The tranquil lives of many were shaken to the core following a savage attack at a music festival that witnessed the cold-blooded murder of innocent revelers by Hamas militants. Among those affected was Mai Gutman, a 28-year-old Australian-Israeli, who was supposed to attend the doomed festival. Some of her friends who were at the festival were shot and killed, a horrifying reality that has now propelled Gutman to take a stand. In a stirring resolve, she has pledged to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to combat Hamas on the front line, trading the relative safety and normalcy of her life in Australia for the perilous yet duty-bound call to defend Israel.
Australian-Israeli girl, Mai Gutman is part of a small but staunch group of young Australians whose Israeli roots have propelled them towards a path of defending their ancestral land. Like Mai, an 18-year-old Australian-Israeli, who felt a deeper connection to Israel due to her family lineage and chose to join the IDF, Gutman too, feels an indomitable pull towards safeguarding the State of Israel from terrorist threats.
Mai Gutman’s resolve to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) emanates from a “moral imperative” she feels, driven by the harrowing loss she experienced when her friends were ruthlessly killed by Hamas militants at a music festival. As tensions escalate in Israel, she stands ready, her “bags are packed” awaiting the call to duty, unyielding in the face of fear that might have surfaced had she allowed herself the “luxury” to fully internalize the grim reality around. Gutman states, despite the inherent dangers, now is not the time to “sit down and be scared and have a cry,” but to act decisively should the conflict intensify, especially in the north, embodying a spirit of unyielding duty amidst a tumultuous and perilous backdrop.
Gutman, a multi-faceted individual, is the Country Coordinator at Beyond Israel and has been an active Hebrew Teacher. Her profile also includes the noteworthy roles of Israel Advocate, International Relations Graduate, ZLA Fellow, and a member of the Jewish Advocacy Leadership (JAL) Corps. Her tenure on the AJC Campus Global Board for 2023-2024 showcases her enduring commitment to advocacy and international discourse.
While she’s not Australian pop-star, her musical journey seems to have a modest beginning with a performance titled “Don Juan” during her Year 10 at Mount Scopus College, her advocacy for Israel and her recent pledge to join the IDF has thrust her into a limelight of a different kind. Her Twitter feed reveals a conscientious individual deeply affected by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, especially the loss of civilian lives, showcasing a profound understanding and empathy towards the complex geopolitical issues plaguing the region.
Gutman’s decision to join the IDF is emblematic of a larger narrative of young individuals feeling a profound sense of duty towards their ancestral lands, transcending geographical boundaries to stand against terrorism. As she gears up to transition from the classroom to the rugged terrains of the combat zone, the global community watches with a blend of admiration and concern, resonating with her indomitable spirit to fight against the forces of terror. This bold step embarks on a journey of self-discovery, patriotism, and an unwavering resolve to stand against the forces threatening peace and stability in Israel.