Bradley Burston writes in Ha’aretz:
…These [Yuppies from Tel Aviv] are not conscientious objectors, who are few in number, serious of purpose, have a lot to lose by sincerely refusing to serve, and do lose a lot, beginning with prison.
These are the young who duck the draft by buying their way out, sleazing their way out, lying their way out using parents’ connections, any connections, anything not to serve, and not to pay the price.
But it doesn’t stop there.
There is also anger over Kirya Syndrome, the sense that a large percentage of the youth of greater Tel Aviv sees out its army service partly as nine-to-five bureaucrats in the IDF’s Kirya headquarters, and partly as nine-to-five mall rats in the adjacent Azrieli Towers shopping/dining/coffee and cake complex.
There is anger over the idea that life went on remarkably smoothly in the Kirya, despite the Home Front Command’s disastrous ill-preparedness for wholesale rocket attacks on civilian populations in the north, who were forced to live underground, often in states of distress and want, for weeks on end.
There is anger, no less, over the army’s signal failures in adequately equipping and even feeding the tens of thousands it sent over the line into Lebanon. This, as life in the Kirya spun along, well-fed, well-clothed, air-conditioned, close to home.
The anger became stronger this week, as reservists came back and begun to spill their experiences. There was the ambulance medic who took a wounded reservist from a medivac helicopter to the trauma room at Rambam hospital in Haifa, and heard only these words from the soldier:
“Do you maybe have some food? I haven’t eaten in three days.”
There was another reservist, barely a year out of his compulsory three years of service, whose company was so hungry that they all crowded into the house of an elderly Lebanese couple, to search for food.
“The couple were sitting there,” the soldier recalled Thursday. “They could have been my grandparents. It was a horrible scene.” Other units, left without supplies for days, broke into grocery stores, searching for water and food.…
Please read this entire piece.
[Hat Tip: Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky.]