Israel’s foreign fighters

Levant – by Brandon Martinez

We’ve all heard about Western citizens who have joined ISIS’s campaign of terror in Syria and Iraq. Authorities are nabbing dozens of ISIS-sympathizing radicals who have yet to make the journey overseas, but who have merely made pro-ISIS statements online. This phenomenon has been the mainstay of media headlines in the West for months.

Yet hidden beneath the fog of hysteria surrounding ISIS is a similar phenomenon involving another more privileged group of radicalized Westerners. Few are aware of the significant numbers of Jews who have left their countries of birth to enlist in the Israeli military. The mass media has for the most part ignored or downplayed this very real occurrence.  

Thousands of Western Jews, indoctrinated into Zionism since birth, have made the expedition to Israel to participate in the Zionist state’s oppression of the Palestinians. This has in fact been happening since the outset of Israel’s creation in 1948, but it has picked up speed in recent years as diaspora Jews flock to aid and abet Tel Aviv’s incessant attacks on Gaza and skirmishes with the people of southern Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) boasts of 4600 foreign Jewish volunteers who serve in its ranks. A Haaretz report on the subject noted that “a growing number [of Jewish volunteers] are from the West, young Jewish challenge-seekers, over 500 soldiers from the United States and hundreds more from other Jewish communities around the globe.” The Jewish News One channel reported that in 2013“[o]ver 300 international high school graduates and college students from the US, Canada and Europe … dropped everything … in order to immigrate to Israel and enlist in the IDF as volunteers.” An estimated 2000 Americans are currently serving in the Israeli military. A Global News report mentioned that 234 Canadians also populate the Zionist occupation forces. More than 80 percent of these Jewish militants fight in combat units, meaning they engage in direct action against Palestinians, and possibly commit war crimes.

While mainstream media outlets focus on the radicalization of Muslim youth without mentioning Western governments’ complicity in that process, they mostly ignore the ongoing militarization of Jewish youth. Writing in Al Jazeera, Hanine Hassan made note of how,

“Israel is applying outright treachery in its recruitment of young Jews worldwide, through tens of programmes. Israel Experience is a Zionist project that aims to create new allies for Israel. It targets western youngsters from the age of 13, recruiting them for what appears at first to be a programme of fun and amusement. But these children end up in a simulation, spending between one and six weeks exposed to guns, reproducing military manoeuvres and receiving “educational” classes on Zionism and the Israeli military.

“Entertainment also features on the side. These indoctrinated children are then sent back to their parents and countries as advocates to justify occupation, apartheid and the defence of Israel at all costs. Israeli recruitment programmes have different dimensions but one and the same goal: the strengthening of the Israeli army and the networks of the state’s mindless supporters.”

It is somehow okay for Zionist organizations to recruit and indoctrinate young Jews in the West, guiding them in the principles of Jewish supremacy and shaping them to become loyal foot soldiers for Israeli imperialism in the Middle East. Biased pro-Israel Western governments and media look upon radicalized and militarized Jewish volunteers for the Israeli military as idealistic and self-sacrificing advocates for a ‘noble’ ethno-religious cause, yet concurrently express unreserved outrage when Muslims travel abroad to fight for ostensible Islamic causes.

Can such a brazen double standard stand the test of time as more people become aware of Israeli criminality in occupied Palestine?

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