Imagine if hundreds of 18-year-olds were to inform the government and the chief of staff this summer that they will not enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.
They will not unless three demands are met: an end to the discriminatory and growing practice of drafting every secular girl for two years while not drafting religious girls at all; an end to the shameful practice, which has been getting worse, whereby a secular student who wants to study for four years is allowed to do so only rarely and in exchange for longer military service later on, while a student who signs up for four years of extremist religious studies is exempt from the draft for life; and a proclamation by the government that the IDF will defend Israel within its borders, and that the government has no interest in a single inch beyond them. These borders, in case Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has forgotten, are, according to our own laws, based on the 1967 borders, with the sole addition of the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem (the non-Jews of East Jerusalem are not Israeli citizens, so their neighborhoods are not part of the state ).
Income tax levied on Ashkenazi Jews alone would be illegal and immoral. A red light that applied only to brunettes would be invalid. Similarly, there's no such thing as drafting only nonreligious men and women. A law based on grievous discrimination is not a law and must not be obeyed.
Moreover, a country's laws and its army are supposed to defend its borders. You go abroad with a passport, not a tank.
The distorted reality that has taken Israel over is nothing new, but three straws have now broken the donkey's back: the preposterous expansion of the faith-based exemption; Netanyahu's commitment to eternal conflict because of his unwillingness to make do with a legal Israel based on the 1967 borders; and the decision by Netanyahu's adjutant, Benny Gantz - the chief of staff whose ability to stop Netanyahu from embarking on a destructive war was doubted by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan - that recruits must now sacrifice themselves for God, who is their father.
"May God remember his sons and daughters" is a hair-raising messianic formula. Making it the obligatory wording of the official Yizkor memorial prayer is a true revolution, one that alters the IDF's very essence: It has now become the Israel Divine Offense Forces. Author Haim Gouri wrote of fathers forced to sacrifice their sons, who were born with a knife in their heart. Now it's even worse: Those exempted from the draft are turning the nonreligious into future sacrifices for "God" and the messianic settlements.
But Netanyahu and Gantz only really need one recruit for the Army of God - God himself. After all, he's supposed to be omnipotent. If those who see themselves as God's children think he might run into difficulties again, they are welcome to join in. The Israel Divine Offense Forces will be staffed with his believers, sons and daughters alike, who will go to fight His wars outside Israel's borders, rather than on its behalf.
This is no summer joke. This week, Israel is training for a scenario in which it is bombarded with over 1,000 missiles a day. The locations for mass graves have already been prepared in the center of the country, where thousands of people will be buried at once to prevent the spread of disease.
The disease that's already here and now is messianism. In the messianic world, there is a popular saying that goes "when it's time to act for God, they violate Your Torah"; what it means is that in times of struggle, what is normally nonkosher becomes a mitzvah, or commandment. This same logic, in its secular version, drove a right-winger like Dagan to thunder out a warning in order to prevent a catastrophe and thousands of victims, and a centrist like Peres to whisper his own warning about the impending existential threat.
Now is the time to mobilize for Israel. Thousands of young people created the Haganah and Palmach prestate undergrounds, and later the IDF itself. Thousands of young people can once again save the IDF and Israel from catastrophe.
A real Israel Defense Forces will arise only when the army that has replaced it - the Israel Divine Offense Forces, the army that is leading us to destruction - is dismantled. Netanyahu, Gantz, the "murdered" of the Altalena, the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division and God all seem to be quickening their steps in a way that will lead thousands of young people to decide that for Israel's sake, they have a duty not to join such an army.
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