We are the parents of a lone soldier.
Following in his father’s footsteps, our son also made aliyah on his own with the goal of serving in the IDF. After completing his degree at Reichman University, he gave up his draft exemption and volunteered and was accepted to serve in an elite combat unit in the IDF. A reflection of the fact that he is a Zionist in every sense of the word. He has a true love for the Land and people of Israel. A love that is pure to the point that it may even seem a little naïve. For him, Israel is the one place on Earth where a Jew, any Jew, can be accepted and safe. These are his true feelings with no exaggeration. Anyone who knows him will testify to that.
What do we tell him now?
There is a real threat to Israel’s existence as a democratic state where any Jew can be accepted and protected. There is a threat to Israel’s existence as a country subject to the rule of law meant to serve all its citizens. Israel’s existence is not obvious and cannot be taken for granted. An Israel that is subject to the rule of law for all its citizens will always be strong enough to defend itself against its many external enemies. Corruption and petty politics are a greater threat than all of Israel’s enemies put together, and there are many of them.
The number of antisemitic incidents experienced by his sister who is studying in North America only reminds us how vital the existence of an open, enlightened state of Israel is to every Jew in the world, whether they know it or not. It is not a matter of right or left. The values of the rule of law, democracy and basic fairness do not belong to any party, they are universal to all sides. Stripping the state of Israel of its basic values of the rule of law, democracy and fairness puts us all at risk of creating a failed state.
We do not pretend to write on behalf of all lone soldiers, but we know what motivated our son to serve and what drives his love of Israel. The so-called “legal reform” not only threatens the key values on which Israel has been built but is a slap in the face of many thousands of people, including our son, that choose to serve from pure intentions in the belief that Israel will always be based on its core values and serve as a place for all Jews everywhere and not just for a narrow group of politicians who want to pursue their ambitions unchecked by the rule of law.