Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Monday that the growing phenomenon of draft dodging would eventually harm central security and turn the IDF from a "people's army" into an "army of half the people."
"When a soldier who goes out to the battlefield feels like a sucker this harms national security," Barak said during a conference organized by Tel Aviv University's Institute for Nation Security in memory of Ha'aretz military commentator Ze'ev Schiff.
Barak said that Israel needed to return to the days when military service was something to be proud of and draft dodgers carried a mark of Cain." Barak added that Israel's true heroes were those who served in the IDF.
"A society under an existential threat will only know how to survive if it respects those who defend it," he said.