Corporal Amir Rab’i, 19, is a Muslim Arab whose family is Palestinian – his older brothers and his father were born in Hebron, immigrated to Lod and in recent years lived in Be’er Sheva. “Some people called me a traitor,” he told Ynet.
But the best way to deal with it is to ignore it. As a boy, I visited my family in Hebron once every two months, and they accepted me very well, encouraged me and told me well done. I was not afraid to visit Hebron, and I wish I could serve in Hebron as well. If that happens, I will not feel confused. This is the country I live in and everyone needs in my opinion to contribute to it. My brother did national service, and some of my Muslim friends agree with me, but they claim that there is no need to contribute by way of army service.
Amir is currently with his battalion, Battalion 931, in operation on the Lebanese border, and a few months ago was injured in his leg. He had to move to the post at the battalion headquarters, but he had already persuaded his commanders to send him to an officer’s course; “When I volunteered to serve in the IDF as a Muslim Arab, I was offered many units to serve in, but I chose the Nahal brigade, and to this day I am pleased.” I had ups and downs during the service, and there was always someone to come, support and help. I have no friends in the battalion, I have a family in the battalion.
“My father is proud that I am coming home in uniform,” says Rabi. “Even though there are negative reactions that I still get, I learned to fight it, because it is either I will ignore it or I will fall.” If I could recruit every Arab to the IDF, I would do so, even if he was a jobnik. “
Via Ynet translated from Hebrew 11/2017