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Jewish Journal

Israel’s military takes an Orthodox turn

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 6, 2012 | 11:49 am

Secular Israelis complain about the Haredim being exempt from military conscription. But now they don’t seem to happy about more Ultra Orthodox Jews voluntarily joining the Israeli Defense Forces.

Reuters reports:

An increasing number of conscripts are Orthodox Jews - mirroring the growth of the minority in Israeli society at large. Some religious troops view military service through the prism of their own piety - either as the realization of a messianic vision that sees Jews conquering biblical lands or as an institution that should be subordinated to rabbinical writ.

For secular Israelis, already worried about the role of religion in the Jewish state, that threatens not just the military but the country itself.

“In my time, the skullcap-wearers came to the military and served alongside me. They lived their lives as they pleased, we respected them, and they also respected our lifestyle,” said Daniel, who is 64 and secular. “Today’s generation, to a degree, joins up with the object of imposing its lifestyle on others - to dictate how to behave. It’s a crawling annexation.”

A very good article with lots of numbers and a clear grasp of the situation on the ground. I recommend reading the rest here.

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