Profile 21: Encyclopedic entry

Originally Posted

1. Profile 21, technical definition and the reasons why it is given

2. The actual uses of the profile
3. The situation during the end of the last century and the beginning of this century
4. Organizations and public activities
5. The media and social reference
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1. Profile 21, technical definition and the reasons why it is given

Profile 21 is the Israeli military code for permanent exemption from service in the IDF (dropouting  השמטה), according to a 'profile book' that targets the candidates for security service (מלש"ב) in numbers, according to their degree of necessity, suitability for systemic placement and the degree of desire of the system for their serving inside it. The code 'Profile 21' is defined as a code that the reasons for giving it are healthy. For examples: height of less than 1.50 m, less than 5 fingers in one hand, complete blindness or in one eye, and more, and only a minority are mental (i.e .: reflect an "invisible defect"). In fact, those with a profile of 21 may also be perfectly healthy people, that no way was found to place them in the military, however, the system for some reason tends to easily 'invent' a health defect for them and classify their specific case as a disease. Profile 21 may be given as a result of an incorrect registration (due to a malfunction or due to someone's revenge) on the IDF computer, as evidenced by cases that have been published in the past (such as the case of Reservist A – an article in Haaretz dated September 3, 2007, which cannot be found online anymore) 21 may also be given to cover up situations created by the system, when fears of exposing them (which may involve exposing "secrets") bringing the system to its convenient solution of defamation, and there is also a profile 21 on a political background.

2. The actual uses of the profile

Despite its technical-dry medical definitions, profile 21, by its very nature, is used for things that go far beyond the basic military need of recruiting soldiers appropriate to its work needs, and has served over the years as the most powerful political tool for a total dropouting of people, not only from the army but also from social and professional life in general in Israel, as a result of the social and professional exclusion which came as a result of the various stigmas that exist on profile 21, and hence the profile has been used for many years not only as a technical tool for exemption from the army but also as a key deterrent ("see and fear") for a desirable education for the system and oppression of exceptional people who do not 'integrate' into state programs, do not go ‘in the groove’, and potential ‘unfaithful’ according to the dominant ideology that defines ‘loyalty’, and so the formation of the tribe around the denunciation of victims (whose reason for choice may be random). This is due to the prevailing belief in society that a person who is being dropout from army with this profile is not an "entire person" but a defective person (especially when it comes to a physical profile) or mentally handicapped (when it comes to a mental profile) or "dodger" – an abstract concept that essentially assumes person who is normatively abnorma, who initiated his non-recruitment with an egotistical intention not to serve in the army, and is also suspected of falsifying a defect for that purpose and therefore is also a criminal, and in any case he is unreliable or unfaithful to the state, or at least immature, and hence not worthy to come in society, get a job and more. Because the concepts of the mental wherever they are refer to something that no one has yet seen, military authorities find it easier to grant exemption from the military by 'mental profile' than by physical profiles, and this is also the preferred profile by voluntary dropouts (some of which take the means of impersonation of those with a mental problem), in cases where they exist, since there is no way to prove a mental problem is not "hidden somewhere".
Profile 21 also served as a tool for political revenge against those who hold opinions that are not acceptable at one time by the establishment (and may be acceptable at another time, such as supporting communism which was considered dangerous and treacherous in the 1950s and is now at most 'strange'), punishing anomalies that are at some point inconsistent with the norm (such as homosexuality or suspicion of homosexuality, which is now acceptable and today it is acceptable and does not constitute a reason for preventing recruitment, but was in the past a reason for "mental" exemption) and even "treatment by avoiding" on complex personal situations (such as adolescent crises that may be typical of the over-intelligent peaople, and may pass over time) and even dealing with bureaucratic problems of manpower surplus (a phenomenon that is widely manifested During the time of Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, who aspired to a "small and smart army," something which did not prevent him years later from advancing his political career in incitement against non-servants).

On the one hand the army claims that it cannot recruit anyone, and on the other hand it do not provide its dropouts with protection or compensation from the social trap into which the vast majority are expected to enter. which exists not least due to the social indoctrination that the military and publicly influential officials who have cooperated with it have been responsible for since the establishment of the state, which has rooted these stigmas in society. The manipulative power of Profile 21 as a tool for omission-exclusion is more powerful than tools held by civilian workplaces, both because of the existing stigma on "mental cases" and because conscription into the army in Israel is compulsory conscription and the army was perceived for many years as the "People's Army." Dropouting is also an effective tool for manipulative exploitation of people by the feeling instilled in them that they are not perfect enough, or good enough, which will make them work harder for less, both "for the homeland" and for jobs and other frameworks, in a pointless effort to 'justify the Their existence 'and root out the stigma imprinted on them.

3. The situation during the end of the last century and the beginning of this century

Until 2007:

Trends and processes of the 1980s and 1990s, such as the peace process on the one hand and the process of privatization and strengthening of the rich on the other (which led to the desire to relieve the burden on the sons of the rich and famous, as well as the trend noted earlier for "small and smart army"). along with the fear of organizing a critical mass of dropouts, from different strata of society, who would act politically to exercise rights robbed from them (a trend that began to emerge with the establishment of an association for profile 21 victims in 1994), brought some relief to the dropouts. Today, for example, since section 2A of the Equal Employment Rights Act was enacted, workplaces are not allowed to ask about a military profile, and a court has even ruled that a requirement for military service as a condition for accepting work is not required, constitutes discrimination.
It seemed to many that by the end of the first half of the present century, the number of voluntary dropouts who were not afraid of the stigma of profile 21 and its revenge had increased, and that society at that time was more liberal towards dropouts at all, but this claim was not statistically tested. In particular, it has not been examined whether this trend reflects all social classes (some believe it was unique only to families with means, and especially to pop stars, models, etc.), and some see it as a fiction of the establishment to shake out from responsibility for the dropouts and perhaps even justify dropouts' future persecution, or a common fiction out of opposing goals of the establishment and of elements supporting the reduction of conscription (there is no doubt that in the early 1990s the argument was used by those who tried to advance the "small and smart army" program). In those years, Israeli society was perceived by many as a post-Zionist society, but still the army was perhaps even more used, as the last "fig leaf" of the social-Zionist myth in an era of expanding global and Israeli capitalism and the privatization of the economy.

From 2007:

After the Second Lebanon War, in which the heads of the army and the state found it difficult to cover up their failures, a process of delegitimization of the dropouts began, led from 2007 by an incitement campaign called 'A Real Israeli Does Not Dodge', it was led by military personnel such as Major General Elazar Stern, who claimed during the Lebanon war that he "does not visit the funerals of soldiers in North Tel Aviv" (although his remarks were based on false data) and politicians such as Ehud Barak. Although the campaign stated in some of its ads that "a dodger is only someone who can be in the army but does not serve", this decleration added to ads was made in very small letters, thus directed the visible and prominent part of the campaign and incitement against anyone who does not wear an IDF uniform for any reason.
Employers have stated their intention to discriminate against dropouts (even if the number of work places who discriminated against dropouts actually depreciated). As part of the campaign, a public lynching was held in the media on artists who did not serve full service or were dropouted, such as the winner of 'Star Born' for 2006 Jaco Eisenberg, Ivri Lider and others, and even a law initiative was passed to prevent these singers from performing in state-funded institutions.
In the Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition, in the years 2009-2013, declarations were made of intentions to pass laws that granting citizenship in compliance with the controlling ideology ('loyalty-citizenship'), such initiatives were allegedly directed in particular against Arab citizens, a bad idea for itself. However, all those who recieved 21 profile and are not from rich or "connected" ("ranked") backgrounds could be harmed by this policy (which matched the government's capitalist-nationalist stance against anyone who is ineffective in killing Arabs and strengthening settlements and is not estimated at capital), for example in discrimination in tuition rights and work in the civil service. The effort to discriminate dropouts in the law was led in 2009-2013 by the Yisrael Beiteinu party, despite (and some claim because of) the fact that the average military resume of its representatives in the Knesset, was very small and perhaps the smallest among the coalition parties belonging to the non-orthodox ('Charedi') sector.
One symbolic bill was the proposal to discriminate dropouts in admission to the civil service – the first place where discrimination against dropouts was banned in 1994 by order of the Service Commissioner as a first step before a comprehensive law was enacted (see below).
In 2013, MK Yariv Levin of the Likud tried to pass the law of discrimination against dropouts, including those with a profile of 21, under the name "Donors' Rights Law", when he claims that those serving in the army, despite the privileges granted to them by the state, they are truly discriminated against because they "give 3 years of their lives" when the one who has been dropped has supposedly the option in those years to build himself up and find a job worthy of his skills.

From the first decade of the 2000s, the national service that was previously exclusively attended by religious girls, was greatly expanded, and is now open to sectors that were previously dropouted from any service, such as Arabs and people with disabilities, some of whom even volunteer for the military. The fact of its existence and the claim that "anyone can do it" is used by supporters of excluding dropouts and discriminating against them if they have not served national service, but the claim that national service is open to all has not been examined and to this day an administration has not been established, which would regulate and enable a solution of national service to all, the national service certainly does not relieve the state of its obligations to past dropouts for whom no such framework has been found, and national service servants are not yet valued in all sectors like 'real soldiers'.

Some argue that the military as a whole should become professional, and reward its servants through adequate pay for the difficulty and importance of their job.

4. Organizations and public activities


The first known organization that was established with the aim of fighting the stigma of profile 21 and for the rights of the profilerics is of the "Profile 10" group that was established in 1993 in Jerusalem at the initiative of Ayal Badt. In 1994, the organization was registered as an association for the victims of Profile 21 and operated in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for two years through meetings and support groups of those with profile 21.
The organization's manifesto reads: "Profile 10 has set itself the primary goal of bringing about a complete separation of the military profile from the civilian system, but in the future we would like to see the complete abolition of this degrading Cain sign, which violates human dignity, called profile 21, along with the profile and stigma we want to see the question "what did you do in the army" or "were you in the army" disappear from places where she should not appear.
We want to do this through advocacy (social lobbying and public education) and legislation (strengthening the laws of freedom of occupation and individual rights in a way that prohibits, through severe enforcement, any discrimination for non-service in the military). "
To the credit of the organization's activity in meetings with MKs and appearances in the media, are attributed, among other things, Amendment 2A to the Equality in Employment Rights Law, which was enacted as a continuation of the directive of State Commissioner Prof. Yitzhak Gal-Nur to stop requiring a military profile from candidates for admission to the civil service, and perhaps in general the beginning of a change in the attitude of Israeli society towards dropouts, following their exit from the closet. However, the lack of broader public-political support (apart from some assistance from Shatil), power struggles and controversy mainly over the attitude towards voluntary dropouting ("evasion" or "refusal") and the inexperience of most members in conducting political struggles (as well as the need to conduct the The private daily war of existence of the dropouts) resulted in a reduction in activity.

In 1998, it was founded on the initiative of a feminist group that drew some inspiration from the activities of "Profile 10" "A New Profile Movement – A Movement for Citizenship of Society in Israel".
In the basic charter, the founders of the movement write: "We – a feminist group of women as well as men – know that it is possible to live in a country that is not a state of soldiers. The State of Israel can adopt a decisive peace policy today. It can cease to be a military state. It is clear to us that our children, our spouses, ourselves, do not have to continue to be recruited, you do not have to live as soldiers. Today it is clear to us that the slogan of national security often hid the choice of war, as a way of realizing policy goals. We do not want to continue to take part in this choice. We do not want to continue to allow it in an obedient, uncritical supply of male and female soldiers to the army that executes it. We are not ready to continue enlisting, raising children for enlistment, supporting spouses, siblings, fathers enlisting, as heads of state continue to use, easily, the military instead of designing other solutions. "New profile", which also maintains an active online forum, focuses on assisting involuntary dropouts and calls for "recognizing the right of men and women to express their participation in society through alternative civic service.
Some members of the Profile movement were interrogated shortly after the second Netanyahu government came to power in 2009, and as part of this investigation, their computers were confiscated. After a few months, this 'investigation' against the organization ended without any real results.

5. The media and social reference

During the years of the state, there has been public, media and research silence around Profile 21 and especially around the social status of its recipients, and disregard continues even today, and its origins seem to be from two opposite directions. On the one hand, state and national-central control in most research and media tools is interested in determining the demonic attitude on the one hand and the abolitionist on the other hand towards the recipients of profile 21 as negative or mentally ill people, and to silence criticism of the IDF and its responsibility towards their fate, or to suppress its own responsibility for the issue, and when there is a preoccupation it is mostly one-sided and false, which portrays the dropouts as "dodgers" From the other side, pacifist factors or left-radical or boast as such, who have a grip on certain positions of the establishment, research and media, and also the ability to 'get along', have a tendency to see profile 21 as something sexy, or something which, in any case, is a small price for them, which should be paid as part of their overall ideological struggle in the IDF or what it represents, and they also see partnership with involuntary dropouts as partnership with "fate-stricken" or "unfortunate circumstances" (as the definition of a pacifist artist interviewed in 1994) that does not suit their self-image, but also from the side of the involuntary and non-ideological dropouts, many of them come from the weak / weakened classes and the periphery, and many of them have right political position, (and there is also stigma according to which "most of the dodgers are from the right political wing"), they do not want to partnership with 'Ashkenazis, anarchists and leftists', as they see the other side. It can be said that one of the barriers to organizing of the dropouts, is the gap of views in relation to the army of groups and classes in Israeli society, which is a reflection of the socio-political gaps in Israeli society as a whole.

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