Mar. 4, 2016
There’s Only One Country in the Middle East that Could Produce a Soldier Like Me – Major Alaa Wahib (Jewish News-UK)
- I am an Israeli, an Arab, and the highest ranked Muslim in the IDF. Is Israel inherently racist, an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Twenty percent of Israelis are non-Jewish, have full rights, and are represented throughout society.
- I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.
- The town I grew up in did not recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. I did not learn Hebrew until I was 17. I was raised to believe the worst things about Jews, and, had I not eventually met and worked alongside them, I might still believe those things today.
- Peace – real peace – will only come when people talk to each other. The irony of Israeli Apartheid Week is that it wants individuals to focus on differences, not similarities. Instead of building bridges between communities, it wants to build walls.
- During my time in the UK, I spoke alongside a fellow soldier, a medic who has treated both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists without distinction. We were the Muslim who protects Jewish lives, and the Jew who saves Muslim lives. There’s only one country in the Middle East that could produce a couple like that – and it sure as hell isn’t an apartheid state.
Israel’s Highest-Ranking Muslim Soldier – Josh Jackman
On a speaking tour in Britain to combat Israeli Apartheid Week, Major Alaa Wahib, 36, who grew up in a village in the Galilee, said he never imagined he would be part of the Israel Defense Forces, let alone become its most-decorated Muslim soldier. His father had served in the Israel Police and told his son to join the army. “If someone is firing rockets from Gaza, they may be an Arab, but their rocket can hit my house as well,” he says.
“Slowly but surely I began to fall in love with the people in my unit. My life never felt like it was less important than their lives. We became brothers in arms. I am happy with that, because every moment of cooperation between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews reduces the risk of war, and makes the chances for peace higher.” (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
(Click on the title of either article to see the whole article…Ed.)