Editor’s Note: We received this email from ‘David’, who has been writing for us recently, giving us his firsthand account of the fighting in Israel and Gaza. We’ve decided to publish it, with his permission, to give our readers some background on who he is and his motivations as an IDF soldier.
I was born in Argentina to a family that immigrated there during WWII escaping the Nazis from Germany and Poland. Argentina back then, as it is now, was a deeply anti-semite country due to the fact that a lot of the Nazi criminals escaped there after the war, but mainly because of the way that religion is taught there: Jews killed Jesus, therefore you must hate Jews. Simple.
So, I had to battle anti-semitism throughout my childhood.
Back in 1992, a terrorist managed to detonate a bomb in the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. He was aided by Hezbollah and local terrorist groups. I remember the chaos that followed. The video of the explosion was captured by accident by the cousin of my girlfriend at the time, an amateur photographer who filmed wildlife in Buenos Aires.
Then in 1994, again. A van full of tons of explosives drove into the AMIA, the main Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and detonated it, killing more than 80 people and completely destroying the building. Six of my friends where there. I lived not far from the site so I immediately went there upon hearing the explosion. I began removing debris and pieces of the building and getting people out.
Then the police came and forced us out. It would take the Argentinean government a full 24 hours to mount a rescue operation. More people died. It was the Israelis that came 48 hours later and mounted a proper rescue that saved many more lives.
It’s always the same: Jews die and no one but ourselves care.
The bomb was prepared by local terrorists aided by Hezbollah and Iran. The Iranian diplomatic group left Argentina a few hours after the attack.
I had enough.
A few weeks later I was on my way to Israel. I was set to join the IDF when I could and go chase Hezbollah. Back in the mid ’90s, Israel was still fighting in Southern Lebanon.
It was hard, to say the least. I arrived without any Hebrew at all, and while the majority of Israelis speak English, the IDF speaks only Hebrew. I had to learn fast. Armed with a very rudimentary vocabulary and understanding of the society, I put my name in for the several units. This means try-outs. Think about it as the Scout Sniper course indoc, the initial phase of the Q-course, phase one of BUD/S. It’s usually a 48-56 hours (sometimes more) of tests, both mental and physical. Of course, I was confused all the time due to my lack of language, but I was ready to go all the way.
Well, I passed one of those try-outs and I was accepted to one of the units. I spent the next two years training and the following four years either fighting the terrorists from Hezbollah, or inside the West Bank and Gaza fighting Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Then, after my active duty mandatory service (plus) ended, I entered the Reserve force. I was called up on pretty much all the operations since then, including the 2002 incursion into the West Bank to get rid of the terrorist camps and the 2006 Lebanon War.
I’ve seen firsthand how these terrorists operate. I’ve also seen firsthand how the civilian population, both in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority, are sick of this fight and want peace. But peace is a lot more complicated that just saying “let’s live together,” or, “let’s have two states”. These past two weeks in Gaza have demonstrated that, regardless of what the people want, it’s the people that are in power who are the one making the decisions.
While the Israeli government is not free of fault, it is mainly Hamas that is to blame for the current situation in Gaza…