Tuly Flint 

Ramat Gan

My name is Tuly (Amit) Flint. I was born in 1967 in post-Six-Day-War-Jerusalem. At
the age of 3, my parents and I moved to Holon, where I grew up until I was 14 years
old. After that, I moved to the Negev, studying at Midreshet Gurion, an ecology-
focused boarding school. At the same time, my family decided to move to the West
Bank “to build a village”, as they called it; but practically, it was a settlement called
Sha'arei Tikva.
 
Those were the days of peace with Egypt, Israel was turning Sinai back to the
Egyptians, and I remember myself asking them if they didn’t fear being uprooted.
I guess I was an optimist.

I worked alongside Palestinians in building the settlement: I was a high-school
student from the Negev trying to earn some money, and they were residents of the
nearby villages (Azzun-Atma, Beit Amin, Khares and other villages), trying to make a
living. Through work, I got to know them and their families.

When I was 18, I worked for about six months as a tour guide at the Ma'aleh Efraim
Field School. I knew the Nablus area and the villages around it. These
acquaintances made me think that maybe we could live together in the occupation
as it is.

I thought it was all right.

Those were the years of the first Lebanon War and all my friends went into combat
service. Naturally, as an Israeli-Jewish-Zionist, I wanted to contribute as much as
possible and joined the Golani Brigade, an infantry combat brigade. I went to the
paramedics' course and was a company medic. I fought and treated the casualties
on both sides. I went to an officers' course and returned to Golani as a young officer.

During the first Intifada I was a platoon commander in Gaza. I received the order to
"break hands and feet" which I’m glad to say I did not to follow, but I know of others
who did.

I saw it with my own eyes, and did other things that I am ashamed of today.
I decided to stay in the army because I had an educational vision – I wanted to
influence from within, so that things would be done humanely. I had been in the
Occupied Territories many times and I had done everything that was required of me –
arrests, roadblocks, and house demolitions in a way that I thought was humane and
easier for the population. I believed in an "enlightened occupation".
I was wrong.

By the end of my service, I was a company commander and commanded 110
soldiers, in Lebanon, in the Occupied Territories and in Gaza. I finished my service,
and studied a Bachelor’s of Social Work and a Masters in clinical practice. I began to
focus on treating trauma and post-trauma, mainly in the context of war and terror. In
the reserves I advanced in rank and during the Second Lebanon War I was already a
deputy battalion commander and later a lieutenant colonel. I commanded 700
soldiers. I finished my role as a battalion commander and moved on to serve as a
therapist.


The 2014 war in Gaza, a.k.a. Operation Protective Edge, shocked me. I saw up
close the suffering of the soldiers and the Palestinians.

I re-discovered what I had known long ago: the eyes and gaze of the trauma victims
are the same eyes and gaze on both sides. Broken eyes asking, and now what?I
met soldiers with Moral Injury for whom I had no answers.There was not an
individual event that pushed me to be an activist for equality and peace – it was a
continuum of unnecessary suffering on both sides.

I joinedCombatants for Peace about two years ago. Currently, I am the Israeli
coordinator for the Tel Aviv-Qalqilya group and soon I will become the Israeli
General Coordinator for the movement.

Working with Palestinian fighters is healing my heart. For me, the movement is a
bridge between being a fighter and being a man of equality and peace.

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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.