Did you know that non-Jewish Israelis cannot buy or lease land in Israel? A Jew from any country in the world is guaranteed citizenship in Israel, while the Palestinians who have been there for centuries are oppressed and persecuted.
Israel is in a tough position. It’s in the Middle East, which can be a very volatile region. Not only that, but it’s essentially surrounded by countries and people who don’t like it very much. So it’s no surprise that the Israeli military has to be tough.
Israeli soldiers are well-trained because they have to be able to face the many threats looming over their country on a constant basis. But Israel also has used that problem for its benefit by using the military to bring about many social reforms that haven’t been seen elsewhere.
Military Service Is Mandatory Unlike, in most other countries, all citizens of Israel must serve in the military for a certain amount of time. It’s considered a civic duty, though service can be excused due to medical or religious reasons. Given the importance of the military in the region, it’s probably a very prudent policy.
Women Are Allowed in All Positions, Including Combat Crazy, right? But ever since the year 2000, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has allowed women in any Ground, Navy, or Air Force job they are qualified to hold, including in combat roles. If they can do the job, that’s all that matters.
The Children of Israeli Citizens May Have to Serve, Too Israel has a very welcoming attitude toward Jewish people living abroad: the children of Israeli citizens can request permission from the consulate to study in the country for up to three years without doing the usual military service. If they choose to stay after those three years, however, they will be required to enlist in the army or leave the country altogether.
The Military Is for People from All Backgrounds Because a majority of citizens have to join the Israeli Defense Forces, it’s seen as a chance to bring everyone together. While in other countries there is a divide between people who choose service and those who do not, everyone from every economic level and political affiliation must work together in the Israeli army. It’s aiming to bring about social unity in addition to protecting the people.
Soldiers Must Get Permission to Appear at Political Events The IDF is very protective of its public relations image. To avoid politicization of the army, all soldiers must acquire prior permission before making a public appearance at any political event. After all, it would be unfortunate if a single soldier’s appearance at a rally gave the impression the IDF was backing a certain political figure.
Women Don’t Have to Spend as Much Time in the Service The maximum amount of time a man can spend in mandatory service is 32 months, while for a woman, it’s 12 months. That number also goes down depending on a woman’s age; if she arrives in Israel after the age of 21, she doesn’t have to join up at all.