Half of Israeli teens agree it’s ‘good to die’ for country

Sixty percent of youths facing conscription say Gaza war has increased their motivation to serve

New recruits in the military induction center start their army service. August 4, 2008. (photo credit: Roni Shutzer/Flash 90)
New recruits in the military induction center start their army service. August 4, 2008. (photo credit: Roni Shutzer/Flash 90)

A poll published by Channel 2 on Sunday found that among Israeli teenagers, aged 17 and 18, facing the IDF draft, 49 percent agree that it’s “good” to die for their country.

Asked whether they agree with the statement “Never mind, it is good to die for our country” — said to be the last words of pre-state Zionist war hero Joseph Trumpeldor before his death defending the settlement of Tel Hai in 1920 — 23% responded they strongly agree, while 26% say they mostly agree.

Twenty-seven percent partially agreed, 13% responded that they don’t really agree with the motto, and nine percent said they disagreed. Two percent didn’t know what to think about it.

The majority of respondents (61%) said that Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip has increased their motivation to join the army, with 29% saying the campaign has significantly boosted their motivation, and 32% saying it has moderately increased their resolve to serve.

Nine percent say that the operation has made them less eager to join the military.

Forty-nine percent of respondents agreed with the statement that combat service constituted the loftiest contribution to the security of the country. Five percent said they partially agreed with that statement, 17% said they didn’t really agree, and 12% said that they don’t agree at all.

The poll was conducted by the Geocartography research institute among 307 respondents.

Israel began Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in an effort to halt rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israel and to destroy a network of tunnels, dug by Hamas under the border, that were used to infiltrate Israeli soil and carry out attacks. Sixty-four IDF soldiers died during the fighting.

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