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Former Israeli Soldier Turned Peace Activist Tells Story About Rifles, Rabbits and Occupat

Former Israeli Soldier Turned Peace Activist Tells Story About Rifles, Rabbits and Occupation

Excerpt of speech by Yaniv Reshef, member of Combatants for Peace, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus
Former Israeli Soldier Turned Peace Activist Tells Story About Rifles, Rabbits and Occupation

Excerpt of speech by Yaniv Reshef, member of Combatants for Peace, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus

On March 16, two members of Combatants for Peace -- an Israeli and a Palestinian -- spoke at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., as part of their Northeast speaking tour. The group was founded in 2005 by four former Palestinian resistance fighters and seven Israelis who had served as soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces. The group had to overcome great fear and suspicion as they began meeting with each other, but they were drawn together by the belief that more violence and revenge killings are not the way to achieve a peaceful, just resolution of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Combatants for Peace, which now has 600 members, calls for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and control of Gaza.

The Israeli speaker, Yaniv Reshef, served in an elite military sabotage unit whose members were known as "Golani." He now lives in a village near the Israeli town of Sderot, which is often hit by crude missiles fired from Gaza. Reshef acknowledges that the Israeli occupation in which he participated was brutal, but said it pales in comparison with Israel's recent invasion of Gaza, in which over 1,200 Palestinians were killed, including more than 400 children.

At the end of his talk, Reshef told the a story about his unexpected encounter with a Palestinian family in Gaza during the first intifada, or Palestinian rebellion, which lasted from 1987 to 1993.

For more information, visit Combatants for Peace's website at www.combatantsforpeace.org. Or visit www.RebuildingAlliance.org or call (650)325-4663 for information on the sponsor of the speaking tour.

Related links:

* ElectronicIntifada.net at www.electronicintifada.net

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