, as former prime minister and Likud Party chairman Binyamin Natanyahu said, following the outbreak of the Lebanon II war: ” we are all soldiers in the State of Israel”.

Indeed, whether in the military or not, people living in Israel are “all soldiers”; and the situation in regards to the country’s beginning in 1948 is still as perilous as it was then when the entire Arab Legion was intent on driving the fledgling Jewish entity into the sea.

Friers? Draft dodgers? Hopefully, both the Israeli government and it’s military leaders will find ways to wave both the proverbial carrot and stick in front of those about to inducted into the country’s military forces, as well as those who serve in military reserve units. The ‘carrot’ represents feelings of pride and commitment, and the ‘stick’ being the embarrassment and shame for those able bodied people not serving, including those who are exempted for ‘religious reasons’.

Israel only has one military; and that military is the only line of defense between the Israeli people and the multitudes bent on destroying her.


  1. I hope that well meaning people read this article. It has a lot of truth in it.

    It’s also good for Americans to read this; as most of that country carries on their normal lives while only a few go off to fight their battles.

    Perhaps even America needs to go back to the system where every able bodied man has to be subject to military service. That’s so, even if so many wind up being draft dodgers.

    Otherwise, the ‘Huns’ and the ‘Vandals’ will overwhelm us all.

  2. It’s bad enough that we are wasting all this fighting norm jacob’s wars–now this guy wants us to conscript our young people! No thanks, Norm! There must be a place on this earth to where people can run from the crime of conscription!

    Would you be willing to spread the word about It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.


    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  3. Yes, war is wrong. IN HEAVEN.Here we fight for those who are 2 weak. The world should adopt Israel’s moral code and lead the way for working within a framework of peace. Not try to corrupt the tykes with stories of the hoped for future.I wonder how much the (recent) immigrants to Israel have to do with this mindset of entitlement? I don’t want my grandson to go to gw’s war. But I’d arm him against a terrorist.

  4. Sorry mates! I didn’t want to ‘upset the apple cart’, but it appears I did.

    I agree that since the last time of formal conscription, Vietnam, Americans have had a negative reaction to this.

    But we may be reaching a point where there be no choice other that bring this back, as distastful as it may be.

    In ancient Rome, all freemen were required to be in the Roman Legions for up to 7 years! When this was finally rejected, and everyone sat in the arenas watching gladiators slaughter each other, the ruling heirarchy had no choice other than to hire professional mercenaries to do thier fighting. It was then that Rome fell into it’s final decline and was eventually overwhelmed by those Huns and
    Vandals I mentioned previously.

    American fighting forces are now stretched to their ultimate limit; and if an even bigger conflict breaks out, like with Iran, or even with Russia (very possible taking Putin’s recent statements seriously)would America be ready.

    The US had its ‘pants down’ in December, 1941, and it took a year to get fully into a war footing. With the weapons floating around now, I don’t think this time would be available.

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