Thursday, October 20, 2011

Arab IDF Soldiers

I sometimes forget McSweeney's isn't just a humor magazine. They currently have an absolutely stellar piece up on Arab soldiers (mostly Bedouin and Druze) serving in the IDF.

The article makes a number of important points. On the one hand, it stresses that the army seems to be a genuinely inclusive social institution in Israel -- the author reports that Arab soldiers serving claim their service is the time they feel most like a true, equal Israeli. On the other hand, to the extent that army service promises enhanced opportunities for non-Jews after their tenure is complete, it seems to be failing. The government's abysmal treatment of the Bedouin community in particular -- a community which provides the IDF's elite desert trackers -- is simply shocking, and a disgrace to the veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country.

It is a piece I can't recommend highly enough.

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