Noting a sharp increase in motivation to enlist in combat units and a continued drop in overall draft numbers, the IDF began its November draft on Sunday as hundreds of young men arrived at the Tel Hashomer Induction Center to join the Golani Brigade.
There was a 6 percent increase in the number of youths asking to serve in combat units, up to 73.7% from 67.2% last November. All of the youngsters were drafted into one of the three units that they asked for in application forms sent to them last year.
For example, 75% of the those drafted into the Artillery Corps had asked to serve in a combat position, in comparison to 45% of those who were drafted into the Artillery Corps in 2008. Eighty-nine percent of those who were drafted into the Armored Corps had asked to serve in combat posts, up from 73% last year.
IDF sources attributed the increase in motivation to an improvement in the IDF's image since the Second Lebanon War, particularly since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year was perceived as one of the IDF's most successful recent operations.
Nevertheless, 25% of males who turned 18 this year were not enlisting. More than half of the draft-avoiders, 13%, had requested and received exemptions to study in yeshiva.
During a tour of the Induction Center on Sunday, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi condemned the recent acts of insubordination within the Kfir Brigade, saying: "There is no room for insubordination within the IDF. We are not prepared to see this from the Right or the Left and we will not be able to maintain a military if soldiers disobey their orders."
Last week, in the latest act of insubordination, six soldiers from the Nahshon Battalion were suspended and punished by their commander for waving a banner reading "Nahshon also does not expel" from the roof of a building on their base in the South Hebron Hills, shortly after the Border Police razed two illegal homes in the Negohot settlement.