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Americans Join Israeli Defense Forces

Americans Join Israeli Defense Forces
July 24, 2014

In recent days, the world has been transfixed with the bloodshed in the Middle East. However, for some Americans this is more than just headlines. It’s personal.

New Jersey Yeshiva Student Now an Israeli Fighter Pilot

‘Lt. B,’ pictured, came to Israel to learn Torah for a year and go back to NJ for university. He thought about the army and the Air Force grabbed him, fulfilling his childhood wish to be a pilot.

Americans Join Israeli Defense Forces

According to CNN:

It’s believed there are approximately 750 Americans currently serving in the Israeli military, according to Friends of IDF, an advocacy organization based in New York. Although there are no firm numbers of those who have signed up in recent days, the interest level of Americans seems to have increased amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to Orit Mizner, southwest regional director for Friends of Israel Scouts, an organization that helps North American Jews stay connected to Israel. “Those kind of phone calls keep on coming … There’s definitely a sense of the need to be in Israel and a need to take part in what’s going on,” said Mizner, whose organization runs a program called Garin Tzabar, which helps facilitate Americans’ entry into the IDF. Americans have been serving in the IDF for decades. Israel requires that its citizens serve in the military when they turn 18 — three years for men, two years for women. Young Americans with dual citizenship living in Israel are required to serve as well. Those outside Israel, whether they hold Israeli citizenship or not, can apply for the IDF [if] they meet requirements including no criminal record, a high school diploma and the ability to speak Hebrew.

Israel is one of America’s strongest allies in the Middle East. Seeing these brave men and women willing to risk it all for that country, in spite of our government’s lukewarm support, is truly heartwarming.

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Americans Join Israeli Defense Forces