20 May 2011
Israeli Defense Force (IDF)
The entire Israeli military is in one branch – the IDF. We spent the better part of a day with them, on a real training base.
Israeli military is mandatory for all boys and girls over 18.
The religious Orthodox Jews get a pass (they comprise what would otherwise be 11% of the pool). I’m not a fan of that, but I don’t make the rules. Can’t they at least do community service?
We were so impressed by everything we saw.
Even though these tanks are backup, they must be maintained every single day.
I may have a new favorite charity – Friends of IDF (FIDF). Their slogan says it all: “Their Job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.”
The have many great programs. I am particularly interested in a scholarship program called IMPACT. For $4,000 per year, they can put a qualified person through college (paying all tuition and related expenses). Even though these young people have served the military well, they also have to provide 130 hours of annual community service (if they accept these scholarships).
Although this is not meant to be a political blog, Israel must have security. Besides being the only Jewish State in the world, it is the only stable democratic government in the entire region. When is Washington going to learn that supporting unstable, corrupt governments maybe isn’t a good long term solution?
Forget about theory or philosophy. In order to have a “peace” accord, Israel MUST give back very significant parts (about 85%) of the West Bank. But, in exchange, Israel would get world recognition of its secure boundaries, which would include the Palestinians and other Arab groups.
I have supported every Democratic presidential candidate since Adlai Stevenson, and voted for every one since I have come of age. Economically, the Obama administration is ruining my poker business and the freedom of choice to play. Now, his recent speech could be potentially devastating to Israel. I must say that if there were an election today, I would have to vote for the Republican candidate.