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Leigh Ofer- t shirt

September 21, 2009

I come from Israel and I try to keep up with local news by reading “Haaretz,” an english-language newspaper that circulates nationwide. I came across a very interesting article in that questioned the rise in violence amongst Israeli teens. The journalist asked, is it because of the constant political turmoil that surrounds Israeli youth that brings out their destructive tendencies? Violence, it seems, is everywhere and is seeping through osmosis into the minds of Israeli youth. 

However I disagree. I am Israeli and therefore I had to serve a mandatory two years in the Israeli Defense Forces. Violence comes from many things: a lack of parental love, too much leniency in the educational system, a lack of morality and values, etc. I believe political violence is different, and does not work through osmosis: I believe in the opposite. People unite together AGAINST violence. My fellow soldiers serve their country not for the sake of revenge and for increasing violence, but for peace. There is not one Israeli that I know that does not want peace. We all enlist in the army for that reason, so we can go into the mall without being checked by a security guard, so we get on an El-Al flight without coming to the airport six hours in advance for the security check, so we can use public transportation without an incessant, nagging fear. 

I created my T-shirt from a picture I took six months ago. The message I am trying to relay is that yes, people enlist in the army to FIGHT, but it is not to fight in order to create more discord, it is to fight for peace, especially for peace of mind, and to defend our right to exist. 


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