General Question

tamydice's avatar

Should I refuse to serve in the military out of a moral standpoint?

Asked by tamydice (32points) 1 week ago

As an Israeli citizen I am forced to serve in the military for roughly three years. However, due to my health conditions I am positive that I can get an exemption if I wanted to. So now I have a dilemma of whether to serve or not and I want to do whatever would be more morally right. My thought process is this: If I refuse to serve in the military, there’s a higher chance that it would influence other people to not serve in the military as well and so eventually the power of the Israel military will decrease and Israel would have to resort to a peace solution with the Arabs in Palestine (as they can’t maintain their occupation of Palestine any longer) and thus it would reduce the deaths caused by the Israel/Palestine conflict. But on the other hand, it is also possible that even if the power of the Israel military would decrease they would still try to maintain their occupation of Palestine but because they are weaker they would lose the fight causing more soldiers to die in the process. So basically, Israel’s military power decreasing would be the main motivation for me to choose not to serve, and therefore my question is: if Israel’s military power was decreased would that result in a better future for everyone (possibly by pushing a peace solution for Israel and Palestine) or would that result in a worse future for everyone (causing more deaths as there would be less security for Israel). The future obviously can’t be predicted but what’s more likely? so that I would know whether it’s more moral to serve in the Israel military and contribute to it or to refuse to serve.

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12 Answers

notnotnotnot's avatar

Refuse to serve.

janbb's avatar

Welcome to Fluther! We need more points of view from elsewhere in the world!

Would you state that you are refusing to serve as a political gesture or would you just be taking a medical exemption? Would you be a Refusenik in other words?

rebbel's avatar

Yeah, refuse.
I didn’t have the balls to do it when I was eighteen, but I wished I had refused.
I hate everything about the institution army.
How dare they (nations) force their sons and daughters to serve and possibly die…

tamydice's avatar

@janbb I would be taking a medical exemption. But I would still be disliked by many people in Israel’s society for not serving (even with a justified exemption) if that’s what you’re trying to ask.

LostInParadise's avatar

Here is another way of looking at it. You are not opposed to the Israeli military per se. You are opposed to a military solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. By making your view clear, you set an example for both sides to reach a diplomatic instead of a military solution.

elbanditoroso's avatar

There are to other things to consider:

1) Future hiring for jobs in Israel. A lot of business contacts are made with people you served with, and in some jobs in Israel, the expectation is that you will have had military service. So by not serving, you may be limiting your future abilities to get jobs in the Israeli economy.

[Trust me on this: I have a nephew who did NOT serve in the Army, and he ended up moving to England after college because his employability was limited – and he was/is in a high tech field.]

2) You can still serve in the IDF in a non-combat or conscientious objector position, and that counts as your service

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can you serve in a non-combat role? Like accounting or office work?

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am a US citizen, female, now old.
I served in our Navy.
I served, because I wanted to fill a role which might otherwise have to be filled by a man who did not want to be there.
The military is not the right choice for everybody.
I believe a military is stronger if the people serving believe in what they are doing, and why.

I agree with @RedDeerGuy1 that you might find a way to support your military as a civilian. Hopefully that would appease those who might feel judgemental of you.

I am glad you have signed in here and brought your question to us.
Sometimes we get very wrapped up in what is going on down the block, and overlook the kind of issues facing people somewhere else further away.

I hope you choose to stay with fluther, and let us know what you decide, and how that choice works out.

As far as your other thoughts, my friend, we can only guess. So many people, each with their own passions, makes prediction of a scenario impossible. Could a reduction help? It could, but it might not.
I hurt for people of both sides, because peace seems so much better for everyone. I am sure your concerns are much fewer than mine, because you are there. It is your family, friends, and neighbors who live every day with fear, aching hearts, uncertainty.
When I served here, it was not in a combat capacity. I believe a military is necessary to protect one’s home, which in my mind includes government, civilians, laws, values, the whole package.

I applaud you for being brave enough to voice your ideas and concerns.

Patty_Melt's avatar

EDIT: I don’t know what happened with my typing, but above should read, “I am sure your concerns are more powerful than mine,”

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Patty_Melt “I believe a military is stronger if the people serving believe in what they are doing, and why.”

Yep. A military manned by those who were given no choice will always be weaker than one manned by those who choose to serve in it.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Don’t take the conclusion that others will follow your footstep in denying the opportunity to serve in the military. You said it yourself that you have the reasonable excuse, which is your health condition, do other people also have the same health condition that allow them to do the same thing? Probably not, even if there are, they won’t be many. Unless you’re a charismatic leader of some patriotic group people will only think of you as an individual that make your own life decision.

Do what is more beneficial for your life. Do business so that you can support yourself, your family, as well as other people that can use help in the times of war, that is another morally right way to help your people and your country.

Caravanfan's avatar

If Israeli citizens refused to serve in the military in 1967 and 1973 your country would not exist.

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