An order of Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on May 26, 1948, officially set up the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a conscript army, differing from most armed forces in the world in many ways, including the conscription of women. National military service is mandatory for any non-Arab Israeli citizen over the age of 18.
Every Israeli parent promises their new-born that by the time he or she is 18 the draft will no longer be necessary, we will have peace. But reality is stronger than dreams and Israeli children are brought up educated and prepared to serve.
I know. I have made these promises … and broken them twice.
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