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May 30, 2021 11:11 am

An IDF Veteran Reflects on His Service — and the Recent Violence

avatar by Alan Zeitlin


Rockets are launched by Palestinian terrorists into Israel, in Gaza May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

In promoting his new book, A Line In The Sand — about the time during which he served in the IDF from 2010 to 2013 — Corey Feldman didn’t expect to see rockets overhead. The author, who is now in Israel, was upset and outraged by Hamas’ recent use of terror in its war against Israel.

“The entire population is frazzled,” Feldman said by phone during an interview that took place during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“It’s impossible not to be when you hear explosions above the roof that guards your family. Why Hamas is doing this is not clear to me. Perhaps they were feeling irrelevant. … While I don’t know why, I do know Israel’s response will be massive, and an unfortunate reality of that will be the death of innocents on both sides. I also know that one side is sending leaflets, placing calls, and dropping duds in an effort to get people to evacuate before a bombing, and the other side is firing rockets [directly and purposefully] at civilians.”

In his gripping book, Feldman writes about the difficulties of training for the IDF — and also laments the loss of life on both sides. Feldman was inspired to join the IDF both by the Zionism of his grandfather and an Israeli soldier that he met on a Hasbara Fellowship Program, who responded to him in a letter that he would make the most difference if he was a member of the IDF.

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The University of Pennsylvania graduate, who writes of befriending other lone soldiers, said the physical aspect of the training was not the hardest part.

“The mental aspect was the toughest,” he said. “Just when your body wants to quit, your mind has to force your body to go on and let you know you can do it.” He writes about 10 kilometer stretcher marches that were difficult, as well as having to go everywhere with his gun. He also writes of the difficulty of enduring tear gas during training, and the difficulty of learning Hebrew as a lone soldier, but said he was extremely proud to be a paratrooper and that he also enjoyed the Krav Maga lessons.

The book is an inspiring tale for other lone soldiers who may want to enlist in the IDF. It shows the difficulty, the pain, and the pride that one feels.

Feldman said that he felt extremely emotional being back in Israel during the recent fighting.

“It’s surreal to once again hear sirens overhead in Tel Aviv,” he said. “Missiles are falling in unprecedented quantities in central Israel. What Israel’s critics don’t seem to get is the Iron Dome is a system, and like any system, it can fail. [If it does, that could cause] hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. The fear doesn’t stop when the rockets do.”

Alan Zeitlin is a writer and educator based in New York.

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