I’m set to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces but I have the option to exempt from the military if I wish to. So I’m in a big moral dilemma on whether I should serve or not, I’m currently leaning towards not serving being the morally right decision, but I want to be very certain that it is because if I don’t serve, a lot of my family and friends will also hate and shame me for it. So if I would be certain that I did the right thing it would really help me cope with the hatred and disappointment. Therefore, if you could help me reach a moral conclusion on whether to serve or not I would be very grateful. So I would say that I believe it’s immoral to serve in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) if given the option not to because if I serve I’m contributing towards unjustified harm towards Palestinians (even if I don't serve in a combat role, I would still be indirectly contributing to unjustified harm) E.G. IDF is used as a tool to make new Israeli settlements in Palestinian land which definitely cause unjust harm to Palestinians. If the IDF had less power, Israel would have fewer resources to force settlements therefore reducing the harm.
But I also do believe that a military for Israel is necessary for preventing serious harm that might be caused by a lack of protection. And a problem might arise when I acknowledge that a byproduct of my goal/career in life is becoming a public person which would undoubtedly amplify the impact of whatever choice I make. In other words, If I become an influential figure and I choose to not serve I will inevitably impact other people to not serve as well. And if enough people don’t serve it will cause a problem because of the lack of protection in the military that will occur. It might be relevant to state that I also genuinely believe that given my current opportunities I will probably rise to be somewhat of a public figure so you could say that (even if I’m delusional) I’m acknowledging that my decision will likely have an amplified impact. So the new problem is that there is now a likelihood that me not serving will cause enough other people to not serve that it would cause a war or a fight big enough that it would result in more harm done than there would have been if I had served instead.
But if I had to estimate, I would say the odds of that happening are pretty small considering the power of the IDF which could be estimated by the sheer statistics of Palestinian/Israeli deaths (3465/68). On top of that, I also know for certain that if I don’t serve (and I assume others would follow) I will be preventing unjustified harm towards Palestinians and I can conclude that by the factual evidence of unjust harm that the IDF is contributing to. So would it be correct for me to say that since I know with good likelihood that me not serving has positive consequences for society and since I think the odds of the negative outcomes are quite low (even if they could be really bad) then me not serving would be morally right from my point of view?
Because on the second hand, if we take the settlements that are built on Palestinian land as the example of unjust harm towards Palestinians, if I claim that the IDF is so strong, wouldn’t it mean that not serving wouldn’t help because the IDF could just gather other troops to do the settlement work since they’re so strong?
To counter that you could say that even if they did gather other troops, it would still make the process harder so you would still contribute to preventing harm. Therefore, even if it’s very little the action of not serving would still be in the moral side rather than the immoral.
But then you could counter this by saying that in that case, since not serving only prevents very little harm it might be better to serve and protect Israel from a war or a big fight because even if the odds of that happening are very small (since the IDF is so strong), it is still the right thing to do because if something bad would happen it could end up being disastrous so it’s better to take even the small chance of that happening in to account because there aren’t major drawbacks to do so. In the same way that if we found out that an asteroid has a 1/10,000 chance of hitting earth, we would still do our best to take that into account and take measurements to prevent it.
Based on all these conclusions, I can’t really say that serving is immoral as much as it sounds like it is. So I’m worried that I’m just overthinking and that these points don’t make sense, or that I’m grasping at straws because unconsciously I’m scared of the hate I will receive if I don’t serve. I really just don’t know what to do, if I do serve I’ll feel like I was probably just justifying it in my head and I’m actually morally wrong in doing so. And if I don’t serve, since I’m still internally unsure whether it’s moral or not, I won’t be able to "deflect" and overcome the hate and disappointment from my family, friends and society. So if you could in some way validate/invalidate some of these thought processes and help me reach a conclusion on this moral conflict it would mean the world to me.