In Syria, Christians are running for their lives. In Egypt, Christians are running for their lives. In Iraq, Christians are on the run. In Israel, an Arab Christian woman is in training to command a combat unit.
It’s all about horizons. And while Israel is not perfect, it offers greater horizons for everyone making it the United States of the region.
History took place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, when Mona Abdo, a Christian Arab who grew up in Haifa, Israel, became the first female Arab commander of a combat unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Abdo’s road to this historic moment started in 2010 when, as a volunteer in the Israeli army, she served in the Ordnance Corps for four months before she knew that she wanted to do more, and, as a result, she was transferred to the female combat unit Caracal – where Arab and Jewish soldiers fight for the same side.
“There were people who were very proud of me, but there were those [Arabs] on the street who saw me with the IDF uniform and the fighter pin and told me I was a traitor,” she told News 2 online. “There were soldiers who were originally in shock, those I met in the course and in the battalion, but they were very impressed with what I did. I was also approached by Arab women who told me they wanted to enlist, but that they were worried about what other Arabs in the village might think.
Apartheid state? For all its problems, Israel is functional and functioning better than Syria or any other regional country where ethnic and religious differences lead to civil war.