This summer, nearly 400 Lone Soldiers are enlisting with the Israel Defense Forces, with more than 150 of them coming from around the world for this career opportunity in the Holy Land. The Jerusalem Post's Anna Ahronheim reports on the young men and women who are standing for Israel from countries including the United States and Canada, as well as Honduras and Thailand:
Some 153 youth from 12 countries arrived in Israel over the summer to volunteer to serve in the IDF.
The new recruits, composed of 122 male and 31 female volunteers, will begin their service in the July-August drafting period.
According to a statement released by the Defense Ministry’s Social Defense Branch on Sunday, for the first time there is a volunteer from Honduras and one from Thailand. Nearly half (45%) of the volunteers are from the US, another 38% came from France, and others from South Africa, Belgium, Mexico, Australia, Canada and Austria.
Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu) congratulated the new recruits, wishing them “a pleasant and challenging service. I am sure you will [serve] with the same motivation that motivated you to come here. We’ve prepared you for your military service, we will guide you through it, and we will also be there with you to prepare you for civilian life..."
A total of 379 recruits are enlisting in the July-August draft as lone soldiers, which means that they have no immediate family in Israel and are entitled to special benefits.
During their service, lone soldiers are entitled to additional assistance from the state, including monthly living stipends, discounts on electricity bills, exemption from municipal taxes, rental assistance or lodging provided by the Association for the Well-being of Israel’s Soldiers, and extra financial support for combat soldiers...