Originally published in Arutz 7 – Israel National News: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8469
While every death deeply affects family and friends, few of those deaths can be described as a monumental loss for Zion. The passing of Tsafrir Ronen – a stalwart, non-intimidated defender of Zion – will surely register as such when the history of modern Israel is told in full.
As a former sayeret matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) commando, a prolific documentary filmmaker and a founder of the Nahalal Forum, to name a few of his accomplishments, Tsafrir was a totally devoted defender of the land and people of Israel. An individual with great vision and a sweeping understanding of Jewish history, he knew instinctively that the war being waged against Israel had many dimensions. As a warrior he understood well the military dynamics, but it was his visceral and incisive understanding of the media war being waged against us that caused him to stand head and shoulders above the rest.
To that end, he decided to direct all his passions and energies – through the use of his extensive knowledge of the media – to save Israel both from its external foes and internal ones. As the ex-CEO of the Israel History Channel, he knew what needed to be done media-wise. Constructively, he put his vision to work by creating the conceptual and business underpinnings for Israel World Television, the first pro-Israel satellite channelto be broadcast worldwide, providing for 24/7 coverage, FOX News-like.
He assembled an all-star lineup of backers, which included major players in the Israeli and worldwide business scene, coupled with a roster of the most astute political thinkers on the Israeli landscape today. Most importantly, he had the backing of Natan Sharansky, a man of worldwide respect as a champion of freedom. What his diverse group of supporters had in common was the intrinsic understanding that Israel is losing the battle on the media front and that we are at an existential crossroads. They all believed that Tsafrir had the integrity, vision and expertise to lead the charge.
The sudden loss of this wonderful, humble man is first and foremost a devastating one for his loving and supportive wife Judy and their ‘three blondinas’, the pet name he had for his three beautiful, blond-haired daughters. They were his pride and joy. On a personal level, I will miss my best friend in Israel, a man I considered my blood brother, with whom I worked side by side to support him in his mission and vision.
On a national level, his loss will most likely be appreciated when history is written. In the same manner that few understood the profound essence of all of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s efforts for our homeland while he was alive, so too will Tsafrir’s undertakings resonate in future generations. I suspect that he will be the model that future generations of Zionists will emulate when his activities on behalf of Zion become more widely known.
Rest in peace my dear friend. May your memory be for a blessing.
With eternal friendship.