Thursday, July 19, 2007

One Quarter of eligible Israeli Army dodges draft

Maybe modern Israel is not as martial as we have been led to believe. True, the standing army for a nation of less than 7 million citizens numbers half a million, if you count all the reservists. (Able bodied men under age 45.) Both boy and girl teens are required to serve, and fit Zionist Jews from other nations are welcome to train and fight

Yet one in four Israelis eligible for national service last year dodged the draft, according to the Daily Telegraph, and these statistics were gathered before the disastrous summer war with Hezbollah, widely viewed as a failure inside Israel. In the history of the Jewish state, this is largest proportion of no-shows for the IDF . This has sparked worries that this year, draft-dodgers will increase again.

Not included in these statistics are religious jews, many of whom do not recognize the nation of Israel. These scholars are not required to pay taxes. COntroversially, under the Tal law, they are entitled to a deferment of five years, so they can delay military service until age 22

18-year-old yeshiva students will be allowed to postpone their military service every year until the age of 22, when they will be allowed to work or study for a year outside the yeshiva without joining the army.
After that year, each yeshiva student can choose between returning to the yeshiva or joining the workforce and serving in the army in accordance with his marital status, or perform national service for a year and a half.

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