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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Something's rotten in the IDF

Twenty female IDF soldiers showed up at the Ashkelon bus station today with their parents to announce to their commanding officers that they refused to report for duty at the basic training station in Zikim, near Ashkelon. As you may recall, nearly seventy IDF basic trainees were wounded three weeks ago when a Kassam rocket shot by a 'Palestinian' terror group scored a direct hit on the camp. The soldiers were threatened by their officers with jail or discharge from the army, and as a result they boarded the buses and returned to Zikim.

There are several things wrong with this story, but to understand them, you have to understand one basic fact about the IDF: Every soldier does the six-week basic training course. Since, as I have noted before, the ratio of combat to non-combat soldiers in the IDF is seven to one, most of the soldiers at the base in Zikim were non-combat soldiers. That means that their parents - who have been quite vocal about the 'children' not being sent to Zikim - are mostly parents who sent their kids to the IDF with the expectation that they would not be facing serious danger during their service.

There are a number of points that need to be made here:

First, there is no mention in the JPost article linked above whether the soldiers in training are going to be sent to real buildings that are likely to survive a hit by a Kassam, or whether they are being sent to tents again as happened in the original attack. If they are being sent to tents again, the IDF is being grossly negligent and the parents have grounds to protest.

Second, it is indicative of the state of affairs in Israel that many parents expect that their children will not be endangered during their military service. You can imagine how motivated many of these soldiers are to follow orders diligently and to perform their duties enthusiastically. In what kind of army do soldiers refuse orders because they would be placed in danger if they follow them? Maybe it is time to end the universal draft and form a volunteer army that won't expect to be coddled.

Third, it is indicative of the state of affairs in Israel that parents from the center of the country expect their children to be kept a safe distance from rocket fire while other families live with 'Palestinian' terror in the form of Kassam rockets like the one that hit Zikim day in and day out. Then again, Sderot and other towns and villages in the western Negev are NotInMyBackYard.

IDF soldiers in basic training are entitled to basic protection from terrorism. So are the innocent civilians of Sderot and other towns in the western Negev. The IDF has its hands tied behind its back by the government and cannot provide the protection it ought to be and is capable of providing. Something has to give. Soon.


At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't Israelis want to defend their country any more? Of course there is danger, living in Israel alone is a dangerous game when so many people want us destroyed.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

"Don't Israelis want to defend their country any more? "

Jews do. Some Isrqelis still do , but many Israelis are too busy becoming yordim. Since much "israeli" culture is just aping Americna pop trash, why not go for the real thing and not get shot at?


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