Israeli lecturer calls on Japanese to create peace without arms

A former Israeli soldier living in Japan has told an audience in a lecture in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo that people must work together to create peace without use of force.

A civic group in Abiko City invited Dani Nehushtai on Saturday to talk about war and peace. Nehushtai has lived in Japan for about 40 years and is a peace activist.

He said after graduating from a high school, he was conscripted into the Israeli Air Force for three years, during which time he felt proud to defend his country.

But he said after the Israeli military attacked the Gaza Strip in 2008, leading to many casualties including children, he came to the realization that peace cannot be achieved through force.

Nehushtai spoke about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas that broke out last year in which civilians are dying in airstrikes. He said that war can be stopped if everyone works together. He called on the audience members to speak out for peace as children are being victimized.

A college student said it was a valuable experience for him to hear about the current situation in Gaza and the background of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis from a person from Israel. He said that he has never experienced war, but said he wants to think about what is happening now without thinking that peace is a matter of course.