August 9, 2009:
Wanting more socio-economic diversity among Israeli Air Force pilots, the commander of the air force has changed the composition of the week long trials (series of tests and exercises) used to determine which of several thousand applicants will get one of 300 pilot training slots available each year. The purpose of this change up is to make it more difficult for high school students to gain an edge by taking the cram courses. The week long testing is for high school seniors, and most of those who make it in are middle or upper class, something which offends the current air force leadership. The cram courses cost about a hundred dollars a month, and are part of a cram course industry that is not unique to Israel (most industrialized nations now have some of them).
But Israel is unique among industrialized nations in that military service is highly admired, and beneficial when the service is completed. Thus there is competition to get into elite infantry units, as well as becoming an air force pilot. The air force leaders see the cram courses as cheating and unfair to poor but qualified potential pilots. Those who run the cram courses say they can adapt to whatever the air force does to the trials.