Rank and File

Lone Soldiers Find Family in Immigrant Strangers

Several lone soldier associations founded by English-speaking immigrants have teamed up to show their appreciation for soldiers in the Israeli army.

Not so alone: Several lone soldier associations founded by English-speaking immigrants have teamed up to show their appreciation for soldiers in the Israeli army who do not have close family in the country and have been fighting during Operation Protective Edge. Across the country, Mega supermarkets have placed posters in their stores asking children to draw pictures and write cards for the lone soldiers. The pictures and cards are to be collected and put in an envelope with a gift voucher. Then Telfed, the association supporting immigrants from southern Africa, will work with the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center, Habayit Shel Benji, Bayit Cham and Beit Kobi, all groups founded by English-speaking immigrants, to distribute the envelopes to 1,000 lone soldiers nationwide. “It was clear from Operation Protective Edge that lone soldiers deserved a special show of gratitude,” said Telfed’s Dorron Kline.

Keeping in touch: Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp visited Sderot and communities in the Eshkol regional council, near Israel’s border with Gaza, last Thursday. At the Neve Eshkol elderly care center, the ambassador to Israel met several Dutch citizens living in the region to learn about their personal experiences during the rocket fire this summer. Irene van Stegeren, who is originally from the Dutch town of Heemstede and is married to an Israeli, organized the meeting. Veldkamp also visited a farm and camping ground in Sde Zvi, owned by another Dutch-Israeli couple, Uzi and Tamar Manor. “It is important to hear directly from people who are experiencing these threats,” said the ambassador. “I will continue to be in touch with the Dutch community living in the region.”

The green handler: When Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas founder Hassan Yousef, became Israel’s top informer in the West Bank, it’s unlikely that becoming a celebrity was foremost on his mind. All the same, the dramatic odyssey that ultimately led him to seek asylum in California emerged in the media in 2010, and his subsequent autobiography, “Son of Hamas,” has since been turned into an award-winning documentary. On Tuesday, English speakers in Tel Aviv will have an opportunity to see “The Green Prince,” which won the world documentary prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and meet with Gonen Ben Itzhak, the Shin Bet operative who handled Yousef. The screening is an initiative of Young Patrons of the Arts Celebrating Israeli Creative Culture, in partnership with the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality. Young professionals can reserve their spot by going to TelAvivArtsGreenPrince.eventbrite.com

Rank and File was compiled
 by Steven Klein.

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