Mexicans Serving in the Israeli Defense Forces

The narrative that México is a backwards nation that takes and never gives back to the rest of the world has been magnified by Donald Trump’s continuous assault against México. We, as Mexicans, have allowed this false narrative to develop because we do not set the record straight when confronted by the falsehoods perpetuated by México haters across the globe.

The fact is that México is a vibrant modern country who participates in global affairs. México comes to the aid of its neighbors, including the United States (Katrina Hurricane), for disaster relief efforts. Mexican donate to those in need. Mexicans can be found all over the world contributing to their adopted countries in many ways. Many Mexicans serve in the armed forces of their adopted countries, including the United States.

But the narrative persists that Mexicans are lazy, corrupt and unwilling to contribute positively to the world order. This is because Mexicans quietly go about their lives contributing while not seeking attention from those around them. We are found in many places and yet the loudest narrative is that we are parasites taking and never giving back.

As Mexicans we need to clear the record and correct the false narrative. Today, I’d like to point out two Mexicans that are serving to protect the Jewish State from those who wish to attack it. One, Mexican gave his life serving Israel.

Captain Yishai Rosales

On January 7, 2016, Cpt. Yishai Rosales was laid to rest at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. About a thousand mourners attended the burial after Rosales’ family invited the public to attend. The family explained that they had few family members in Israel and therefore invited the community to mourn with them. Many of those who responded to the call to witness the funeral were Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers in military gear.

They were there to pay respects to a fellow soldier. Twenty-three-year-old Yishai Rosales had immigrated to Israel from México a few years earlier. Rosales was serving in Israel’s Haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion when he was killed in a training exercise. [1]

Sgt. Yaakov Mizrahi

Twenty-seven-year-old Sgt. Yaakov Mizrahi is on his second military tour, now serving with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), after serving six years in the Mexican Navy. According to the Charisma News, Mizrahi was motivated to join the IDF because of his uncle who had volunteered, as a pilot for Squadron 201 and fought in World War II as part of México’s Expeditionary Force.

Sgt. Mizrahi told the news outlet that he wanted to contribute to Israel after having immigrated there from México.

Many are likely surprised to learn that there are Mexican Jews and even more surprised to learn that Mexicans serve the Jewish State by joining its defense force. This is because the negative narrative about México dominates the conversation.

Both Sgt. Yaakov Mizrahi and Cpt. Yishai Rosales exemplify the reality about Mexicans. The narrative may be negative but the reality is that México and Mexicans are active contributors on the world stage.

Sources:

1. The Times of Israel; “1,000 pay respects to IDF officer, an immigrant from Mexico, killed in accident”; January 7, 2016.
2. Livnat, Yael; “An Unusual Path: From the Mexican Navy to Kfir Brigade”; Charisma News; January 24, 2013

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