Yafa, Jordan

December 19, 2012

hey david, I am personally not a fan of Hamas when I read your info I found that you participated in operation cast lead, and in that operation specifically ALOT of defenseless babies and women were “murdered”. even though what you said about Hamas using civilians as human shields MIGHT be true yet there is noway all of the civilians killed were used as human shields! my father is originally from jenin him and his family (8 other children) were froced to leave their house in the middle of the night by your military and so they had to walk to get to Jordan with little food and water! my grandfather (from my mom’s side) was born in a village near jerusalem in after the (Deir Yassin) massacre all women and children in that village were forced to go to Amman! I am aware that in your dictionary children of refugees are not called refugees but I will always remain a refugee until I can go back to where I belong I was born in Amman – Jordan and I have a Jordanian passport ! yet I am originally Palestinian even though I never lived there or even saw my country it is still a part of me that I will never let go of. regarding your two-state solution I think that it is not fair because Israel took almost 70% of Palestine and then you expect us to be content with the remaining 30?? what about refugees from yafa or haifa o akka? most of them are currently living in refugee camps here in Jordan under very difficult circumstances , some of them are still holding on to the keys to their houses back in Palestine! So why cant we all live together under one democratic secular state whithout any religion prevailing over the other. you and me share something far more important than our religion or beliefs we are both human! I chose privacy because I have never imagined myself talking to an IDF soldier EVER! and I didnt know what to expect. but you can publish it now :) where you born in Palestine? did you do anything that made you uncomfortable during your service? regards, Yafa

Hi Yafa,

It’s interesting you write “murdered” with quotation marks. Civilians were not murdered. We did not hunt them. We did not execute them. We did not line them up and shoot them. We did not search for them nor line them up in our sites. Civilian casualties are accidents, terrible, regrettable accidents that get nobody nowhere. Urban warfare is bound to have unwanted civilian deaths but you’ll find that Israel takes the most care out of any nation in the world to minimise these tragedies. This is fact.

I understand your desire to return to your ancestral homeland, I too shared the same desire. I was not born in Israel either but I never referred to myself as a refugee. I don’t understand why Palestinians are the only people in the world whose refugee status is genetic and endorsed by the UN. No other ethnic group or nation in the world has the same standard. I believe it is unnecessary and an obstacle to peace.
I don’t doubt that refugees from Yaffo, Haifa, or Akko who live in camps live in poor conditions, this however is an issue for the Jordanian government. Jordan and the other Arab nations invited in refugees on to their countries with the promise that they will destroy Israel so they can swiftly return to the homes (they could have stayed and now be living in some of the trendiest places in Israel. Arabs in Yaffo and Haifa are very successful). Jordan is responsible now for these people. You should petition the Jordanian government about the difficult circumstances not Israel. I doubt that the house keys would serve any purpose now other than as a public speaking tool to incite an emotional response from foreign crowds.

The two state solution would ensure that Israel remains a Jewish state, something most Israelis would like to hold on to. I’m not sure about the 70-30 division but consider yourself lucky to get anything. Time and time again attempts have been made to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Israel has successfully defended herself and has the right to self defence. Losers in war aren’t really in the position to make demands nor have their feelings considered. The Palestinians are lucky they are dealing with Israel and not the USA, Russia, UK, Iraq Indonesia or a number of other countries that wouldn’t give you the time of day and would most certainly respond differently to rocket barrages on their citizens. Lets not kid ourselves. Despite all the hatred directed towards us and despite military victories, Israel is willing to concede conquered land, land that it considers holy, for the sake of peace. This should not be taken for granted.

To be honest, I would love to live in a democratic, secular state with you, a place where our differences can be set aside, without so much emphasise on religion and land but most importantly without conflict and violence. All of our lives could be better without violence war. So why can’t we live together you ask? Not everybody has the same vision for this little piece of land. Some visions are completely incompatible.

Gladly I never did anything in my service that I regret or made me uncomfortable.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and having the courage to talk to an Israeli soldier not knowing what to expect.


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