Could you imagine waking up to the sounds of missiles going off outside your window or hearing news of a bomb going off in nearby town that you have friends or family living in? Most citizens of the United States have circumstances such as this tucked away in the back of their mind because it is very unlikely to happen. On the other hand, Israeli citizens and many other citizens of the Middle East constantly have to be preparing themselves to hear news such as this and have had to for many years. According to Abrir, Israel has nearly been at constant war since as early as 1917 with Palestine and other surrounding countries and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
For some people this means that their home country or the place they grew up was at war for the entirety of their life, making living in the midst of war a lifestyle. They lived their life watching their country struggle for even just a place to call their own. A lot of the population that lives there has seen nothing but war. It is normal, especially as of today, to see missiles going off nearby and other occurrences that would be considered outrageous in the United States. According to Uni, events such as this exist nearly every day in Israel and people have just begun to see it as a daily ritual. Running to a bomb shelter, covering their ears from the piercing sounds of explosions has become all too common to an Israeli citizen. There is even a Facebook page dedicated solely to “Bomb Shelter Selfies”, which has pictures of groups of friends posing in the bomb shelter and people wrapped in towels who had to run from the shower to the safe rooms. By law, every building that is built in Israel is obligated to build on a reinforced concrete safe room but unfortunately most buildings were built before this was made a law and are without these rooms.
Another strong connection to the culture of war and how common the idea of war is in Israel is the way the military is primarily run. According to Bussel, as soon as an Israeli citizen turns eighteen they are drafted into the military without a choice. Most men serve for around three years and woman serve for about a year and a half or two years. Until just recently, according to Farago, Israel’s parliament passed a new law that required at least some ultra-orthodox men have to serve in the military when previously they didn’t have to due to religious reasons. This new law highlights how the culture of war is evolving even still in Israel.
In the United States, adults and most importantly teenagers make the ultimate decision for themselves if they want to participate in the military and are even able to make the decision of what branch of the military they wanted to be in. This is most definitely not an option for citizens of Israel. Upon turning eighteen and being a United States male citizen, you only have to register for the draft so the military is prepared if the US was to need a draft. The differences on the ideas and customs of war between the United States and Israel is very eye opening.
When trying to think of where this will go in the future it is hard to tell. Based on what is happening and has been happening in Israel it seems there is no end that can be seen in the near future, but war can be very unpredictable. The war could end this week or in two years? One thing that the Israeli military system has made clear though, is that they will always have a military prepared for whatever conflict comes their way and the citizens of Israel will always be ready for war.
Uni, A. (2014, July 24). Life and Love in an Israeli Bomb Shelter. Retrieved October 1,
Abir, R. (2014, August 12). Five Essential Things to Know About the Palestine-Israel
Conflict. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://guardianlv.com/2014/08/five-essential-
Bussel, A. (2009, November 26). Mandatory Military Service Works in Israel. Retrieved October
Farago, Y. (2014, March 12). Israel Passes Law Drafting Ultra-Orthodox into Army. Retrieved
October 1, 2014, from http://time.com/21237/israel-ultra-orthodox-knesset-draft/