Thursday, March 01, 2012

An All Volunteer Army

Well…. it seems that I am not the only one who thinks an all volunteer army isn’t such a bad idea.

I have written couple of posts recently about the inequities of the Israeli military draft. In one of them I suggested the possibility of ending the draft altogether. I believe that just like the US, Israel would be able to field an army of highly motivated soldiers that would be able to protect and defend their country as well or better than the current conscripts.

The response I got was pretty much predictable. Mostly it was thought to be a bad idea. The argument went as follows.

That the US has a successful all volunteer army cannot be translated into Israeli terms. The two circumstances are different. Israel is surrounded by enemies who would just as soon wipe her off the map as make any kind of peace treaty with her. Add to that the Muslim hatred of Jews that fuels all the violence and you have a prescription for disaster if the draft is abolished.

Contrast that with the US whose neighbors are Canada and Mexico. I don’t believe that either country has as part of their national charter the destruction of the US as does the Palestinian charter about Israel.

I had taken all that into consideration when I wrote the post and concluded that it was nevertheless a viable option. Even after all the opposition expressed by people who commented on it - I still believe it could work. It would solve the inequity problems and reduce if not completely eliminate much of the resentment secular and Dati Jews - who mostly serve – have against Charedim who mostly don’t.

Today the Jewish Press has a column by Moshe Feiglin (pictured above) who promotes the idea of transitioning the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) into a professional all volunteer army.

Moshe Feiglin is an Orthodox Jew who is a member of the Likud Party and is such a hawk - he makes Netanyahu look like a pacifist. He is one of the strongest supporters of all settlement activity. Other than the fact that we are both observant and both of us love Eretz Yisroel we have little in common. I do not support settlement activity… at least as pertains to building new ones or even maintaining the makeshift ones deep into heavily populated Palestinian portions of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). He is for maintaining them all of them at all cost.

One might think that such a hawk would oppose abolishing the draft. But he supports it. He favors an all volunteer army and makes a pretty good case for it.

This effectively eviscerates the argument that as an outsider living comfortably in the US - my views on the matter are irrelevant - and that I don’t know what I am talking about anyway.

Well, agree with him or not, Moshe Feiglin does know what he’s talking about. He does live in Israel. He lives in the West Bank. He is hawk. And he espouses my view.

So…. I don’t know what I’m talking about?! And as an outsider I have no right to express an opinion?! Fine. Don’t listen to me. Listen to him.