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!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • 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.