Israel Defense Force Increases Arab Recruits

There is little doubt prejudice exists within Israel by its Jewish majority toward members of the Arab minority. Israel law exempts non-Druze Arabs from being drafted into the Israel Defense Force(IDF) although a surprising number of Arabs do join the force. Many enter the IDF for economic reasons and are frequently allowed to serve in various roles. Most of the Bedouin recruits function as trackers with desert reconnaissance forces, and play a key role in the Gaza blockade. The typical Arab recruit believes military service provides a way out of poverty and ensures having a good relationship with local authorities. A problem facing many who have served and then enter civilian life is they are not welcome among Arab groups and they still encounter Israeli Jewish prejudice.

Among the tasks of the Israel government and people is to engage with the issue of prejudice against Arabs in their nation. The idea of a binational state will not emerge for many years, if it ever does, but in the meantime, Israel must eliminate all forms of discrimination against Arabs. A good beginning place is ensuring that those who serve in the IDF secure good jobs upon discharge.