I didn’t write this memoir for you

Where are my pro-Israel Jews at? My Christian brothers and sisters? How about my atheist, non-conformist friends who’ve put in the time and effort to learn the nuances of the Middle East Conflict? *inhales deeply* Phew…

Do I have your attention? Good. Listen up.

I didn’t write Disarmed for you.

Don’t get me wrong. I think you’ll enjoy the read, and I’d be honored if you picked up a copy. It’s got plenty of compelling content for the folks already in our camp. It’s got the laughs, the tears, and many WTF moments (see: chapter 5 — smashes own foot with rock). I mean, for Herzl’s sake, I nearly got sent to military prison by a red-faced general because I wouldn’t roll my sleeves down before receiving an award from the president (a battle I won, by the way).

I have no doubt that the core of my readership will consist of folks who already love Israel, who support Israel, who wish they could shrink Israel down, pillow-sized, so they can snuggle with it at night. But here’s the thing: many books have been written for you, many writers type away with us in mind, preaching to the Hatikva choir. And that’s great. But this is something different.

I want to give the average traveler, strolling through the airport, a chance to pick up a story that hasn’t been propagandized, evangelized, or jazzercised. I want to reach college students and millennials who are growing up in today’s toxic social climate and provide them with a personal, open, honest view at a life lived for a land and a people.

It’s not about startups or cellphones; it’s about sacrifices and celebrations, many of which happen to take place with Israel in the backdrop. It’s about resiliency and reality, and what’s possible even when life throws you a curve ball shaped like a mortar.

Sure, I’m tired of being called a terrorist when I speak on campus. Tired of being called a baby killer — an apartheid enforcer — just because an IDF soldier is pictured on the flyer. Tired of finding out the students flinging these accusations are often Jewish. But this book isn’t a response to their chants.

University of Louisville, as protesters flood the room

Disarmed doesn’t shove the pro-Israel narrative down the reader’s throat. It aims to inspire, to entertain, simply to tell my story — a story that applies to anyone facing obstacles they aim to overcome.

Yes, there’s a time to talk about the facts, about the complexities of life in the Jewish state, about the situations Israel could handle better, and the ways in which it brings light to the world. We need the politics (he admits, begrudgingly), the politicians, and their pomp and circumstance. But we also need stories. Story, for the sake of story. No motive other than to connect. To tell one person’s truth.

So here’s the truth:

I didn’t write Disarmed for you. But I sure hope you’ll read it.

Spreading light — “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares”
About the Author
Izzy Ezagui, a decorated squad commander in the Israel Defense Forces, is the only soldier in the world who lost an arm in combat and returned to the battlefield. Izzy delivers inspirational talks across the United States and internationally. He's appeared on the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera America, and Fox News. The Algemeiner chose Izzy as one of 100 people positively influencing Jewish life. He has worked with amputee organization, schools, universities, hedge funds, and corporate events for companies such as Nike and Apple
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