When IDF conscription begins at age three

An education system that brings an inherently violent organization in through the front door is failing at its most basic obligation. This policy is the first injection of militarism, ultimately meant to prevent our children from becoming critical citizens.

A ‘thank you’ sign sent by Israeli children hangs on an IDF tank. (Ran Zisovitch / Shutterstock.com)

Ten years ago, when my oldest daughter was five years old, I already had the honor of being the mother of a draft refuser.

One day, when she was in kindergarten, my young daughter came home with a notice from the kindergarten teacher asking parents to help their children prepare care packages for a soldier. The notice included a list of suggested items, and requested that the package include a drawing and letter from the child to the soldier.

I immediately called the kindergarten teacher and asked her if she didn’t think that four- and five-year-old children were a bit too young to be drafted into the Home Front Command. “What do you mean,” she responded, “It’s the most basic civic act!”

After a few seconds I realized that the conversation was futile. My little draft refuser didn’t go to kindergarten the next day and the next year, we moved her to a bi-lingual (read: integrated with Jews and Arabs) school, which solved the problem.

It turns out that indoctrinating children at a young age has become so deeply rooted in the education system that today, such notices are sent not by gung-ho kindergarten teachers but by the authorities themselves. The following is a letter that the Hof Hasharon Regional Council (an area north of Tel Aviv) sent to schools, kindergartens and pre-schools under its jurisdiction (English translation follows the image):

Letter sent by the Hof Hasharon Regional Council to schools and kindergartens.