Armies: America vs. Israel


In comparing the American army to the Israeli army, I noticed a couple of differences. One visible contrast is the way that each country celebrates their memorial day for fallen soldiers. Israel is a country in which nearly every single person has fought in the army. Everybody knows somebody who has fallen in the military, whether it is, God forbid, a friend or even a family member. During the memorial day in Israel, there is a minute of silence. People take this time to reflect and grieve. They ascend Mount Herzl to mourn the sadness and misery and desolation that has fallen over the nation. Israelis spend much of the day in extreme pain over the slain heroes.

American Army

In America, however, where most people have not fought or served in the army, the atmosphere is entirely different. Americans celebrate a grand Memorial Day. This is a day filled with long outdoor activities, barbecues, and huge sales in retail stores. People look forward to Memorial Day because they get together with their family and friends. They have a long weekend off from work. A person can go through an American memorial day and not even realize what the “holiday” represents. In Israel, this is not even considered a holiday; this is a day where one reflects deeply upon those who have been lost and those who will, sadly, fall in the future.

Another major contrast that I observed are the battle tactics of both armies. America is known to be a strong and impactful country. Their military is considered superior, and they have been known to win numerous wars. They’ve been known to wedge themselves into countries whom they believe are deprived, and they take charge. For this, many Americans pride themselves and say that America is truly the greatest country. Yet, America uses the immense military force to threaten other countries into submission.  This is a fundamental variance from Israel. Israel never fights a war unless they have to. Israel is always acting in self-defense. They never use their force to threaten, and they are never the ones to start a war.

Israeli Army

This could be because they live in a constant state of arm-twisting duress. All men and women Israel are drafted to the army at the young age of 18. This is where they come face to face with immensely intimidating situations. Many of the people who are not serving in the army live in a state of chronic fear that their husbands, sons, daughters, and friends might never return home. Everybody in Israel knows somebody who is in the army.

A further remarkable difference is that Israel drops leaflets into targeted towns. They do this when they must attack due to either a huge amount of weaponry or a terrorist leader who needs to be taken down. The Israeli army shows extreme compassion by doing this. The small papers that are thrown into the town from an airplane explain what is about to happen. They expound on their intentions to all the innocent women and children, informing them that they should remove themselves from the perimeter so that they will be unharmed. Moreover, the leaflet explains exactly why they’re going to use military grade force on the particular target. The Israelis offer ample amounts of time for the innocent to evacuate before the attack.  

The American government and army do not do this. They pride themselves on their sneak attacks, leaving whole towns of people in their wake. While both armies do their best to protect their countries and values, the Israeli army clearly demonstrates a unique level of kindness and tolerance.