Israelis prefer mandatory army service

Monday, July 07, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

An overwhelming majority of Israelis have no problem doing mandatory military service and reject the idea of establishing a professional volunteer army, according to the results of a recent public opinion poll.

Conducted between February and March of this year, the survey asked respondents if "Israel should move towards a voluntary professional army like in the USA." Nearly 75 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed with the suggestion.

The idea of a "people's army" is embedded in the Israeli psyche, a fact that was further demonstrated when over 60 percent of respondents said they support harsh punishment of draft dodgers.

While most Israelis believe that everyone should have to do military service, a 56.7 percent majority did say they support outsourcing non-core activities, such as guard duty in less volatile areas, to private contractors.

The poll was conducted among a random sampling of 1,006 Israelis by the Dahaf polling firm on behalf of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

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