for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

Rite of passage

yesterday morning (wednesday 20th), 11.32-11.59am (repeated 11.32pm), on bbc world service radio
rite of passage (presented by robert nicholson) (in the the documentary series)

“No institution defines Israel, inside and out, like the formidable Israeli defence force (IDF). Robert Nicholson explores how military service helps shape Israeli society, and the role the army has to play in Israel’s future.
The IDF is best known around the world for its role at the front line of ongoing conflicts in Palestine. But the role of the IDF is far more significant than simply as a fighting force. Unlike most modern armies, which tend to be professional armies composed of career soldiers and volunteers, the IDF is comprised mostly of conscripts doing compulsory military service. They start as teenagers, and stay for years. The IDF looms large as a point of common experience in the formative years of Israeli citizenry.
We hear how the IDF looks to steward their young conscripts – and what happens when this attempt at a national project meets areas of national division, inequality and controversy.”

(if you missed it, available at


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