Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On the Front Lines with an Israeli Soldier in Hebron:

On the Front Lines with an  Israeli Soldier in Hebron:

My Truth

My name is Adam Ram, I come from the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, and I’ve decided to break the silence!

I’ve decided to break the silence and stand against the slandering and constant defamation of Israeli soldiers and the IDF that’s going on in Israel and around the world.

I am a Bedouin, and a combat soldier in the Nachal infantry unit serving in Hebron. This post is not about left versus right or Jews versus Arabs; it’s about our everyday reality!

Anyone who’s served in Hebron knows how intense the tension between us soldiers and the Palestinian population can be, and after six months in the area I can say that the war between us has long ceased to be about territories or boundaries, and it’s not even simply about religion anymore. The war is against all Israelis, regardless of who you are, because when a terrorist leaves their home with a knife, planning on murdering a soldier or a civilian, they do not care if their victim is a Jew, a Muslim, or a Christian. They do not know if you are religious, or what religion you believe in. They do not care if you voted left or right, as long as you hold a blue Israeli ID card - you are a fair target.

You hear people talk about the “occupation army”, but what’s actually going on is the polar opposite, because when I saw a nine-year-old Palestinian child in the streets of Hebron and asked him if he hates us, he said that the reverse is true. No, he said, he prefers the IDF to the Palestinian police because we have values, we have respect for people's lives, and we do not go around killing people and chopping off heads. As opposed to Daesh and other Islamic regimes, Israel is democratic and extends rights even to those who are not citizens of the state.

And when you hear the same thing from another kid, and another man, and another woman, you realize they see the IDF as their protector, letting them sleep more peacefully at night in a sense, and quite the opposite to what you might hear, they prefer you there than to be left to the failure that is the Palestinian Authority.

We do not murder or pillage, we chose to be combat soldiers and to contribute to the State of Israel. (I personally am a volunteer and wasn’t obligated to join the IDF.) We serve so that all of Israel’s citizens, our parents brothers and sisters, everyone can live peacefully and in security, without being stabbed on the street, or get blown to pieces in a bomb attack on the bus while on the way to school or work.

Always remember, the soldiers who give statements to Breaking the Silence or B'tselem and tell all kinds of shocking stories about what they did in the course of their military service - these are stories of soldiers who took the law into their hands and acted violently, these are not the orders given by the IDF commanders! The truth is these stories are a few and rare, and the reality of the IDF is different.

It’s hard to believe, but an Israeli news website chose a draft-dodger to be their “woman of the year”. I have a better suggestion – we should pick real heroes to be our people of the year. We should pick someone like Hadar Cohen, who died fighting terrorists and defending civilians, or Tuvia Yanay Waisman, a cherished friend from my military unit who was murdered after charging at terrorist unarmed in order to protect innocent people.

We are leaving our post in Hebron now, and we are taking this experience as a good one and an eye-opening one. We now see reality much clearer. This is what I wanted to share, thank you for listening!

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