Major Ala Wahib: Zionist Israeli Arab Muslim Serves in IDF – We Can’t Be Broken: Christian Girlfriend Caused Family Rift

Ala Wahib is the highest ranking Muslim serving in the Israeli Defense Force – but he is not the only Muslim serving in the IDF. He considers himself a “Zionist Israeli Arab.” In his home village of Reineh, where he moved back to from Israel about a year ago, he lives in his own home, by himself, and in this village he is considered a traitor. After a visit to a Nazi extermination camp in Poland, wearing the Israeli uniform, Ala said Israel was there in a position of power, and now “cannot be broken.” Read how his Christian girlfriend affected his family and life in Reineh.

Major Ala Wahib, Zionist Israeli Arab

Four years ago he went on a tour of Nazi extermination camps in Poland, together with his fellow officers, as part of the IDF’s Witnesses in Uniform program. “As a child,” he says, “I grew up in a society that denies the Holocaust. When I arrived in Poland I was shocked. I cried a lot. It was difficult to contain this thing called genocide. There was something very powerful in the fact that I was standing on Polish soil, holding an Israeli flag and donning the uniform of the Israeli army, but this time from a position of power. It was proof that we can’t be broken.”…

I believe in the Muslim faith, and I will never abandon it, but I think that Zionism is more than a religion. It is something that fully represents my sense of belonging to the State of Israel and to Israeli society, and the immense commitment I have to protecting and guarding the country of which I am part.

Major Wahib is the second son of the second of two wives of his Syrian father. Ironically, he says his family could live with his enlistment in the IDF, but they couldn’t live with the the fact of his Christian girlfriend. Because of family pressure and Ala’s fear of violence, that relationship ended, but he “severed” all family ties to the family of his mother, but his father supported him. Today he says his only family is that of his now deceased father’s “other” wife and her children.

Wahib said he participated in this interview to send a message to Arabs, that there are “a lot of people [in the Arab community] who want to enlist, but they are afraid….” He lived in a Jewish community for a few years, but returned to Reineh one year ago.

He has no contact with any of the people in his village, and the only friends that ever visit are his colleagues from the army. “In Arab society it is customary to be involved in each other’s lives, there is no privacy,” he says sadly. “I often prefer the company of the cows that graze down here. They don’t judge me, they let me live my life in peace.

I built this house to show everyone all that I’ve achieved – in our society the size of your house is a social status symbol. But today there is nothing tying me to this place. When people ask me where my home is, I immediately answer that my home is my room on the base.”

Ala says he thinks he will leave Reineh soon, but has many memories in his house, which he built and decorated with his Christian girlfriend.

Read the whole story at Israel Hayom. There’s much more – Photo Credit Osnat Krasnansky.

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  • And the left calls Israel an apartheid nation. In the Muslim world how many Christians, Baha’i, Jews, etc…are in their
    militaries?

    In the IDF, it is abilities and not connections that gain you rank. You can go as high as your abilities take you.

  • Teressa

    Again Israel proved that they are the true bearer of democracy & equality in the Middle East.

  • Maggie, thak you for sharing this story, I would have never guessed that Arabs would be allowed to serve in the Israeli military. An amazing story.

  • randy macho man

    “One day last fall, a young Israeli woman named Sharon went with her fiancé to the Tel Aviv Rabbinate to register to marry. They are not religious, but there is no civil marriage in Israel. The rabbinate, a government bureaucracy, has a monopoly on tying the knot between Jews. The last thing Sharon expected to be told that morning was that she would have to prove — before a rabbinic court, no less — that she was Jewish.”

    “Proving you are Jewish to Israel’s state rabbinate can be difficult, it turns out, especially if you came to Israel from the United States — or, as in Sharon’s case, if your mother did.”

    “To assist people like Sharon, Farber has become a genealogical sleuth. He is the first to warn, though, that solving individual cases cannot solve a deeper crisis.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/magazine/02jewishness-t.html?_r=1

    Its lucky his girlfriend is a Arab–Christian instead of a Israeli Jew, because its illegal in israel for a Arab to marry a Jew. Even Jews have to prove their racial background just like in WW2 Germany for Aryans before they can be allowed to marry another Jew.. These are the same Jews in the NAACP who wanted to end discrimination in the American South and marched to force Southern Whites to integrate with High-Crime Negro populations, and now they require Proof of pure Jewish blood before you are allowed to marry in Israel.

    This gentlemen has a arab christian girlfriend so at least he wont need to feel the sting of this racial discrimination.