“On 2 June 2016 we were honoured to attend the Golani tekes (swearing in ceremony) at the kotel for our lone solider son. A truly moving experience and one we will never forget.

We travelled 2,500 miles from London to be there to support him. Myself, my husband and our older son together with my elderly parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece and several of my husbands Israeli family all went to watch him and 500 other soldiers swear into the Golani brigade and receive their guns.

We couldn’t be prouder of our chayal Boded and the incredible kindness of the Israeli people has overwhelmed us. As soon as they hear your son is a lone soldier they fall over themselves to help him…. from the staff in our hotel who all wanted to give him their phone number so he could call them if he ever needed anything, to the taxi driver who insisted he go to his family for dinner on Shavuot and wanted to pick him up and drop him home afterwards.

As we left at the end of the ceremony and the crowd was beginning to disperse, we could hear the Muslim call to prayer from the Al Aqsa mosque. A poignant reminder of the fact that Israel isn’t an apartheid state like so many outsiders like to accuse it of being!”