Pigs fly: Haaretz op-ed calls for volunteer army
I'm amazed to see an op-ed in Haaretz that admits the truth
: All the rhetoric about everyone doing their 'fair share' is really about the IDF being a melting pot that make the Haredim like everyone else, and not about the IDF's military needs
But who is talking about "melting" the Arabs into the pot of Israeli society anyhow? Instead, the discussion now focuses on "equally sharing the burden." The demand to "equally share the burden" sounds better and is not as threatening as "melting pot," which could create a toxic alloy of Arabs who resemble Jews. It seems like a blanket under which all citizens can cuddle, feeling not only that they are equal in their obligations, but as a bonus, they can also have the "Israeli experience" of blending. In such a society, the majority recognizes the inherent differences between itself and its minorities, all the more so when that society contributes significantly to the differentiation of those minorities. Read it all
What is true for the Arabs is true for the ultra-Orthodox. The difference between them is the way the Israeli-Jewish consensus treats them. Jewish society in Israel is willing to suffer and even to support the non-service of the Arabs in the army, while the refusal of Haredim is perceived as treason and a sin against citizenship. Because it is "natural" when an Arab does not want to protect a Jew, but intolerable when a Jew refuses to protect a Jew. We may, therefore, also suspect that the "concession" to the Arabs with regard to military service stems not only from their branding as a fifth column, a local branch of the Arab enemy, but also because of the way they strengthen the sense of Jewish unity in Israel.
This contains an even more prickly paradox: The people who demand that the Arabs be left alone magnify and perpetuate their differentiation, while the people who demand that they be included in the law mandating obligatory military service might run into a wall of hostility that feeds the differentiation even more. In both cases, the cost of sharing the burden equally is intolerable.
This paradox can be overcome in two ways. Instead of talking about sharing the burden equally, or "national civilian service," it would be better to adopt the term "civil solidarity." This is not a semantic trick. It is about moving the focus of the argument against the Arabs from "lack of loyalty to the state" to the demand for partnership among citizens. But this fundamental shift will come with a shift in understanding of the character and essence of the army. This is a change that does not involve the Arabs; it involves the Jews. It requires the establishment of a professional army whose prestige depends on its ability to face external threats and not its skills as a social or educational agent. It is an army that carefully filters into its ranks and its payroll those who are worthy and needed, and is not a pot in which citizens are melted into a collective identity.
Labels: Haredim, IDF, Israeli Arabs are a fifth column