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Injured Israeli Reservists Join Jerusalem Marathon, Share What They Wish the World Knew About the War

Sheizaf answered Foster’s question by saying he had recently been asked by a writer from France how he felt about not being able to spend his time “as a young person should,” vacationing, drinking and smoking. The soldier first noted that he does not really drink or smoke because he is a runner and then added, “I think that the reason that we’re fighting is to enable those things and to protect our right and our ability to sustain normal life.”

“I think [Hamas], they are threatening the Western democratic world…so my personal feeling is that this fight is for those values,” he said, “not only for the people.”

Foster followed up by asking the men if their views on Hamas had changed from what they were before this war started. 

“I had this feeling that maybe Hamas is busy running a country,” said Sheizaf, “building a state and [caring] a little less about killing Jews.” Oct. 7, however, “exposed in our faces” the truth. 

He emphasized that the way Israel is portrayed in the media does not impact soldiers’ determination to defend their country but did say that the “dissonance” was “depressing.”

Sheizaf shared a story of when his company was fighting in the Gaza Strip at 3 a.m. and a man suddenly appeared in front of one of their tents. “It’s a very, very dangerous and frightening situation,” he said, “because if someone comes so close, the protocol is to shoot them because they’re probably a threat.”

However, one of his friends “was sharp enough to realize” that the man was carrying a young child and that the two were freezing and needed food and water. “I’m very proud of my friends who realized the situation,” Sheizaf said. Another soldier from his company gave the stranger his personal sleeping bag, which is significant because “you’re in a war zone. It’s not that you’re going to have another one.”

Contrasting this incident with “stories like the one in the Indonesian hospital,” Sheizaf said, “I’m feeling very proud about my guys who are able to be human enough to act this way [in] the middle of the night when it’s really frightening.”