This past quarter on the Cal Poly of San Luis Obispo Campus, Mustangs United For Israel hosted an Israeli Soldiers Tour on the Cal Poly campus.

This was an incredible opportunity for students living the typical American life of a college student to become more educated on Israel and the Middle East conflict and see how people their own age across the world live different lives.

Mustangs United For Israel is a new club on campus that strives to educate Cal Poly students on current events occurring in Israel. This event was co-sponsored by StandWithUs, two global pro-Israel organizations that strives to create dialogue between conflicted areas in order to eventually achieve peace, the Israel on Campus Coalition and Cal Poly’s Military Science Club. The soldiers also had the opportunity to spend the day with ROTC, training with those who will one day be America’s future soldiers.

Two soldiers, Gilad and Edan, were highlighted on the StandWithUs tour.  Gilad, a well spoken and humorous man, served as an intelligence officer. He shared having to make difficult decisions while in combat between saving the men who served under him and protecting all civilians of all religions within the region.

Edan shared a less commonly heard story that every Israeli citizen may one day face. Edan’s story took place after his service. Once you enlist in the Israeli army, you can be called up during any crisis as a member of the active reserves, even after you have finished your term. Edan was called up and at a moments notice had to leave his family and serve his country. He faced difficult challenges as well, where like most commanders he had only seconds to make life and death choices that would affect his soldiers forever.

Both these men explained two extremely valued Laws of Conduct that every soldier must carry on them and follow while in the IDF. The first law is that you can never carry out a mission that will cause impurity on any civilian. The second rule is that every fallen IDF soldier’s body will always be returned to their families. Both Gilad and Edan shared the challenges they faced to maintain these laws of protecting all civilians while carrying out their mission at the same time. This included Gilad having to stop a female terrorist from crossing the border, without being able to have physical contact with her as that would have made her impure with her family, and Edan putting his life on the line to bring a fallen soldier home to his family.

Mustangs United For Israel now has an upcoming event, along with Cal Poly, and CAMERA, an organization dedicated to reporting accurate and unbiased news about the Middle East, will be holding their next event featuring Seth Siegel, a renowned speaker and water specialist. Siegel took three years out of his life to tour Israel and see what it was doing differently than the rest of the world in terms of water conservation and drought protection. Don’t miss his extraordinary lecture on how drought stricken California can survive with Israel’s help.