A week ago I came across an article posted on Maan. The title was very interesting; it was called “How to friend an Israeli soldier.” After reading most of the article, I couldn't help but visit the website.
The website in general looked like a dating site, with pictures of young men and women in uniforms, with big smiles, and of course big guns (to be fair, not all of them have big guns). It is pretty much what you see in the picture below, if you didn't already click on the website.
After browsing for a while and reading the short biographies of the 11 soldiers listed on the website, I left the website. Afterwards, I sent it to my coworker, who used a fake email to send them a question. 24 hours later, she got a nice email back, obviously written by a PR expert.
"Hi, How did your past experience in Lebanon and Gaza helped you when studying International relations?"
Soldier Shlomie Answer:
Thanks for your question.
I would have to say that participating in the war and in Gaza had definitely influenced me to study international relations. I wanted to learn more about decision making and the way that our political leaders think and act. Of course, I also wanted to know the reasons why they act in such way. My experiences in Lebanon and Gaza have definitely caused me to think much deeper about Israel and our neighbors in the region. I believe that my knowledge and what I’ve been through have definitely helped me understand International Relations a lot more. Therefore, I must say that I think I have an advantage over other students who did not experience the same things.
Thanks again for contacting us! If you have any other questions please feel free to send us another e-mail!
The next day, I sent them my own question:
"How you saw Palestinian? in other words, What you think of Palestinian?"
I got the following as an answer from Yagil:
I think Palestinians as a people are generally good at heart and have good intentions just like anyone else. However I also think they are in some ways a lost people who need better leadership and better guidance to receive what they want, which is obviously an independent state alongside Israel. Most Palestinians I believe are fed up with the current situation and I think if they really want to achieve what they want, it can't be through violence or resistance. It is unfortunate to see terrorist organizations like Hamas claim they know what's good for the Palestinians and make ignorant claims like calling for the destruction of Israel, which is not the step in the right direction and does not represent the beliefs of the majority. I believe what will shape the future for the Palestinians is taking responsibility and making educated decisions that will benefit them for the near future. Of course Israel has to play a main part in this and any decision between the two needs to be a joint decision."
Earlier today, I sent them 3 more questions. I will post the questions and the answers as soon as I get them.
Although I gave them a chance, they don't deserve to explain their position on what the IDF is doing or has done to the Palestinian people, either in the West Bank or in the Gaza strip. Yet I strongly believe that no matter how hard they try to make their soldiers look better, they will always be the evil monsters in the green uniform, at least for the kid inside me!