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86 IDF recruits refuse to be drafted into Armored Corps

Eighty-six new recruits who arrived at the IDF’s induction center earlier this week refused to be drafted into the Armored Corps, asked to be placed in other combat roles, and said they preferred to go to jail than serve on a tank.

The new soldiers, who make up almost half of the November draftees placed in the Armored Corps, were tried on the spot and put under arrest for refusing an order.

Abigail, the mother of one of the new soldiers, explained that “it’s not because he wanted a job in an office or because he wanted to dodge the draft. He wanted to be a combat soldier and is very motivated. We even hid the fact he has a medical problem so he can draft into a combat role—but not to the Armored Corps.”

On Wednesday, the IDF sent soldiers from the Armored Corps’ 77th Battalion to talk to the young soldiers and convince them to join their ranks.

“We’re not going to grovel or beg them,” an IDF official explained. “There are many among them who refused out of ignorance, because they simply didn’t know anything about serving on a tank, the many advantages it has, and how unique this kind of service is compared to others. The representatives we sent to them were able to convince a small part of them to go to the Armored Corp training base, but others remain in their refusal.”

Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that the IDF’s efforts to incorporate women in combat roles in the Armored Corps—a move that caused much contention last week—is the result of a serious shortage in manpower in the corps that is expected to only become worse in the coming years.

“There’s no willingness to draft into the Armored Corps, and that’s not new,” an Armored Corps officer explained. “But this time we reached a new record. I think (these soldiers) should be punished severely, to deter others. The new draftees prefer to go to the infantry battalions that have better PR. There are false stigmas attached to us.”


According to some of the refusnik soldiers, many of them were aided by a private Facebook group that offers help and advice on how to avoid being drafted into the combat units they were placed in.

The group, which has 120 members, is called “Induction Center Refusniks—Combat,” and includes soldiers who offer advice based on their own personal experience.

One soldier responded to a poster who asked how he could get to the unit he wants with: “Go to jail a few times, eventually they’ll give you want.”

A woman who was enlisted in November asked “Anyone knows someone who refused and ended up as an instructor?”

Another man, who also enlisted last month, wrote: “I’m enlisting in the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps tomorrow. I want to refuse and get a position that enables me to come home every night. What’s the way to do it? Can anyone explain what to do?”

One of the other group members replied to him with: “You go to the sorting officer and tell him you’re not happy with the position you’ve been given. He’ll give you other options. You can either take one, or refuse to go on the bus (to the training base).”

Another soldier provided group members with tips from his own experience: “I refused to be drafted into the Artillery Corps. I know what happens at every stage, and how to get a better position. And just so you know, if you want a different combat role, you will either get lucky and get another position quickly or sit in jail at least twice. It’s not easy to get another combat role, but in general it’s possible.”

The group’s manager even bragged: “A group for refusniks was opened and there are now 86 refusniks at the induction center. Coincidence? I think not.”

One of the members of the group explained to Ynet that “We’re not encouraging a rebellion, just helping each other feel fulfillment by our military service. A lot of soldiers fall between the cracks because of the system’s stubbornness, bad placements, and lack of compatibility. For years now that new recruits refuse and get jailed. Now, we’re just helping each other, and we have nothing to be ashamed of.”

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in response: “The draftees’ placement was done based on the army’s needs, while making the utmost effort to take their desires and aspirations into consideration. The IDF condemns the refusniks and works to put an end to the trend.”




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2 thoughts on “86 IDF recruits refuse to be drafted into Armored Corps Leave a comment

  1. I write this open letter to all of Klal Yisrael, but especially to these “Refuseniks”:
    תתבישו לכם! You should be ashamed of yourselves to say “no” to the very body who had protected you and your families since not just 1948, but for thousands of years!

    OUR IDF knows where you need to be to protect all of Am Yisrael and you DARE to REFUSE? Would you refuse a ONE WAY TICKET out of Israel, with no option to return? EVER?? Because, quite frankly, jail is too good for you.

    You should feel blessed to have the honour of protecting us at any cost from the forces that want to destroy our people. You should feel lucky to even have a Country TO PROTECT, given to us by haShem; protected by OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS who daily carry their weapons proudly, in the air, on the ground and at sea… AND, in TANKS.

    I for one, at 55 years of age, with severe disease of my lungs would be there as fast as an airplane could fly me there to gladly accept your seat, as I’m sure would thousands of others, who came as Chayalim Bodedim to protect our land; our people; our TORAH!

    To you, I would offer a one way bus ticket to Gaza or worse. Maybe Somalia or some other place in Africa would better suit you. Somewhere where you could be homeless and have to beg for a morsel of slop for your WEEKLY MEAL!


    What we should be saying is that WE DON’T NEED YOU AND WE DON’T WANT YOU, but you see, we do. Your unit needs you. Your command needs you, and the people of Israel NEED YOU. Go now, in peace and help save our people from all the outside forces that live, only to destroy us.

    Liked by 1 person

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