Two IDF soldiers to tour San Diego schools Oct. 6
SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–Two Israel Defense Forces soldiers, Orit and Jonathan whose last names have been withheld for security reasons, will visit San Diego on Wednesday, Oct. 6, during a speaking tour of the Western United States. Scheduled are presentations at Torrey Pines High School at noon, UCSD at 5 p.m., and at SDSU at 7:30-9pm. Room number are pending.
Orit and Jonathan will recount their personal experiences of serving in the IDF, discussing such topics as checkpoints, suicidebombers, fighting against Hamas in Gaza in 2009, Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and “facing an enemy that hides behind civilians while the Israeli army does its best to minimize casualties,” according to StandWithUs, the Israel advocacy group sponsoring their appearances. The soldiers also will discuss their backgrounds, life in Israel and answer questions.
They are part of a group that provides video testimony at a StandWithUs website created during Operation Cast Lead. Their testimonies contrast sharply with reports of alleged IDF misconduct including the Goldstone Report and the recent Gaza flotilla incident.
The solders are being brought to UCSD by the 2010-11 StandWithUs Emerson Fellow Omer Ben-Zvi. In its fourth year, the Fellowship selects and trains student leaders to run Israel education events on their campuses and counter anti-Israel rhetoric. Thirty-seven students from as many campuses in the US and Canada were chosen for the 2010-11 semester year. You’re more than welcome to
Orit is a graduate of Hebrew University in law and communications. A Tel Aviv native, she served as a medic in the IDF, considering herself lucky to be given the opportunity to save lives. The IDF provides women and men equal opportunities. She was one of the few female medics who served in the West Bank on the front lines. She was placed at the Kalandia checkpoint responsible for 120 soldiers who operated it.
During her service, Orit faced some difficult and complicated situations, particularly with suicide bombers. Specifically Orit was confronted with the decision of saving the life of a notorious West Bank terrorist who had orchestrated the suicide bombing by his sister at a Haifa restaurant that killed 21. She was guided by the IDF morality code and the physician’s ethics code for treating all wounded, no matter what their background.
Jonathan, born and raised in New York, independently made aliyah to Israel after graduating high school. He promptly served in the IDF, engaging in combat training courses, squad commanders’ course and later officers’ school. He witnessed the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, saw combat in the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
He contrasts the IDF’s values and codes to minimize civilian damage with those of the enemy he faced in Lebanon.
Preceding based on material provided by StandWithUs