Mar 20 2013
“My father is a Muslim. My mother is a Christian. And I am a proud Israeli soldier” —Sgt. Rima Baboo
The Israeli Army’s monthly magazine, B’Machaneh, recently profiled Sgt. Rima Baboo, an Israeli Arab woman with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. As an Arab, Baboo was not required to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), but she felt that volunteering to do so would help her find herself.
Israel Today (h/t Frederic F) Baboo said that her dual-religious upbringing left her feeling that she was “living a double life” and that she didn’t truly “have a place.”
“I knew I would find my identity in the army,” said the young sergeant. “I wanted to wear the uniform of the IDF, to be like everyone else and fit in better. Today I know that I was right all along. It’s not that all my problems have been solved or that my family tree has changed, but now I have a better sense of who I am and I’m not ashamed of where I come from.”
In what can be seen as a rebuke of all those accusations that Israel imposes apartheid on local Arabs, Baboo stated that she “feels just as Israeli as anybody else.” (What is that we keep hearing, ad nauseum, about “Israeli Apartheid?”)