Eli Avidor 

Tel Aviv - Yaffo
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
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Personal stories of Palestinians and Israelis who had been a part of the violence or witness to it. Yet they all made the choice to walk the path of non-violent activism and partnership.
Personal stories of Palestinians and Israelis who had been a part of the violence or witness to it. Yet they all made the choice to walk the path of non-violent activism and partnership.