Meet Israel’s secret weapon against terrorism, code named “Mona Lisa.”
Not only is Mona Lisa an effective weapon against Arab anti-Israel terrorism, she is also one of the most effective weapons in the Israeli arsenal against the guttersnipes screaming about “Israeli Apartheid.”
Let us sit back and watch in amusement as Hitlerjugend from the “Boycott and Divest from Israel” movement and their fellow travelers try to cope with our Mona.
There are two critical things you need to know about this new secret weapon. The first is that Mona Lisa is the real name of an Israeli woman combat soldier. At her parents’ suggestion, she writes it as a single word, Monalisa.
The second thing you need to know is that she is an Arab.
Monalisa Abdo is a nineteen-year-old combat soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. She serves in one of Israel’s elite anti-terror units. Moreover, she wears the legendary red army boots that only Israel’s most elite fighting units wear, the Israeli equivalents of the American SEALS and Green Berets.
Monalisa grew up in Haifa. Most Israeli Arabs are not conscripted into the Israeli military but may volunteer if they wish to serve. Some do so out of patriotism and loyalty to the state, and some do so because of the career benefits and training that will help them later in the workplace. Monalisa is clearly among the former. Her story and an interview with her appeared in the December issue of Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
She described the nasty comments some Arabs made to her and her family members when she signed up. She dismisses them. And her parents are squarely behind her.
“Israeli Arabs need to serve in the Israeli military,” she said, “to give to the country and not just take.”
Israel is their country too and they need to serve it, she believes. And military service is beneficial for those who serve, she added, teaching them discipline and responsibility. Monalisa’s older sister Michelin, age 21, has also decided to enlist and will start her service in a few days – in the same unit as Mona.
Monalisa not only asked to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces but signed up for an elite combat unit named Karkel, in which both men and women serve side by side on the front lines.
Karkel is the name of a wild desert cat that lives in Israel’s south. The unit is stationed in the Arava desert close to the border with Egypt. Hunting down terrorist infiltrators is its specialty.
She described her first day in uniform, when she was being outfitted with equipment and fatigues. The orderlies gave her the ordinary black combat boots that non-elite soldiers wear.
“You gave me the wrong boots,” she insisted. “I demand the red combat boots.” And she got them. She says that when she first put them on she felt like a super model. (And while old men like myself are not supposed to notice such things, from her photo it is clear she really could pass for a model if she decided to pursue that avenue instead of military service.)
Since starting her tour of duty, she has taken the non-commissioned officer training course and is already a NCO. She was asked in the interview how she gets along with Jewish women soldiers.
“There are no differences among us,” she replied. “We support and help one another.”
About her name – where did it come from?
“My father wanted me to always walk with pride with my head erect, and it had just that effect upon me,” she explained.
Come to think of it, maybe we have here the most effect countermeasure yet against the Western campus bashers of Israel, the anti-Semitic professors, and the jihadi wannabes holding their anti-Israel protests and whining about Israeli “apartheid.”
In reality, of course, Israel is the only Middle East state that is not an apartheid regime. Maybe Israel should let loose Monalisa, her sister Michelin, and the rest of the red-booted fighting tigresses and invite them to apply those boots to some anti-Israel protesters’ posteriors – with extreme prejudice.
Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.