Last year saw a sharp rise in the number of Israeli Arab Muslims volunteering to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Only Jewish and Druze citizens are required to do compulsory military service.
Statistics provided by the army to The Jerusalem Post showed that 606 Muslims were voluntarily drafted into the IDF in 2020. The previous year saw 489 sign up to serve in the Israeli army.
Of the Muslims who volunteer to serve in the IDF, half request to go to combat units.
The recent Gaza war, during which local Israeli Arabs also engaged in widespread destructive riots, proved a unique challenge for those in uniform.
The report noted that during the conflict, 20 young Israeli Arab Muslims requested to be discharged early from the IDF due to intense societal and family pressure. But after a conversation with their respective IDF unit commanders, 18 decided to stay. The other two were discharged per their request.
Further proof that Israel is not the “apartheid” state so many accuse if of being came earlier this week when the Central Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that the local Arab Muslim population is growing and prospering.
The numbers showed an increasing percentage of local Muslims earning college degrees and joining the workforce. For more on this topic, see: What’s Happening to Israeli Muslims?