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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An Arab Muslim in the Israeli Army Speaks Out

The World Forgets that We Also Have Arabs, Druze and Christians in the Israeli Army

I am an Arab. I am a Muslim. And I love my country. In fact, I’m prepared to die for it. Which is why I serve in its army.

I don’t have to do this. I want to do this. Because my country is a special place, unlike any other. Free. Diverse. Vibrant. Yet, other countries~countries not so free, not so diverse~call for my country’s complete destruction. The moment my country lets its guard down, it will be destroyed. 

My country is Israel. I grew up and still live in a small village named after my family’s Bedouin Arab tribe. Our roots in this land run deep. 

In 1948, when Arab armies invaded the new state of Israel, my family thought of leaving our village. Some of them did. But when the Jews’ leaders heard that, they implored us to remain. “This is our country, for both Arabs and Jews,” they said. “Stay, and we will work together to build it.” My family stayed. My parents were born here, made their lives here, started their own family here~in Israel. 

In 2002, I was a teenager. It was a violent time. Palestinian suicide bombers were blowing up Israeli civilians~a danger to Arabs and Jews alike. Israeli troops entered to the West Bank to stop them at their source. As a result, many Palestinians were killed. I was torn. Whose side was I on, I thought: Israel’s or the Palestinians’? Is it possible to be an Arab and an Israeli? The question became even more difficult when I saw men from my own village wearing the uniform of the Israeli army. 

Only Jews are required to serve in the military. No one forced these Arab men to join; they chose to. “Why?” I asked them. “Our home is here, in Israel,” they said. “Our home is under attack. Our neighbors in this home are Jews. They are being attacked. We fight together.” 

Still, I struggled. I went to high school in Nazareth. There, unlike the village where I grew up, most of the Arab students identified as Palestinians even though they are citizens of Israel. Some of the students~my friends~hated Israel. They couldn’t understand me. “You’re a Palestinian”, they said, “so you must hate Israel.” When I said that I didn’t, that we had far more freedom and opportunity than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East, they called me a traitor. 

After high school, I went on to study electrical engineering at Technion, a leading Israeli university. During my first semester, heavy rocket fire from Gaza forced Israel to launch a counterattack. Not long after the war began, I witnessed a group of Arab-Israeli students expressing their solidarity with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that controls Gaza and is committed to Israel’s violent destruction. 

Did these students not understand that those rockets could just as easily be aimed at them? Hamas didn’t care who they killed as long as they landed inside the borders of Israel. Had my fellow Arab students forgotten that Israel had left Gaza a few years before? That there wasn’t a single Israeli living there?

That day, I dropped out of school to join the Israeli army, the IDF. A few months later, I was a soldier in the Israeli Air Force. After months of training, I was assigned to the Search & Rescue Helicopter Unit. Our job was to save lives. We never concerned ourselves with the identity of the people who needed our help. We rescued Syrian civilians wounded in their country’s civil war, Palestinian children from Gaza requiring urgent medical care, and countless Israelis of every religious and ethnic background. A life~whether it is Muslim or Jewish, Palestinian or Israeli~is a life.

On a base of 6,000 soldiers, I was the only Bedouin. But it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was keeping Israel~our home~safe. We came from all parts of the country and from many parts of the world. We were every shade of skin color. Our shared goal created a deep bond.

Today, I am a student at Haifa University. Half of the students are Arab. More than once, I have seen the Palestinian flag being waved at a rally or protest on campus. In Israel, you can do this because, whether you are a Jew or an Arab, you are free. 

What more do you need to know? I am Mohammad Kabiya for Prager University.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Messge from Poland?

I read the poem below on Gates of Vienna Blog and thought it was important to share.

The poem was being posted on leaflets in Poland. It showed up in various places at the National Day march. Needless to say it aroused the ire of those on the left who favour open borders.

Under the photo at the top of the poster the text is:

 A mother with a child after an acid attack
…this picture says more about Islam than a thousand words
 The text (translated below) is a poem:

A Pole is Wise, Before Suffering

*A Word-play on a Polish saying:
 “A Pole is Wise, After Suffering”

When the refugees came, I didn’t protest~They were poor refugees. 
When they established mosques, I didn’t protest~They have the right to pray.
When they introduced Halal food in schools I didn’t protest
~They can only eat what the Koran allows them to.
When they carried out attacks I didn’t protest
~It’s only a small group of radicals, which doesn’t represent true Islam.
When they raped women I didn’t protest
~Rapes occur in every culture and religion, and they have nothing to do with Islam.
When they demanded Sharia zones I didn’t protest
~They need their own space, and we live in a free country.
When their MPs took their seats in parliament I didn’t protest
~They’re almost half the population now and have a right to be represented.
When they introduced Sharia law, it was too late for me to protest.
There is still time~I think!!!