Israeli army service is no longer seen as a privilege by many. Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Why Fewer Israelis Now Serve in the IDF

My generation saw IDF service as a privilege, but Israeli society is changing in worrying ways

Before I travel into the office, I flick through the daily papers every morning and treat myself to an espresso. Recently, a report on a front page caught my eye and astonished me to the extent that I needed another espresso: “Every third conscript is not actually drafted!” An army spokesman was being quoted. Thirty-three percent of young adults (and among women actually 44 percent) are rejected for military service, for a wide variety of reasons. Some are exempt for practicing Orthodox Judaism (16 percent), some are deemed unfit psychologically (8.3), other are rejected for having a criminal record (3.8),…