I was going to write about my army service and about a special reunion party that took place about a week ago in our house (and I still will — see below), but I cannot do that before I write first about other important matters.
You would probably wonder why, and I will answer in a second, but first I would like to write about the important value of life and peace. About a week ago Israel relisted 1027 terrorists and murderers who were eager to kill Jews. It did not matter to them whether they were babies, kids, women or men, as long as they killed in the name of their God. I am saying their God, because I do believe in God, and do not see any God approving such actions, so maybe they have a special God who approves such things.
We let them go. They sat in prison that let them use cell phones, have great meals, and get visitors, even study! Our Gilad Shalit never got a visit from the Red Cross even, for over 5 years did not see the sun. He was treated like a “thing,” not like a person.
Israel let them go because we value life, they do not. For the last 24 hours terrorists have being shooting missiles from Gaza, trying to kill civilians. There were over fifty missiles shot. One person was killed. A few were injured.
Life has stopped. No schools, no weddings, no social gatherings, no nothing. And I am wondering if you know of any nation that would not just get into Gaza to stop those people from shooting at our cities.
My heart goes out to the families in the south of Israel. I am hoping that one day Israel will live in peace. I am not sure any more that that day will ever come.
And regarding the special reunion — it happened over a week ago, and it was so fantastic. I served in a special program that combined Kibbutz life and army service, and there were about 40 people in that program. A week ago we all met, 25 years later…
It is amazing to see what we’ve all become 25 years later. There were lots of tears and chills. So many good memories came up — about great friendships and old love affairs, and the fact that our service was the first time we’d all left home.
In most “normal” countries, people who graduate from high school go to college. In Israel you have to first serve your country. For men, it’s a minimum of three years, for women a minimum of two. Only after they are done with their army service can they go back to school and start their civilian adult life.
I think that this is really sad, and not because of the fact that we serve our country, but because of the fact that Israel just to be able to survive needs all young people to join the army. I do pray so hard that one day no parent will have to send their kids to war, and peace will be everywhere.
I really cannot know what I would have become without serving in the army, since I did not experience something else, but I can say one thing, it made me tougher. It made me more suspicious and tough. I am not naïve, and sometimes I really wish I were. What would I be like without my army service? I really do not have a straight answer for that. This is me and that is all I can say.
Wishing you Peace and love, Revital.
Revital Shiri-Horowitz is the award-winning author of Daughters of Iraq, a novel based on the true life events of her family’s exodus out of Iraq to Israel in the 1950s to escape persecution.