Are there many non-Jews in the Israel Defense Forces? Well, it would probably surprise many people to know that there are large non-Jewish communities who are citizens of the State of Israel who’s children serve in the Israeli Army. The largest group are the Druze soldiers. There are thousands of Druze soldiers who serve in the Israeli Army, some of whom have even risen to high levels of command. But, Muslim soldiers are quite another thing. Yet, there are a few of them too. This is a story that is sure to raise an eyebrow.
The IDF – Israel’s Melting Pot
For many people in Israel, the first time that they will be exposed to a broad cross-section of the Israeli population is in the Israeli Army. There is a basic difference between meeting people on a bus or train, and living with them while training to defend your country. Additionally, most young men and women serve in the Israeli Army between the ages of 18 and 22. This is a stage in life when new meetings with people make a large impression on people. It is due to this that so many people go through profound changes in their lives. Israel’s Army is indeed the melting pot of Israeli society. It is the place that young men and women come together and think about their futures in the atmosphere of joint giving to their homeland. The surprising thing to many is that so many Druze and even some Muslims actually view the State of Israel as their homeland.
The intifadas – armed uprisings against the State of Israel – that so many Arabs partake in, shields the fact that there exists a significant number of Arabs who know how good they have it in the State of Israel. Upward financial mobility exists in the State of Israel. True freedom of religion and top of the notch health care are two aspects of life that do not exist anywhere else in the Middle East the way they exist in Israel.