Daily Israel Report

‘Oslo Generation’ Joins Army

Youths born when Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO are now 18 and joining the army, highly motivated after childhood under terror.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/23/2011, 10:50 PM

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Flash 90

 

The August 2011 IDF recruitment cycle will begin Monday, July 24. The youth joining the IDF in this cycle were born in the summer and fall of 1993 – just when then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin signed the ill-fated Oslo Accords with PLO strongman Yasser Arafat.
 
When the “Oslo babies” were three years old, savage Hamas terrorists began blowing up buses full of civilian men, women and children inside Israel. When they were seven years old, Arafat launched the terror war dubbed by many as “the Oslo War,” which killed over 1,000 Israelis, most of them civilians, and injured many thousands more. The carnage peaked in 2002 and 2003, and did not ebb until 2005. The PLO sought to break Israel’s spirit by making civilians feel they were not safe anywhere.
 
Now at 18, they are highly motivated to fight the enemy on land and sea and in the air. According to the IDF, their motivation is identical to that of last year: 73.3% of the enlistees eligible for combat in field units asked to serve as combat soldiers, the same percentage as in August 2010.  
 
Ninety-five percent of the soldiers placed in combat had asked to serve in combat. This is a slight rise from last August, in which that percentage was 94%.
 
All (100%) of the enlistees in the field units get to serve in a unit that was one of their first three choices for service.
 
A relatively large number of August 2011 enlistees are intended for the Air Defense Array, because of the need for an additional Iron Dome battery to protect Israel from rockets.
 
Personnel Branch Head Maj.-Gen. Gila Kalifi said that the IDF is giving special attention to “special populations” among the new soldiers, including hareidi Jews and members of Israel’s minority groups.