A nation at war

The military influence on Israeli culture

A nation at war

Since the formation of the Israeli state on Palestinian lands, Israel has had to defend itself from hostile neighbours who still feel the land belongs to Palestine. This has obviously an impact on the national mentality and on day-to-day life.

Israel currently occupies the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and the Gaza strip - a topic which you should not bring up unless someone else brings it up first. The conflict with Palestine is a cause of instability in Israel, and some Israelis feel they have become their enemies because they have pushed Palestinians out of their homeland.

Israel requires all its citizens to serve in the military. Typically, men serve three years and women serve two. By the time that Israelis are twenty-three years old, most have completed their military service.

Unlike in many other countries, the Israeli military service is not just preparation for a theoretical mission. Many Israelis have seen combat. This produces tough, mature (and somewhat jaded) adults.

For the typical Israeli, terrorist threats do not hamper day-to-day life. Security is tighter in Israel than in many other nations, and it is common to walk through metal detectors and security checkpoints before entering a mall, cinema, theatre, or other public venue. For some Israelis, this is an added measure of protection, and without it they don’t feel safe.

Further reading

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