Monday, August 07, 2006

An army of everyone

Just for when the images of the destruction caused in Lebanon are associated with some kind of monstrous inhumane enemy that has no pity, I would like to remind people that the Israeli Army is compulsory for everybody in the population. The Israeli army is not an "Army of One" (excuse me, but I can't think of a less appealing slogan for an Army: you're on your own, pal, good luck in Iraq). Here in the States the Army is an institution where the poor voluntarily serve as cannon fodder in order to make a living. In Israel, after high school, every 18 year-old male has to go to the Army for 3 years, every 18 year-old woman for 2 years, unless the woman is already married. After their tour of duty, I believe there is a period of rest for a year and then every male who has served in the Army becomes a reservist, and needs to show up for duty one month a year every year until the age of 55. Israel being a country that has not really known peace since its birth, this means that the Israeli Army is an army of citizens who have most probably seen war in their lifetime.

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