Far from being representative of Israeli society, around 20% of Israel’s population is made up of Palestinians who are excluded from joining the Israeli military and its economic benefits. Although Israel has a policy of mandatory conscription for all its citizens, Muslim and Christian Palestinian citizens, numbering around 1.6 million, are exempt from military service because they are deemed “disloyal” and “untrustworthy” by Israel. Further, Palestinians largely refuse to join Israel’s army due to its military occupation of Palestinian land including the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as the Syrian Golan Heights. In other words, the composition of Israel’s military reflects the segregation in society.
Israeli army portrayed as progressive in The Telegram
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