In 1910, my grandfather, Eliyahu Blumenfeld, donated his parents' inheritance to buy land in the Jezreel Valley. He bought a large plot of land in Moshav Merhavia, where he moved with my grandmother, Miriam Blumenfeld, who was the first doctor in the valley. My mother was born there and was witness to see the Turkish army parked in their yard as they fled the Allenby armies, to get malaria, and to see the British army helping the farmers fight the locust plague.
My father and mother took part in the establishment of the state - my mother as a teacher and volunteer in the British Army (ATS) in Egypt, and my father as an officer in the Jewish Brigade, and later as one of the founders of the IDF .
During the Yom Kippur War of 1973, I joined the 51st Battalion of the Golani Brigade, which went up to the Golan Heights in order to repel the Syrian offensive in the north. The enemy was far away and when I aimed to kill I did not see the person he was, but the bursts of bullets that passed by me and killed dozens of my comrades were very tangible. I was wounded, and three months of confinement to the hospital bed gave me time to think constantly about essence of war.
Despite the events I had experienced, I never felt hatred for the enemy beyond the sight of the rifle I was holding. We are all soldiers in the People's Army. It happened that we met at the front when each of us did the right thing to defend his homeland.
After studying in Israel I went out to the big world. Twenty years of living in North America have not dulled my strong connection to my native country. I returned to a divided country, to a country destroyed by the occupation.
The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony made me think that there was no point in returning to Israel if I did not join an activity aimed at bringing Israelis and Palestinians closer to solving the conflict.
I joined the Combatants for Peace. I have been active for three years now and now coordinate the center group. I spend much time in the occupied territories and support the Palestinian residents in their struggle against the injustices of the occupation.
The more I witness the suffering that the occupation and some of the settlers cause the Palestinians, the more I realize that true independence for the State of Israel will be attained only after real independence for the residents of the occupied territories has been achieved. As I defended my country in the battles of Mount Hermon during the Yom Kippur War, I defend it with peace fighters against the occupation together with Palestinians who believe in nonviolent resistance