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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Israeli-Americans return to fight

To every Israeli living abroad:
"Mekomcha Itanu"
Your place is with us.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 17:41 02/03/2008    
 Expats' kids in IDF: 'If I don't help defend my home then who will?' 
By Yuval Azoulay 

Private Asaf Harris left Israel at the age of 2 and moved with his parents to Michigan, in the United States. On visits to relatives in Israel he would see soldiers standing at hitchhiking posts, and made up his mind to emulate them.
Now he is part of an encouraging trend presented by the Defense Ministry: The number of children of expatriate Israelis who return to Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces is rising constantly. Moreover, 70 percent of these young people choose to remain in Israel after their discharge, and 30 percent of their parents return in their children's wake.
Defense Ministry data also show that 90 percent of the children of expatriate Israelis volunteer for service in combat units, and that the latest pilot's course includes a man and a woman who immigrated from the U.S.
 Harris recently completed Paratrooper Brigade boot camp and is headed for advanced training with the brigade's Battalion 890.
"Despite growing up in the U.S. I always felt that my real home is here, in Israel, and if I don't help defend my home then who will," he asks.
Despite his parents
Harris's parents were fiercely opposed to his moving to Israel "Life is quiet there; they don't have the crazy news we get here in Israel," so he went to college, where he majored in economics.
"Once I graduated, I was already 21 and I presented my parents with a fait accompli," he said.
Today he lives on Kibbutz Maoz Haim, along with several of his comrades from the brigade who moved to Israel as part of a Scouts Movement program.
"Their preparation for service in the IDF starts while still overseas, as part of activity intensified in recent years by the Jewish Agency, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Kibbutz Movement and the Scouts. Afterward they come to Israel and study Hebrew at an ulpan, and every soldier is adopted by a kibbutz family for the duration of service," says Udi Dror, aide to the head of the Defense Ministry's recruitment department.
American-born Tomer Regev, a soldier with Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers, says he always wanted to serve in the IDF.
He heard about the Israeli army from his father and other relatives who reminisced at family events.
Regev says his parents, who live in Los Angeles, are pleased with his decision.
He has not decided whether to stay in Israel after the army or return to L.A. to realize a new dream: playing professional football.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


  • I hope he has enough sense to understand that defending Israel does not mean abusing Palestinians and others who have as much a right to be in Israel as he does. It doesn't take much to slip over into becoming the Israeli version of the KKK against Arabs except that instead of being a bully with a hood, you are a bully with a gun and an IDF uniform.

    By Blogger TeleBob, At July 13, 2009 11:35:00 PM GMT+00:00  

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