Arieh O’Sullivan left South Mississippi in 1981 to join the Israeli army. He has made a life as a journalist and olive farmer in that country, but holds tight to his Southern heritage in ways that sometimes perplex his friends, co-workers and even his mother. On Wednesday, he further tightened his connection to the region of his birth by taking the oath of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at Beauvoir.
O’Sullivan, who holds dual American and Israeli citizenship, is proud of the service given by his great-great-grandfather, Alabama Calvary Lt. George A Johnson. In the oath administered by Wallace Mason of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, O’Sullivan pledged to uphold the traditions of faith in God; honor; chivalry and respect for womanhood; a passionate belief in freedom for the individual; and a military tradition of valor, patriotism, devotion to duty and a spirit of self-sacrifice.
O’Sullivan said there is an unconscious nationalistic soul many Jews carry with them that is similar to the camaraderie shared by Confederate descendants.
COURTESY ARIEH O’SULLIVAN Arieh O’Sullivan on a military parachute jump in 2005.
Gallery:Israeli-American joins Sons of Confederate Veterans
“I feel it flowing through me,” he said. “If you have a sense of history that you carry with you, you are enriched by it.”