Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tsafrir Ronen z'l, the Pride of Zionism & a Jewish Hero‏

Simply put, Tsafrir Ronen was the most passionate Zionist I have ever met. Tsafrir's life mission was to protect and defend all of the Land and People of Israel; especially, in the vulnerable Jewish heartland of Judea & Samaria. He did this, in part, by exposing the insidious Arab campaign of lies and deception intended to falsely de-legitimize and ultimately destroy Eretz Yisrael.. I was introduced to Tsafrir Z'L in Israel in August, 2006 by a mutual friend and fellow activist. Some introduction – we spent the next eleven hours together, driving south from Tel Aviv to the many places where the past residents of Gush Katif were displaced after the 'Disengagement'. (Tsafrir had been a fierce and publicly vocal opponent of the Israeli Government's plan to expel 10,000 Jews from their homes, synagogues, schools, communities and livelihoods in Gaza and northern Samaria, and, unlike most mainstream Jewish leaders in America and Israel, he did not neglect our fellow Jews once the senseless destruction had been executed…rather, he embraced their cause as his own.) Tsafrir's true Zionistic and Jewish spirit glowed in pride as we witnessed the re-birth of a Gush Katif organic vegetable greenhouse farm far from its former home, just one year after the 'Disengagement', and, despite it. The long day was topped off by watching the Gush Katif championship basketball game in Ashkelon, the first one held outside the beautiful, once-thriving communities of Gush Katif.

A few days later I went with Tsafrir to the Lebanese border and back, enjoying falafel in Afula, seeing the devastating aftermath of Hezbollah missiles in Kiryat Shmona and meeting his brother, Gil – a member of the Israel active reserves – along with some of his fellow reservists. At the beginning of our adventure, I was immediately struck by Tsafrir's honesty, sincerity and exuberance for life. Of course, his favorite topic of conversation was his Homeland. Tsafrir was extremely knowledgeable about ancient and modern Israel, and spoke about the Jewish State with love and tremendous passion – similar to the manner in which a devoted son talks about his parents. If only the leaders and media in Israel expressed such devotion and pride for their Homeland!

Tsafrir was an activist par excellence who reached out across religious lines and commanded the respect, love and support of the secular and ultra-Orthodox communities, alike. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his fellow Jews whose civil rights had been violated or were threatened.

For the past seven months, Tsafrir had been working on the fulfillment of one of his dreams – the production of a documentary that would 'expose' the truth about Palestine and the 'Palestinians'. Entitled, "Hadrian's Curse," the purpose of Tsafrir's far-reaching, critically-needed project may be explained in the following brief excerpts:

If Palestine is the name of the land, than Israelis are the occupiers.

If Eretz Israel is the name of the land, then the Arabs are the occupiers.

The fight for Israel is a fight for the identity of the land.

The identity of the land will determine who has the right to that land.

The accepted narrative in much of the world today is that Israel is an occupier of Arab land – that Israel stole the land from the Palestinians. But who are these Palestinians? If there are Palestinians, there must have been a Palestine somewhere. There never was. There is no such thing as a Palestinian. Palestine is the name of the land given to the Jewish people. The Arabs stole the name Palestine in order to accomplish their goal of eliminating the State of Israel.

Let us hope that Tsafrir's dream is soon experienced by citizens throughout Israel and that his work is then translated into all of the world's languages and aired in every country around the Globe.

I was extremely fortunate to get together with Tsafrir on several occasions in the United States, and I looked forward to each meeting. His spirit and optimism were contagious and always made me feel happy. In addition to speaking about Israel, Tsafrir spoke lovingly and often about Judy and his three daughters (even though I almost never got them right on the phone), and he was always quick to show me photos of them. Girls, you had one great Dad. And he was extremely proud of each of you!

Everyone who had the great fortune of brushing up against Tsafrir Ronen in his tragically-shortened, but oh-so-productive life was blessed to have known a modern Jewish hero and tzadik (righteous one). Tsafrir will be greatly missed, but his spirit and positive impact on Israel and the Jewish People will far outlive us all.

Buddy Macy

December 30, 2008

Ted Belman

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for this post. Tsafrir's work will continue, and it is our job to see fulfill it. His movie must get finished.