Discrimination between Israeli and foreign lone soldiers: Are they treated the same

Each year, about 1,000 lone soldiers come from abroad in order to enlist into the IDF. But there are other Israelis in the IDF who are considered lone soldiers as they are not in contact with their families. Knesset members claim there to be discrimination against Israeli lone soldiers as they do not receive the same conditions and benefits, while some of them face economic hardships.
Discrimination against Israeli lone soldiers in the IDF? Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News

According to data from the Knesset’s Research and Information Center, about 1,300 lone soldiers enlist in the IDF each year – a majority of whom abandon their comfortable lives across the ocean in order to sacrifice themselves for the State of Israel. However, among these lone soldiers are ‘unique’ soldiers who do not necessarily receive the same conditions and benefits that other lone soldiers receive.

Lone soldiers whose parents live abroad permanently or who are orphans are called “significant lone soldiers.” There are also lone soldiers within the IDF who are considered “soldiers without familial support” – soldiers whose families live in Israel, but whom they are not in contact with.

Knesset members heading the Knesset Lobby for Lone Soldiers claim that discrimination against soldiers without familial support exists in the IDF in comparison to lone soldiers from abroad. According to the Knesset members who heard many accounts from lone soldiers without familial support, these soldiers do not receive the same benefits, services and holiday gift cards that their friends who came from abroad receive. Furthermore, several projects and programs exist for lone soldiers from abroad that provide economic and social support, for which the Israeli lone soldiers claim that they are not eligible.



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