|Terror proves to be an unlikely source of unity for|
Israelis and Iraqis
I recently had the surprising pleasure of speaking with Sabah, a former Captain in the Iraqi military who contacted me directly through an affiliate web project, Friend a Soldier. Our correspondence was truly gratifying, and I wanted to share it with the readers on our blog.
Typically, individuals from countries with traditionally hostile views towards Israel tend to ask us similar questions. Why do you kill Palestinians? Why do Israelis hate us? Why can't we be friends? Why does Israel continue to occupy Palestinian land? However, the message I received from Sabah was the polar opposite of anything I expected. What I received was a message of solidarity against terrorist elements that continue to disrupt the daily lives of Israeli and Iraqi civilians.
Sabah served in the Iraqi military from 2003 until 2007 and fought side by side with US troops in the Baghdad Green Zone. Here is the information he provided me - in brief, which I have cleaned up because his English was broken, and it included some harsh language:
"I'm an Iraqi man who served in the Iraqi army from 2003 to 2007, fighting side by side with the US army in the Baghdad Green Zone. My rank was Cpt/Xo/Cco in the Iraqi Civil Corps and I fought often against the Iraqi insurgency, which included groups similar to Hamas and Hezbollah... I want to stand with a great nation like the Jewish people that know the meaning of freedom...G-d bless you and yours forever... Regards - Brothers in Arms, Sabah."
Sabah went on to explain the precarious situation in his country, including Iranian encroachment on Iraqi affairs, his thoughts on Israel and the Jewish people, previous Jewish culture in Baghdad, and other interesting topics. In the end, I came away from the conversation with a reaffirmed notion that transcending the differences in the Israeli Arab conflict is indeed a possibility. Genuine dialogue between apparent rivals can produce real, tangible progress.
To see my entire correspondence with Sabah (who I recently e-mailed today in order to reestablish contact), you can visit the entire posting at http://www.friendasoldier.com/en/?p=2304