Young people are the guardians of Israel’s
security. Compulsory conscription at the age of
18 in many ways has a positive influence on
young people, giving them a sense of belonging,
responsibility and purpose. For some it’s a
calling. For others it’s not a choice they can
make, though most look back on it positively –
friends are made for life in the army.
All fighters, as they are commonly referred to,
are issued with guns which they have to keep
with them at all times – the rationale being that
it shows the enemy that you are always ready to
defend. Guns are such a normal sight in the lives
of Israel. They are an accepted part of everyday
life and all but ignored. For some soldiers, status
is derived from having the most modern gun, the
latest sights or attachments - it shows time
served and rank to have these upgrades. A
condition of active antagonism exists in Israel.
Although conflict situations are rare for most
conscripts, for the most part, the gun is a heavy
object which they are required to carry for two
or three years during service.