Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Israel News

Israeli Pop Star Reports For Duty

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

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.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.