Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dodger Stadium

Draft dodging has become one of this great country's ills. Ehud Barak our Minister of Defense knows it and talked about it in a speech this past week. Good for him. He caused people to start talking. All the newspapers and many of the internet sites addressed the issue. We discussed it on our podcast.

A large part of the discussions dealt with the fact that Barak did not mention the ultra orthodox in his speech. They make up the largest percent of draft dodgers. The ultra orthodox phenomena is one that will have to be dealt with and should be dealt with as soon as possible. For that we need leadership who has courage. Maybe we need to send our leaders to Oz to find their courage like the cowardly lion did. Many accused Barak of leaving them out on purpose. Maybe he thinks its okay. Maybe he was trying to garner votes for his run at the current Prime Minister. I think he left them out because he was talking about the contributing members of society of which they as a whole are not a part. While what the ultra orthodox do with regards to the draft is a source of frustration for me I, like Barak want to look at my part of society and fix the wrong.

There was a time when draft dodgers were so looked down on. They were ashamed. Today we have reached a point where people don't hide it and they are not ashamed. Aviv Geffen might be the poster boy for draft dodgers. He dodged the draft and has been successful as a rock star here. I use the term rock star in its loosest sense! Michael Lewis is living large as the resident hunk on a soap opera. He did not serve. Some of the contestants on our version of American Idol have not served. On a more personal level two of my daughters one time friends did not serve. I say lets put the spot light on them. Let them not hide. Let them know their shame. More importantly let them grovel at the feet of those who serve and protect them. Finally let them look into the eyes of the mothers who lost their children in the war and let them explain why they were not there.

Some of my favorite dodgers are those who claim they did not enlist because of the occupation. They view the army as the occupying force. They should look a little deeper. What does the army do in the territories? Hunt for terrorists? Protect us from terrorists? When did that become a bad thing? To them I say widen your view. It is not inconceivable we could be attacked by another country. Was last summer too long ago? Would you not want to protect your citizens? But you can't because you didn't enlist. Someone else has to do your job. Shame on you. If you want to change government policy then vote against it or enter politics yourself. I don't know what the numbers for the flip side are. Those who don't want to serve because of the disengagement. You too harm this country whose land is so precious to you. I think your pride is more important to you. Disengagement from the country lets you nurse your pain without interruption. Let the good men and women of the IDF protect you. They are the ones that care about all of the people of Israel. They care about the people they disagree with enough to put their lives on the line for them. Every one of those soldiers has a different political opinion. They serve the country that grants them this right with pride.

I can only hope that the draft dodgers are starting to squirm. Maybe they will turn away in shame as they pass a soldier on the street. My daughter has a friend who won't go out with a guy who was not in a combat unit. My daughter dropped her friends that weaseled out of the draft. I will support legislature that gives more benefits to soldiers that have served and takes away benefits from those who do not serve. Most importantly, don't let these losers win. Support the IDF and turn your back to those that dodge the draft.

Submitted by Carol