The unusual story of 19-year-old Yasmine Haik begins in Acre. She is an Arab Christian woman and was raised to celebrate Christian holidays, but she decided to enter the IDF and enlist. Although she is not obligated to serve, she decided to put on a uniform and completed an officers training course at Training Base 1, making her one of the few Arab Christians to finish this track. In the end of July, she will be placed as one of the liaison officers for reservists.
Although Haik lived in an Arab environment, she was educated with Jews. She went to a Jewish kindergarten, a Jewish elementary school, and a military boarding school. “My parents told me that it is the right way to be brought up and like that, all my friends are Jewish. It’s not weird for me because I am equal,” she told a local newspaper. “I am not a traitor. One needs to contribute to where they are. You also have obligations that are beyond the rights of the country.”
She speaks Hebrew with no Arabic accent and the military occupies most of her schedule: “When I walk down the street in a uniform, people come to me and say ‘well done,’ which does make me really proud, for in Acre I never received hostile reactions.”
There were soldiers that served with her and were surprised by her decision to serve, even though it wasn’t required of her. There are those who asked the same question and stated it was weird, but she explained to them that the reason for her decision was to contribute to the country regardless which religion one belongs to. “Arabs can certainly fit into the army,” Haik emphasized.
“Arabs have all the conditions to serve and they will be supported and reinforced as equals. Soldiers enlist and it does not matter if he is Arab or Jewish in order to get security clearance. I don’t think that we need to rule out any soldier now due to suspicions because he is Arab,” she said.