Olivia, Israel

December 7, 2011

Half Swedish, half Maltese dancer living in Tel Aviv for two years.

First I want to say well done for being part of this project. I think that it shows Israel in a positive Light thanks to the wise words of a few humble and peace loving and patient soldiers. My question is: Do you wish that you didn’t have to go to the army? of course you wish there was no need, but what about in terms of spending three years of your life there?

How do you feel about your children having to join the army in the future?

I have a relative who thinks that making all occupied territories part of Israel and making all Palestinians Israeli will bring peace… Do you really believe that there will be peace? How?

 

Olivia,

Excellent questions. I’ll try answering them patiently and humbly…

  The military is such an important part of Israeli society, that it is hard to imagine our lives without it. On one hand, I got a lot out of my military service, and though it was difficult and annoying at times, I’m happy I got to do what I did during those 3 years.

On the other hand, it was a very-very long 3 years, which prevented me from, well, living my life. Many times I find myself jealous of people from other countries, that spent those 3 years between the age of 18 to 21 studying, saving money, meeting girls or travelling. I can’t help but think that in another situation, I would be now 3 years a head in my career and/or my personal life.

But still, if I have to choose then no, I don’t regret that I served in the army. I’m proud of it and I’m a better person because of it.

  All Israeli parents tell their children that their children won’t have to serve in the army.  All Israeli parents turn out to be liars. I wish my children won’t have to serve, and I’m sure that when they will be soldiers I’ll have many sleepless nights. But I don’t wish anything for myself that I don’t wish for my children. So I guess just like my first answer, in the end I will be satisfied and proud of them when they enlist.

My answers might sound strange but I got to say that most Israelis, and I’m one of them, have great respect towards the IDF. It’s physically difficult for me even to think about my children not serving. By the way, my sister who is also a dancer did not serve in the army, and I’m sure she doesn’t have any bad feelings about it. It’s live and let live in our family.

 Some Israelis, most of them left wingers, think that a two nation state – Jewish and Palestinian – is the only solution for the ending of the conflict because it will provide a true democratic state. I, and most Israelis which consider themselves Zionists, think that a one state solution for two nations is impossible.

The reason is that such a solution will inevitably make that new two-nation state a non-jewish state, and that is something I can’t live with. I believe that Israel must remain a Jewish state, which will be a democratic home for Jews and for minorities such as Arabs. I believe peace will come with the uprising of a Palestinian state, which will live peacefully side by side with Israel.

Itay

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