A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
July 27, 2010 Seven Israeli Airfoce Soldiers Die in Helicopter Accident in Romania?
The news from Israel has been dominated by the news of the death of 7 Israeli Airforce members, in a crash of an airforce helicopter that was conducting joint maneuvers in Romania. This accident has interrupted what has thankfully been, until now, a blissfully uneventful summer. To many, it came as a surprise Israel was even conducting maneuvers in Romania. In fact, Israel has close military ties to most of the former Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe. The way this event has dominated the news in Israel, with special news broadcasts, and constant bulletins, serves as a reminder of the close connection between Israeli society and its soldiers; it is a place where nearly everyone (at least in the non-Haredi world) has a family member serving in either the regular army, or the reserves.
There was a segment on the Israeli news a couple of days ago about the capture of an American soldier by the Taliban, accompanied by an attempted explanation as to why this was not bigger news in America. The main explanation is that the US army is a volunteer/professional army. That is true, as far as it goes, but for better or worse the American people are better able to disconnect whatever happens in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from day-to-day life in America. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I am not so sure it is.