Israel's Military Culture and How it Effects the Economy Research Paper

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Israel's Military Culture And How It Affects The Economy

According to one definition of military culture, it is a distinct closed system of behavior according to which the members of the military are supposed to act. It consists of written as well as unwritten rules and regulations along with discrete beliefs and symbols (Cosmo, 2009).

When we talk about military culture in Israel, we refer to the whole military situation in Israel and how it affects the society and the economy. The determinant of the military culture of Israel is the Israel Defense Forces. IDF are the military forces of the State of Israel and they are formed by the ground forces, navy and the air forces. Being the only military wing of the state, it does not have any civil jurisdiction within the country.

IDF is not similar to most of armed forces of other countries. There are many differences that include the recruitment of women. Moreover, the structure of the forces pertaining to the relationship between the navy, air force and army is also different. IDF has been designed to specifically suit the military situation of the country. Being the most prominent institution of Israel's society, it influences the economy, political scene and culture of the country.

IDF makes use of the high tech weapons that have developed in Israel. Moreover, IDF has established strong ties with the military of the United States. It is considered to be one of the most battle-trained army of the world because of the military conflicts that Israel has to face from time to time (The State: Israel Defense Forces, 2009).

In this paper, we shall see how the military culture in Israel influences the culture, economy and society. We shall also see what factors determine the establishment of military ties with the U.S. army.

Without Military Culture Involved

Military culture always has an impact on the society. This impact may be negative or positive. In Israel it is a trend that every man and woman has to serve in the army when he or she is above the age of 18. Mothers and religious women are exempted from this recruitment. Moreover, men have to serve in the army for at least three years whereas the women have to serve in the army for at least two years. They may then extend their services in the IDF if they wish to do so. Meanwhile, the religious people are also exempted from being a part of IDF.

On the other hand, the countries in which there is no such military culture, people have the right to do whatever they want to when they are above the age of 18. There is no compulsion on them to join the army or serve in the army. In a way, it is not a bad thing to serve your country (being part of the military), but the pressure that builds on the shoulders of young people above the age of 18 makes things hard for them.

Moreover, when parents of young children serve in the army for prolonged periods of time, they are grow up without the attention of their parents. When a family lives in a military culture, they are unable to live in a safe, stable and nurturing environment that is essential for a healthy development of body as well as mind. Also, the parents cannot educate their children and send them to university before they serve in the army for at least three years. This is one of the most significant drawbacks.

On a positive note, from a very young age, the people of Israel learn to be responsible citizens. They all know what they have to do in future and plan their life accordingly. These people, after serving their required tenure in the army, turn out to be strong and composed citizens. They have the emotions of being loyal to the country and have the spirit to serve in the hard times when needed.

Layout of Education in Israel

The education system in Israel has always been the center of conflict. Before the year 1948, there were four different Jewish sectors of education that were commonly referred to as "trends" (U.S. Library of Congress). The educational segregation that was favored by the orthodox Jews was protected by the state because of the status quo deals among Ben-Gurion and the Orthodox Jews. Intense conflict and competition stemmed from this system especially when a lot of people started migrating to Israel from 1948 through 1953. The various parties that had formed in the region begin fighting over those who had migrated to win over their votes and secure their own political future.

Because of the many parliamentary crises that resulted from this educational conflict, reform legislation was introduced in 1953 that was called the State Education Law. This reform resulted in decreased number of trends; making them only two from four. These two trends were the state-supported religious system and the state-supported secular system. Nonetheless, there were also some other small systems outside these two, which were not supported by the state. These systems were run by the ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel along with others. These schools were also operated by different kibbutz federations as well as traditional religious schools including yeshivot. According to a survey, in the academic year 1986-87, almost 6% of Jewish primary schools were a part of yeshivot, 22% were enrolled in state religious primary schools, whereas almost 72% were enrolled in state secular primary schools. These figures were also consistent with the secondary education.

The youth of Israel are required to attend school for at least ten years apart from the preschool years. The education system is based on four levels. Children of ages between three and six went to preschool. It was made obligatory for children who were five years of age. Through grades one to six, primary education was given. Grades eight and nine were the responsibility of the intermediate education; meanwhile the secondary education was handled in grades ten through twelve. Once the students turn eighteen, it is mandatory for them to attend the army as mentioned above, after which they can attend university.

Growing up during wars

For the people of Israel, war is not a big word anymore. Since there is a military culture in the country, every citizen is prepared that he or she has to be a part of the army at one point or another. Some of these people have the conviction of serving in the IDF even after their specific period has elapsed (that of two years for females and three for males). Meanwhile the others do not think that they will be able to take the heavy responsibility of being in the army so they decide to return to the civil side of Israel.

Since the people of Israel have grown up during wars, most of them, and the others have been a part of the IDF, there are some certain characteristics that define these people. Soldiers who are recruited in IDF are given huge responsibilities. These responsibilities include the control of powerful machinery and weapons, command over other individuals who are also a part of the army and challenging tasks that have to be done no matter what the circumstances may be.

Most people of Israel claim that they have an enhanced ability to deal with the difficult situations and hardships because they have gained experience in the army and also because they have witnessed many difficult situations (pertaining to wars), off and on, during their lives. These people also reckon that their horizons widen because they get to meet different people as well as different circumstances in the army. On the other hand, these people also feel that there is a sense of losing one's youth in them, once they return from their service in the army. The individuals who serve in the army, or who have witnessed wars in their lives, usually have an intense sense of being independent. However, being independent does not refer to cutting ties with the family and leading a completely independent economic life. Familial ties are maintained throughout their lives as soldiers as well as when they return from the army. These soldiers also develop in them an increased concern for the greater social problems and develop a wider understanding of political, moral and ideological matters.

The soldiers who are recruited in the army are trained in a way that they are aware of the fact that they might go into war at any time. They are inculcated with the concepts that increase combat readiness and critical thinking along with establishing a learning organization within them. Therefore, the soldiers are prepared with an integration of these concepts, training and operational skills (Harmon, 2006).

IDF Major Military Operations

1948-1967:

In 1948, the Arab-Israel war took place. This is considered to be one of the major operations performed by the IDF. Then in 1956, IDF had about four major operations. These can be named…[continue]

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