Ben Yeger served in the Nachal between 1983 and 1986 during the first Lebanon War. He is now the UK Rep of Combatants for Peace and has been a member in the movement since 2008.
Ben was born in England in 1964 to Jewish Parents yet was brought up with no awareness of Israel. In 1972 he moved from England to Israel where he grew up in Kibbutz Givat Haim Ichud. When the Yom Kippur war broke in 1973, as a 9 year old from London the idea that he had an enemy out there that wanted to kill him was planted.
In 1983 he volunteered to serve in the Paratroopers and spent most of his time in Lebanon. Towards the end of his service, his unit was tasked with going into a variety of villages to ‘flush out’ any remaining ‘Terrorists”. On one of these operations, he was tasked with guarding a man who was identified as suspicious. They were about to set off in a small van to take him away for questioning.
This man- sitting only 1.5 meters away from Ben had his head covered with a sack, his hands and legs cuffed, he was shivering with fear.
An officer turned to Ben and told him that he should shoot the man if he moved in a way that felt dangerous to Ben. Ben told the officer that if he were to shoot him he would undoubtedly kill also the driver who was right behind the man. The officer said- “I don’t care as long as he is dead”.
Looking back Ben realized that this was a pivotal moment, a wakeup call, he’d reached a bottom line and this moment was the beginning of a long healing journey. On his release from the army Ben left Israel as quickly as he could and returned to England.
In 2007 Ben had a chance meeting with Chen Alon, Co-Founder of CfP. This was the beginning of his journey as a peace activist.