3.04.2009

Israeli Military Officer Speaks to Law Students about Middle East

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan
For Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan, living in the Middle East's only democracy brings certain responsibilities.

"The first obligation of people in a democracy is to obey the commands of your government," he asserted. "That obligation comes with the privilege of living in a democracy."

Nitzan spoke to a group of Regent Law students, professors and other faculty and staff about the current situation in the Middle East, as well as answering questions about an upcoming study trip to Israel for Regent Law students. Nitzan served as tour guide for Regent Law's first study trip last year and said he is looking forward to hosting the students again.

"This is an exceptional tour," he said, as he enumerated many of the activities that students will be able to participate in. These include coursework at the Hebrew University, which ranks in the top 50 of the world's universities; observing a military court; visiting the Knesset and talking with members of the Israeli parliament; meeting an IsraeliSupreme Court justice; traveling to and gaining an understanding of the situation at Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria; and visiting a number of historic and religious sites.

"You'll be able to meet so many different people in different settings because Israel is a very informal place," he said.

Nitzan talked about security issues in Israel, especially in light of the recent military action in Gaza. He also shared his perspective on cultural differences between Israelis and Arabs, and between Israelis and visitors from the United States.

A graduate of the Hebrew University and a leading Israeli historian of both biblical and military sites, Nitzan served as a commander of a reconnaissance unit and received a commendation from the IDF Chief of Staff for his services to the State of Israel. He works closely with American Center for Law & Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and has escorted governors, political leaders, military experts, lawyers and others throughout Israel.

Besides answering questions about the upcoming trip, Nitzan also addressed the issues of Palestinian statehood, prospects for the new Israeli government, interaction between Israeli Arabs and Jews, the IDF's relocation of Israeli settlers from Gaza, and Israeli citizens opinions of the new U.S. presidential administration.

Regent Law's study program in Israel is May 15 — June 3, 2009. Learn more about the trip here