In spite of the recent escalation of violence coming from the Gaza Strip, a recent surge in Arab citizens of Israel volunteering for duty in the IDF signals a major shift in Arab attitudes toward the State of Israel. After more than 70 years of ambiguous, almost schizophrenic relationships with the Jewish state they love to hate, increasing numbers of Israeli Arabs are finally waking up to the reality that the Jewish nation can be a home for them, too.
Arabs are legally exempted from Israel’s mandatory military conscription and there continue to be serious doubts as to whether an Arab could be expected to fight against other Arabs in Israel’s wars. Yet the government is allowing and even encouraging hundreds of Arabs, both Christians and Muslims, to join the Israeli army. Hundreds of Arab high school graduates are signing up for the IDF, representing a shift in government policy and a growing trend amongst Israel’s nearly 2 million Arab citizens.
Is Blood Thicker Than Water?
Many of these recruits come from well-established Muslim families who have…