Eyal, an openly gay Israeli soldier, is one of 14 speakers traveling around the United States through StandWithUs’ 6th annual “Israeli Soldiers Tour,” putting a human face to the IDF uniform.
Eyal, 26, lives in Tel Aviv and just graduated law school. Openly gay, he can be found in one of two places: volunteering as a guidance counselor at “Beit Dror,” a therapeutic emergency center in Tel-Aviv for LGBT adolescents who have been rejected and alienated because of their sexual orientation …or on the beach playing volleyball in Israel’s “10-month long summer.”
Can you share some anecdotes or stories about active duty that illustrate what life was like?
I worked for more than a year on a project that was close to my heart – the reconstruction of an UNRWA girl’s school outside Ramallah to provide a better education facility for the girls. Such a basic need…. Education. One day, my Commanding officer told me to open a video file. To my shock, 3 men were throwing Molotov cocktails from the roof of the school injuring innocent civilians on the nearby road. These violent extremists were using this place of education to harm civilians and in the process, taking away a basic right from these children who were born into an existing conflict. Sometimes hatred can be so strong that it stops common sense and compassion.