Gay ex-IDF soldier Hen Mazzig spoke about his life, his family, and his army service at the University of Central Florida
During the spring of 2017, CAMERA sponsored ex-IDF soldier Hen Mazzig to speak on 17 college campuses. On one of his last stops was the University of Central Florida where Knights for Israel hosted Hen to speak about his life, his family, and his service. He began the night speaking about his family background and their journey from Tunisia and Iraq to Israel. His family belonged to the Amazigh tribe in Tunisia and he shared his grandparents’ accounts of the tiny Jewish community within the tribe. He spoke about how his grandmother fled Iraq during the expulsion and murder of the Jewish community in 1941.
We learned about his childhood and his firsthand accounts of terrorism during the Second Intifada. When he was 12, Mazzig walked to an ice cream shop two blocks from his home. As he stood outside the shop, just steps away, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up the café, killing a grandmother and her 2-year-old granddaughter and injuring many others.
Hen describes this as “the most significant event of [his] life” and the event that later inspired him to join the COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) unit of the IDF. He says that working together and understanding one another is the way to achieve peace. Working as a COGAT soldier, he was directly able to work towards peace.