The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

THE FA­THER of an Is­raeli sol­dier com­plains that the army does not sup­ply enough socks to its re­cruits: “When I reached re­serve re­tire­ment age I thought I had done my part for my coun­try and that I, and my bank ac­count, could rest on our lau­rels. Surely, I rea­soned, by the time my chil­dren reach mil­i­tary age some­one in the quar­ter­mas­ter corps will have re­alised that a pair of socks does not last for six months. In­stead, the op­po­site has hap­pened. The army cut back fur­ther on sup­plies, and tech­nol­ogy ad­vanced. We are now in the age of the laser ri­fle sight, the smart bomb, and the $23 com­mando sock. I’m proud to have a boy who has cho­sen such a dif­fi­cult and de­mand­ing way of serv­ing his coun­try. But must I pay through the nose for the naches? My son tells me that some of his friends, who are in other elite units, re­port that well-con­nected par­ents have ac­tu­ally roped in private over­seas donors who write cheques to buy their units gear — mostly cloth­ing — that the IDF won’t pay for. I en­vi­sion a day when each sol­dier’s shoul­der tag will dis­play, in­stead of his unit in­signia, a mes­sage say­ing, ‘This uni­form has been do­nated in lov­ing me­mory of Sadie Schwartz.’” south­

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