Last month, StandWithUs sponsored a 25-city national tour of IDF soldiers to college campuses, high schools and communities. Disturbed by misinformation and propaganda about the IDF, these young reservists volunteered for Israeli Soldiers Speak Out (ISSO) to inform Americans about their real-life experiences and about Israel.
Yet David Sable (“IDF Soldiers On Campus,” Letters, Nov. 12) criticizes the tour, misrepresents it and misinforms readers.
Sable is correct that soldiers should not be deployed with poor intelligence and ammunition, but these soldiers were fully briefed about the often hostile campus climate, and their ammunition was a calm presentation of the facts they knew firsthand.
Yes, some Americans oppose Israel’s policies, but that is often because their information comes only from anti-Israel student activists or inaccurate headlines and articles — the very reason for the tour. What is objectionable about presenting a fuller perspective? The soldiers did not claim the situation was black-and-white or tell audiences what to think. They urged listeners not to simply believe them, but to do more research before forming opinions.
Sable implies the soldiers omitted information about IDF wrongdoing, but they did talk about Israel’s prosecution of individual soldiers and officers who violate government and IDF standards. He belittles the soldiers’ positive impact on an Egyptian student, asserting — with no proof or logic — that the soldiers probably have negative stereotypes of Egyptians. Sable complains that the tour has us only “talking to ourselves,” but the soldiers spoke to a wide array of Jewish and non-Jewish audiences and media across the U.S. He assumes StandWithUs considers support for Palestinian rights to be anti-Israel, but we have never made such a claim and staunchly support rights for both sides and peaceful coexistence.