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Obligatory military service splits Israeli Arabs


The law allowing Arabs and Orthodox Jews to avoid national military service in Israel expires on August 1, and the Arab community faces a deep split over the inevitable military duty. Israeli Arabs fear they’d have to confront their co-religionists.

The law that allowed Arabs in Israel not to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has expired but most Israeli Arabs are saying firmly ‘no’ to being obligatorily drafted into the IDF, because those Arabs who previously volunteered to serve in the IDF used to be seen as traitors by many in their own community.

“The Israeli military wants to make us serve, not because they need us, but because they want to control the Arab state of mind and divide us,” explained Ahmad Khalifa from the Arab Institute for Human Rights.

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