Cooperation Between the IDF and Youth Movements

IDF to youth movements: Called for assembly and volunteering

IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, met with the heads of youth movements to discuss cooperation between the IDF and the youth movements, aiming to strengthen the IDF as a value-based army that unites all sectors of Israeli society

The Chief of Staff with the heads of the youth movements (photo: IDF spokesperson)

The Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzl Halevi, in a meeting with the heads of the youth movements: a joint call for meaningful service, readiness, and volunteering.

In light of the crisis affecting Israeli society, a special meeting was held at the Tel Aviv Kirya with Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzl Halevi, Head of the Manpower Directorate, Major General Yaniv Asor, Education and Youth Officer, Brigadier General Ofir Levius, spokesperson for the IDF Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, and other senior officials together with the heads of the youth movements, led by the National Youth Movements Council.

During the meeting and joint discussion, the participants addressed the importance of preserving the IDF's model as the people's army, enhancing readiness, education for meaningful service in the IDF, and maintaining the IDF's non-political stance. Additionally, several collaborations between the IDF and youth movements were decided upon, aimed at reinforcing these values and strengthening the IDF as a value-based army that unites all sectors of Israeli society.

The discussion included representatives from various youth movements, including Scouts, Working and Studying Youth, Bnei Akiva, Young Guard, Dror Israel, Ha'Ihud Ha'Hakla'i, Maccabi Youth, Aliyah Camps, Betar, Ezra, and Ariel.

The Chief of Staff and the heads of the youth movements jointly called for the continuation of meaningful service in the IDF, for enlistment and volunteering. They declared that the IDF is the People's Army that encompasses all sectors of Israeli society. At this moment, the IDF needs to be the place that unifies and brings together.

The Secretary-General of the Youth Movements, Naftali Deri, presented to the Chief of Staff the overall activity of the youth movements, the continuous growth in the number of participants, and the efforts to connect different segments of the population through the youth movements. Deri emphasized the significance of maintaining the connection between the movements and the relationship with the IDF, stating, "We are constantly engaged in the question of how to continue living together even after crises. It is clear to us that the bond between all of us must be upheld. We have the platform, which unfortunately we don't see in Israeli society. Failure to report to the army is dangerous for the State of Israel, and we all call for keeping the IDF out of the political game. Our position is very clear, and that's the message we want to convey here."

The Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, referred to the significant importance he attributes to the activities of the youth movements: "We want to strengthen the connection to the youth before enlistment. I too was in a youth movement, and those are 8 years that accompany me. It's a world of values, roots of friendship, between a person and his fellow, which are acquired in the youth movements. We receive from the youth movements - exceptional youth. Our strength compared to other armies lies in the people and the cohesion."

Lieutenant General Halevi reiterated the importance of preserving the IDF as the people's army and placing combat service at the top of the priority list: "It's important for us to be the people's army, this model needs to be maintained for years ahead. It's not a matter of quantity but rather a matter of quality. Looking ahead, we need more high-quality individuals, youth who want to perform meaningful service. We emphasize combat service as the foremost priority."

During the discussion, other topics were raised that the youth movement representatives grapple with. These included expanding the ranks of the movement's members, the discourse of extremism that is increasing, tackling dilemmas surrounding recruitment for significant combat service versus recruitment for intelligence and technology units, and more.

The discussion brought up other issues that the movement's generals are facing, including the expansion of the ranks of the movement's apprentices, the discourse of extremism that is increasing, dealing with and dilemmas surrounding recruitment for significant combat service versus recruitment for intelligence and technology units, and more.

The Chief of Staff presented 3 main goals - preserving the competence of the IDF, cohesion and leaving the dispute outside the IDF as much as possible and added that "the IDF and the youth movements have a common interest in maintaining cohesion in Israeli society".

As the discussion came to an end, the Chief of Staff stated that he will work to promote a program of meetings between IDF representatives and youth movement members ahead of receiving their initial orders. The goal of these meetings is to advance the shared values of meaningful service and strengthen the IDF's model as the people's army.

The Chief of Staff also requested to examine a partnership between the youth movements and the Home Front Command during emergencies, in order to enhance responses to the population during crisis situations of this nature. Additionally, it was agreed that the possibility of a joint tour involving senior IDF officials and youth movement leaders around the national days in the coming year will be explored.

The Chief of Staff concluded by stating that he found worthy partners in this discussion and will continue to explore how to further develop collaborations. Representatives of the youth movements expressed gratitude to the Chief of Staff and senior IDF officials for their commitment and declared that they will continue to lead collaborative efforts between the movements and the IDF to the fullest extent possible.

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