Monday, July 7, 2014

Soldiers in the streets

One thing that one very quickly gets used to seeing in Israel is soldiers. Men and women in army green are walking around everywhere. You see them in restaurants, by the bus stops, in the malls, on the street. Most often, they will have an M16 slung around their shoulder, and a pistol. Sometimes they are unarmed.

Israel, like many other countries, has laws that force its young men and women to serve in the army. All Israelis, with some exceptions, who are over the age of 18, must spend some time in the army. Many of the soldiers that I see are fresh out of high school. They are forced to put their lives on the line- and, when they go to the West Bank- to enforce the laws of the occupation, and their presence often makes life hell for tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Some young Israelis choose prison over army service. They pay a steep price, and as if being in jail is not bad enough, they often also face ostracism from friends and family, and problems in looking for work. It is a heroic choice, and one with very heavy consequences.

No comments:

Post a Comment