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January 10, 2003 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Uniform Worn Proudly

Israeli soldier recovers from Hamas attack to tell
her optimistic story of peace to American Jews.

our supporters. The hotels are empty.
I don't think it's right that they don't
Special to the Jewish News
come, but I don't judge them. I
understand them. Israelis are a strong
ast Feb. 10 — 16 months
people. We go out. We keep on living.
into the latest Palestinian
But we always think about it. We are
uprising — Yifat Ouazen, a
not naive.
21-year-old Israeli army lieu-
"If we want to win this war, we
tenant, was having lunch with four oth-
need
to be united," she continued.
ers at an outdoor cafe in the southern
"We
need
the Jews from all over the
Israeli city of Beersheva. The five
world.
Israel
is the home for all of us,
woman, in uniform but unarmed, were
not
just
those
who live there. In a way,
attending a conference at a nearby
if people don't come to Israel,
army base for their jobs doing edu-
they [Arabs] win, and I don't
cational and cultural work with
°
want
them to win so easily."
immigrants drafted into the army.
What
Ouazen hopes to "win" is.
Suddenly, shots rang out
a
future
of peace and coexistence.
behind her, she recalled, and peo-
"My
moshav
is very close to the
ple began to scream and scatter.
Arab territories and many Israeli
Ouazen dove under the table,
Arab villages. I had Arab friends.
but it offered little protection as
We used to be together. I want
the shooting continued. "I got
peace to come. I want to try to
behind a car and then I realized I
live with them together. We have
was bleeding," she said. "I lifted
all lost in this war."
the shirt of my uniform and saw I
Ouazen's talk at the JCC was
had a hole in my stomach.
attended by about 75 people, the
"I was lucky. The bullet
majority from Temple Emanu-El's
stopped a centimeter from my
religious school. Rachel Frank, a
heart. They killed two of my
senior
at Southgate Anderson
friends, Keren and Aya."
High
School,
was among them.
Lt. Keren Rothstein of
"Yifat's
strength
is amazing. I
Ashkelon was 20 years old; Cpl.
know
I
could
never
endure what
Aya Malachi of Moshav Ein
she did," Frank said.
Habeso was 18. The Palestinian
Yifat Ouazen
"She totally changed my view. I
terrorist group Hamas claimed
couldn't
understand why everyone
responsibility for the attack.
was
fighting
so hard. The death toll is
brought
her
to
Detroit.
"Of the five of us sitting at the same
just
so
high.
I thought it might be
"I
said
if
I
survive,
and
God
doesn't
table — two were killed and three -
best
to
just
leave
the country. But the
want
me
to
be
with
him
now,
I
need
were wounded," Ouazen said, careful
emotion
she
had,
and how optimistic
to
do
a
mission
for
Israel.
I
wouldn't
to mention her friends' names clearly.
she is about the future of the country,
let a terrorist decide when I took my
"My best friend, Hila, spent two
showed why everyone fights so hard.
uniform off. I would decide that," she
weeks in a coma. The doctors said she
She knows the people on both sides
said. "I think it was the best recovery."
wouldn't survive, but she did." Shot
want
peace, and they will get it.
five times, Hila now is confined to a
"The
attacks in the United States
wheelchair.
Standing
Together
brought
a connection," Frank said.
Ouazen is on a speaking tour of the
"We
finally
see after just one large
Ouazen's
visit
to
the
United
States
is
a
United States sponsored by the Jewish
incident. They have incidents every
classic example of the way exchanges
National Fund. She told her story at
day. It helps me to relate to Israel."
between Israelis and American Jews
Yeshivat Akiva in Southfield and at
It is that vision of peace that sus-
the Jewish Community Center in Oak strengthen both communities.
tains
both young women.
"In
Israel,
we
feel
alone.
I
am
Park on Dec. 16. A scheduled talk at
"I
love
my country," said Ouazen.
amazed
at
the
support
for
Israel
here,"
the Jewish Academy of Metropolitan
"I'm
going
to raise my family in Israel.
Ouazen
said.
"When
I
go
back,
I
want
Detroit in West Bloomfield had to be
It
will
get
better.
It's going to take a
to
say
this
to
the
Israeli
people.
canceled because of fatigue, which still
long time, but it will." ❑
"In Israel, we don't see the faces of
plagues her.

DON COHEN

L

Bedridden for five months following
the attack, Ouazen had a lot of time
to reflect on what happened and on
her future. With the support of her
four sisters and her mother, who had
to quit her job to tend to Yifat's needs,
she steadily recovered. Her positive
attitude and inner strength, readily
apparent to those who meet her, have
sustained her as she re-enlisted for five
months and then embarked on the
six-week speaking tour for JNF that

Remember
When

From the pages of the Jewish News for
_ this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60
years ago.

MIIIIIM111111111111111111111

Temple Beth El's Married Group
marks its 40th anniversary with a
special Shabbat service "Families
through the Generations."

Mill111111111111111=111
America's last Yiddish daily, the
Jewish Daily Forward, which began
publication in 1897, will from now
on be published as a weekly.
Among the 63 persons awarded the
Order of Canada, four were Jews: A.
Alan Borovy, Allan Gotlieb, Marjorie
Blankstein and Dr. William Feindel.

Israel's president Shneur Zalman
Shazar met with President Richard
Nixon in the White House.
Detroiter Marguerite Kozenn
Chajes was invited to view an exhib-
it of bibles at the Vatican Library.

001111110111.111111111.111
Nine Jews were sentenced to death
and 10 others were given prison terms
in two mass trials in the Ukraine for
alleged "economic crimes."
Morris Alexander, chairman of
the B'nai B'rith International
Commission for Israel, will be guest
speaker at the local B'nai B'rith
Israel Bond leadership dinner.

Sinai Hospital of Detroit is official-
ly opened when Nate S. Shapero,
chairman of the building commit-
tee, cuts the ribbon at the entrance
to the hospital with Max Osnos,
president of the hospital, and Dr.
Julian Priver, hospital director,
watching the proceedings.

. „
B'nai B'rith marks 100 years of service.
Upon the passing of Joseph
Wetsman, a Detroit leader in the
Zionist Organization of America
and Congregation Shaarey Zedek,
his family establishes a memorial
loan fund with the Hebrew Free
Loan Association.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El

4111

1/10
2003

27

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