More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

It’s My Duty to Defend My Country

Meet Sgt. Yossef Saluta, a Muslim Arab and one of a small but growing number of Arab Israelis willing to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Yossef admits he is defying tradition and often gets a lot of criticism from fellow Arab Israelis but he wants to protect the country where he lives.

“This my country and it’s my duty to protect its borders. When I told my family they backed me up.”

Now meet ‘Captain Ella’ as is she popularly known, even internationally.

Ella Waweya

Ella Waweya was the first Muslim Arab woman to become a major in the Israel Defense Forces.

She also has the distinction of being an army officer who has received both the President’s Award of Excellence and also from the Minister of Defense.

“When I was growing up I wanted to be a journalist, to show everybody that the State of Israel was not the way Al Jazeera was showing it.”

Ella decided to join the army and after serving for about 18 months sent a picture of herself in army uniform to her brother. He was shocked, but impressed.

“I’ll be with you, but don’t tell anyone,” he told her.

In 2013 Colonel Ghassan Alian was appointed Commander of the Golani Brigade, the first Druze soldier to have attained such an honorable rank.

Col Ghassan has dedicated to life to defending Israel and all its citizens. He has instilled a great sense of motivation to all his soldiers with his bravery.

During Operation Protective Edge, the Gaza War in 2014, the Golani Brigade encountered heavy fighting and he was seriously wounded while fighting with his Battalion.

After being hospitalized and later discharged he demanded to be returned to fight with his soldiers.


What is appropriate in these few examples is the sense of duty that many Arab Israelis recognize when it comes to defending the country in which they live.

What’s even more significant it appears a growing number of Israeli Arabs are prepared to fight for their country.

When duty demands, the spirit is willing.

Lloyd Masel made aliyah from Perth, Australia in 1999. He had been active in Zionist Federation programs in Australia, and was the Conductor and soloist of the Perth Hebrew Congregation male choir for 30 years.

Scroll to Top