A new website launched by former IDF soldiers aims to connect discharged Israeli combat troops with the general population, with a particular focus on "Palestinians and the wider anti-Israel community."
The founders of Befriend a Soldier - Daniel Nisman, Yagil Beinglass and Joshua Mintz – said their goal is to foster a better and more transparent relationship between the Israeli military and the general public.
'Truly revolutionary.' Mintz (Photo: Aaron Black)
"The website allows people to engage with the discharged soldier of their choice and ask any question, with a pledge having been made by the site's participants to answer as best they can, regardless of how controversial the subject matter," Nisman says.
The three founders, all former Israeli combat soldiers, decided to launch the site after realizing that the image portrayed of the Israel Defense Forces was radically different from the image that they had of themselves and their comrades.
"It's a real problem for us that we are perceived so poorly. We know that the truth and the perception don't align at all, and we hope that this site will help to prove that," Nisman adds.
"It's a truly unique project; nowhere else can someone instantly open a correspondence with Israeli soldiers who will respond honestly and uniquely."
The website has been up and running for a few weeks now and, according to its founders, has generated traffic from all over the world, with correspondence coming in from the US, Europe and even Arab countries.
In the near future, the project will feature more and more soldiers from all segments of Israeli society, including female soldiers, new immigrants, and soldiers from the Arab sector.
"We have very high hopes for this project. We really believe that we can reach a significant number of people and provide them with unique access," says Beinglass.
"Absolutely," says Mintz, "The uniqueness of this cannot be overstated, it's truly revolutionary."
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