Israel Defense Forces soldiers share experiences at UA Hillel Foundation
Kinneret was on her way to deliver food supplies to a widowed Israeli mother, her children and an elderly family member, when she heard the alarm. She began running with the supplies to the shelter where the family was staying.
“It must have been about 10, 20 seconds and I hear the loudest ‘boom!’ that I have heard in my life,” Kinneret said. “I am thrusted about and I lay on the ground and I am still on the ground and I looked up not realizing what happened and I see this huge pillar of smoke.”
The rocket hit not too far behind her and the supplies she was bringing were unharmed by the rocket. Kinneret was able to get the supplies to the family and said she “felt that there was something watching over me [that day].”
Despite being given instructions to immediately go to the nearest bomb shelter if the alarm was raised, Kinneret kept her promise to the family.
Kinneret is one of two Israeli soldiers who spoke at the UA Hillel Foundation about her experiences in the Israel Defense Forces Tuesday evening. For security reasons, the speakers were only identified using their first names.
Kinneret is no longer a soldier in the IDF, but she served as an enlisted soldier in the educational corps and served during the second Lebanon War in 2006, she said.
During the war, Kinneret helped supply Israeli civilians with food and other essentials in areas that were regularly subjected to enemy rocket attacks.
Adam, the second soldier, took the stage after Kinneret.
Adam is a current officer in the IDF, who works as liaison in the military with the Palestinians in Palestinian territories, he said.
Adam stressed that many Israelis do not view Palestinians as their enemy.
“There are terror groups, and there are normal Palestinians who are just our neighbors that maybe someday will be our partners for peace,” Adam said.
Kinneret and Adam are part of StandWithUs, a pro-Israeli, non-profit group that is based out of the United States with offices in other countries as well, according Jennifer Halperin, West Coast campus coordinator for StandWithUs.
The two are on the West Coast tour, which will conclude March 1 after speaking in Arizona, Colorado and California.
“I want them to share their stories and experiences with U.S. students to share the knowledge,” said Shani Kna’ani, UA Hillel Foundation Israel Fellow. “Because a big problem of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the lack of information the lack of knowledge, the people just hear biased stories from different sides and not really get into details.”
Audience members were able to participate in a question and answer session at the end of the event.
“We are optimistic [about peace], that is all we can be,” Kinneret said.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted Adam saying, “There are terror groups and normal Palestinians that are our neighbors,” changing the speaker’s intended message. The quote has been replaced with what Adam actually said at the event.