Some Asia Times readers may be old enough to remember Elvis Presley’s service in the US Army some 60 years ago.
The “King” of rock ‘n’ roll was drafted into the Army, and dutifully served his country after being stationed in Germany.
But a lot has changed since then. The Army didn’t have to deal with a pack of paparazzi and a bottomless appetite for gossip on social media at that time.
What if the same thing happened today, and how would the Army handle the media glare? How would their fellow recruits react?
You might want to ask the Israeli Defense Forces, because that’s the situation in Israel right now, reports James Barbes of Military.com.
Noa Kirel has been famous since age 14 for her YouTube videos that led to stardom on reality television, teen dramas and TV commercials. She recently signed a multimillion-dollar recording contract with Atlantic Records, the report said.
The Washington Post reports that Kirel, now 19, has been drafted into the Israeli Army to fulfill her required service under the country’s mandatory conscription law. Noa will serve at least two years before she can return to her career full time.
Alas, things in Israel have not gotten off to a great start. Kirel pissed off the brass by making a commercial for Israeli streaming service Yes+ that has her play-acting in American fatigues in a fake boot camp, the report said.
She’s singing “Let the Sunshine In” from “Hair,” a show that even Israelis remember for its anti-war sentiments.
“Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot also did her Israeli military service, but she had yet to launch her acting career at that point. Still, she was already famous as the winner of the Miss Israel pageant, but local media insist that Kirel’s current fame dwarfs Gadot’s at that time.
Kirel may be causing chaos, but she chose to fulfill her obligation even though she could have opted out because she’s got only one kidney, the report said. Her commitment to serve no matter what counts for a lot in Israeli society.
“I felt that, because I was famous, I had to serve to set an example to others,” Kirel said. “I know people abroad will probably not understand this, not understand why I have put everything on hold, but it was clear to me that I had to do this,” the report said.
Kirel represents the first wave of a new problem facing the Israeli military. The modern definition of fame is changing, and there are dozens of Israeli youths becoming popular solely through their social media profiles on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
Making an exception for one big star might be a challenge that the Israeli Army is prepared to meet, but what happens when you’ve got a whole platoon of teenage celebs reporting to boot camp?