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U.S. Official Cites Israel’s National Service Program As Model

Israel’s universal national service program, in which all young people participate in some form of service to the country — whether in the military forces or through work on the land in pioneer settlements — could serve as a model for American use of its youth, 300 members of the Labor Zionist Organization-Poale Zion were told here today by the associate director of the United States Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps official, Harris Wofford, was the principal speaker at a Labor Zionist luncheon honoring Ambassador Avraham Harman, Israel’s envoy to Washington, as part of the Poale Zionist observance of the 18th anniversary of Israel’s independence. Comparing the United States selective service system with Israel’s, Mr. Wofford said:

“There is a draft in Israel. But the success of Israel’s program comes primarily from the acceptance of national service, including pioneering work on the land as part of the definition of 20th Century citizenship. National service in Israel is seen as part of the education of every young Israeli. Israel’s universal, national service program thus plays a part in the integration of peoples of diverse background. Is not that, perhaps, also the way for us to win our war on poverty?”

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