Once again I’ve been called on to review a book about an American who served in the Israeli army. This time it’s stand-up comedian Joel Chasnoff’s The 188th Crybaby Brigade, in The Jerusalem Report. (Four years ago I reviewed Jeffrey Goldberg’s Prisoners in The Washington Post.)
The American-in-the-Israeli-Army book has become an annual event, it seems, since I wrote Company C. So I feel sorta like the founder of a genre. One thing I notice, however, is that of all these IDF veterans, I’m the only one still living in Israel. Is the IDF to blame or is the problem, as I argue in the current review, and have argued elsewhere, that many gung-ho young American Jews mistakenly think that serving in the Israeli army is the sine qua non of Zionism?