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Study: Military fosters moderation

Military service tends to soften the right-wing views of many Israeli men, a
study found. According to Haifa University research published this week, Israeli
men often have hawkish political opinions when they are conscripted into combat units, but these
soften during the course of their time in uniform. The
moderating influence of military service is especially felt among the junior
officer corps, which develops a pronounced appreciation for democracy and the
rights of Israel’s Arab minority, the research found. Women
conscripts, by contrast, tend to come out of military service with more
right-leaning views than they had going in, the study found. The data were compiled by a
retired army colonel and colleagues who repeatedly surveyed 490 male and female soldiers
during their service. The researchers urged Israel’s military brass to ensure that soldiers are educated on a set of core values and encourage
the enlistment of Arab volunteers.

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