© 2019 / Combatants for  Peace

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Roni’s path to CFP wasn’t taken for granted in any way. Nothing in his personal background prepared him for it: not the euphoria he grew into after the 67’ war; not his days as a kid in the Beitar movement in Jerusalem; and not his participation in pro-settlement rallies as a young right-wing supporter.

This path certainly wasn’t clear during the days of the Likud’s coming-to-power in 77’, in the middle of his military service. On the contrary. This development only reinforced his opinion that the Palestinians will eventually give up and come to terms with the situation, or just go away.

His service in the police’s “minority division” and later his 11-year service in the ISA, are also not part of the “ordinary path”, and still, Roni found himself taking an active part in CFP.

It was a complicated process. The first flashes were when he encountered terrorists in the first Intifada. Just then, as an ISA serviceman, for a moment, those Palestinians looked to him like the Etzel and Lehi heroes fighting against the British occupation, dreaming about their own state. Only this time, He was the occupier.

The second turning point was in a family root trip to Romania, where his parents fled from during WWII. trying to visit his parents’ house and encountering hostile neighbors, brought up a post-67’ childhood memory: just as they knocked on the door of the house in Romania, a couple of Palestinians knocked on the door of the grand Arabic house he lived in with his family in Jerusalem and asked to see the house they once lived in. The similarity between the two situations was troubling him.

The final turn came when he came back from a 7-year stay abroad, in 2007. Just then, when he was disconnected from the specific reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he endorsed the fact that other nations fought each other - and ceased to do so. The pictures of occupation viewed from the screen when he came back, as well as accidental moments of solidarity, moved him. More than anything, the acknowledgement that his son is about to be drafted, and he will be the one holding the club this time,  burdened him.

From there, the way to CFP was short. And since then he is here, loving the “Do Gooder” nickname that has become a bad word in Israel, and proud to be an Israeli patriot in his own way.

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