Israeli Pop Star Reports For Duty

By Nathan Burstein

Published April 03, 2008, issue of April 11, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It’s a publicity stunt that even Paris Hilton couldn’t have dreamed up.

LATE BLOOMER: Maya Buskila has enlisted in the Israeli army.
LATE BLOOMER: Maya Buskila has enlisted in the Israeli army.

Maya Buskila, an Israeli pop star more than a decade past the average age of enlistment, will join the Israeli army April 13, just as the marketing campaign for her latest album kicks into gear. The singer’s enlistment, announced by her record company, will make Buskila one of the most famous — and one of the oldest — new recruits to the military, where soldiers are typically taken shortly after they turn 18.

Buskila’s army service marks an unlikely turnaround for the 30-year-old performer, who over the past two years has received almost as much attention for her lack of military experience as for her music. Known for her big voice and powerful pop ballads, the singer took a religious exemption when originally called for duty, but later added bikini modeling to her fame, an activity not exactly endorsed by Halacha. As a result, Buskila has found herself, unhappily, front and center in the controversy over celebrity mishtomtim (draft dodgers), which has unfolded repeatedly in Israel since the 2006 war in Lebanon. (Other high-profile casualties of the controversy include swimsuit model Bar Refaeli, who avoided army service by spending a brief time married to a friend of her parents. Unspecified “medical problems” are a more common justification among Buskila’s celebrity counterparts.)

Buskila, who will release the first single off her next album after Passover, will undergo two weeks of basic training and is expected to serve as an entertainer during her two years of service. The singer has not commented publicly on her enlistment, but a spokesman for her record label said Buskila is “excited” and “doing this for herself.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.