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IDF Update - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
December 2nd, 2004
05:31 pm


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IDF Update
Shortly after my imprisonment for refusing1 IDF reserve duty in the occupied territories, I filed a request to be transferred from my unit to some other unit, any other unit, that would not be asked to serve in the OT, so that I'd be able to do my duty, within the borders of Israel.

I have just been informed that my request is denied. My contact officer assured me that our unit is not regularly assigned to OT missions, and that last year was an emergency assignment "due to the whole situation", and that usually this unit's reserve duties do not involve entering the OT. I made it very clear that I shall refuse to serve in the OT in the future as well, should such orders be given, and that there is no room for negotiation. The officer mentioned that she is fairly confident that the committee reviewing my request denied it precisely because I was "being inflexible", as a sort of retaliation (she used the Hebrew word 'davka'). I declined to comment.

There it is.

1 Original Hebrew version of the statement I read at my trial is here.

Current Mood: resigned
Current Music: Brahms -- Symphony No. 4 -- Karajan

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 2nd, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)

evacuation of settelers

what about an order to go to into the OT for evacuation of settelers?

(I know some people are waiting patientlessly for that opportunity...)
[User Picture]
Date:December 2nd, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
I was "being inflexible"

Because we all know that the IDF is the epitome of flexibility.
[User Picture]
Date:December 2nd, 2004 08:55 pm (UTC)
This sounds typical for the IDF. I should hardly think you'd be surprised.

Would you like me to check if I can get you transferred to a unit that routinely does it's service on the Lebanon Boarder? It won't be by committee, but it might work if the unit requested you.
[User Picture]
Date:December 2nd, 2004 10:11 pm (UTC)
i had a friend with the same problem.

i dont think that they will let you move units, on the matter of principale - if they let you move, then in no time, anyone who doesnt want to serve in the OT will file for transfer to a non OT unit.
so no way jose.

heck... even people who dont mind service in the OT might file for transfer :)... so no... i think the army wont let you move... instead you might have to do some more time in the slammer until they will discharge you.

Date:December 3rd, 2004 02:05 am (UTC)
Basically, yeah. So long as it is the objective of the IDF to station soldiers in the OT and there is a shortage of soldiers who will do so voluntarily, the incentive system will be designed to cut off valves.
[User Picture]
Date:December 3rd, 2004 02:46 am (UTC)
there is no shortage. well... no shortage that the IDF cant handle (simply puts more pressure on those who are doing it).

to be objective, i will "expose" myself:
1. I do military reserve, or did until i left Israel for UK (and i shall return).

2. I have always been more politicly close to right then left and i dont see myself changing there. if ever i was to "abandon" the right - it would be for something like Shinui (and this has already happened).

3. I see Theodor Herzl and Ze'ev Zabotinsky as my spiritual political fathers. Im inclined to say that i also see Menachem Begin as a spiritual political father... but then he was far too much traditional jewish for my liking, but very brave and an impressive personality (the man survived one of stalin's siberian ice prisons!).

4. I have nothing against "Seruvniks" of Ijon's type - as in, refusal to serve on basis of moral grounds but willingness to serve in Israel proper (1967 borders + Golan hieghts), even though it doesnt seem practical that it would happen. I have a hard time accepting people who are "worse" (such as those that call to dismantle Israel and make it a completly arab state) ...i have such a friend... its a good friendship because were honest with each other... but when it comes to politics - i think he's nuts and vice versa :)
another reason for our good friendship is the fact that we were room mates in university dorms and as such - we used to end the evening with a good cold beer no matter the argument... and in fact, if ever i was to setup my own brewary - he would be on the call list, as he has good knowledge in the field. at times he read to me from his book of "israeli wrong doings" and i used to repay by reading to him from Zabotinsky. :)
I believe that friendships are above politics.
Date:December 3rd, 2004 02:54 am (UTC)
To say that their is no shortage of the sort to which I referred, you'd have to say that in the absence of coërcion of some sort, the IDF would still have as many soldiers in the OT as are necessary to meet all its objectives.

The evidence plainly argues against that. For example, military service in general is not voluntary in Israel.
[User Picture]
Date:December 3rd, 2004 03:03 am (UTC)
no, military service is not voluntary in Israel and there is no reason why it should be. Israel cannot afford that luxury.

as for the matter of shortage - what i meant was, that the IDF was coping with what it had. it might be "stretching" its reserves, but its coping.
Date:December 3rd, 2004 03:18 am (UTC)
A volunteer military is not a “luxury”. Conscription is a grotesquely inefficient tax.[1}

The shortage relevant to any contradiction of my original assertion would be the shortage to which I referred.

[1} The $25 figure used at one point in the entry to which I have linked is empirically correct for America, but doubtlessly wrong for Israel. The remaineder fo the entry will be applicable anywhere.
[User Picture]
Date:December 3rd, 2004 03:30 am (UTC)
well to be honest with you - i would love to see Israel having a more professional army then it currantly has.
but i dont see it happening in the near future.

the salary i got as a soldier was close to nothing. as a professional i would expect a higher pay. it would take a seious personal cut of army pen-pushers to afford that switch. i wouldnt mind such a switch... as too many pen pushers is a waste and creates, indeed, inefficiacty in the system via means of "unseen" unemployment... but i still dont see it happening... generals tend to be "locked in to ideas" and sadly israeli ministers of security are usually ex-generals. it would take a "civilain" security minister with fresh ideas to do some change and even that would be hard.
Date:December 3rd, 2004 04:53 am (UTC)
I'm sure that you're right that it won't happen, but not quite for the reasons that you think.

Imagine that we took all the people currently subject to conscription, and instead imposed a lump-sum tax on each, such that the total of the revenues was sufficient to pay for an all-volunteer army. (Anyone who didn't otherwise have the lump sum could get it by enlisting.) This system would dramatically reduce the dead-weight loss.

But, politically, such a proposal would be rejected for a variety of reasons, most of them quite irrational.

There are other alternatives, but they would crash-and-burn politically for two principal reasons — first, people fail to recognize the taxation implicit in conscription; and, second, people object to the alternatives based on gut-level notions of equity, patriotism, &c, to which they have rarely if ever given much thought yet are firmly committed.
[User Picture]
Date:December 3rd, 2004 11:46 am (UTC)
What you have here is a mandatory draft that can be evaded by paying. Effectively, you'll have all the lower classes getting drafted since they can't afford the tax, while the well-of will go straight on to careers or higher education, thus exacerbating socio-economic differences.
Date:December 3rd, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC)
Quod erat demonstrandum.

First, there is a difference between evasion and avoidance. Second, you could with as much and as little justice claim that any tax levied in the presence of the option of military service for hire represents a military draft, as people can, for example, pay their sales tax by hiring on with the military.

A lump-sum tax does not exacerbate socio-economic differences; it has a marginal effect for no one but people who are seriously pondering suïcide. (That's a well-established reuslt of econmics, BTW.)

If you want to instead claim that positive steps should be taken to reduce socioëconomic differences by unequal taxation, that's entirely another matter — utterly separable from the question of how to raise an army — and the objective of material and social equality remains in need of more rigorous justification centuries after people first began to adopt it.

Further, given that objective, it is an empirical question, rather than an a priori matter, whether simply rounding up the poor and making them serve in the military (with no option of a buy-out) would actually increase or decrease socioëconomic equality, which is more a matter of choice amongst the poor than you seem to imagine. Military service provide career-enhancing training and experience that some people might chose not to obtain if left alone.
[User Picture]
Date:December 4th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC)
.אני מצפה בחשש לפרק ב' של הסאגה הזאת. הלוואי ולא יגיע
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