Company C: An American's Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Company C is an honest and evocative story told by Haim Watzman, an American, who immigrated to Israel to become a writer and translator. Drawn to Judaism through books, and not Zionism, Watzman began to evolve and define himself as a Jew who wanted to move to Israel. After settling there, he was drafted into the army, and when his 18 months of compulsory service expired, he was assigned to a reserve infantry, Company C, where he spent almost 20 years of his life devoted to reserve service for at least one month every year. What makes Watzman’s story so unique and absorbing is that he is a religiously observant Jew who opposed Israel’s military presence and eventual settlement into occupied territories, but still served his country and continued with reserve duty despite his personal beliefs. Company C chronicles the everyday tales of military duty, as it involves the reader in the colorful cast of characters who make up military life, those who are religious or secular, gay or straight, all forming alliances through their duty to serve. An interesting and extremely informative book, this is an enjoyable read for those drawn to the novel Infiltration by the Israeli author Yehoshua Kenaz. Company C offers another window, from the point of view of an American serving in the army, and is an excellent book for those who enjoy reading first-hand accounts of military service in the Israeli army.