'A father, a mensch, and a fighter'

Hundreds pay their last respects as activist and Arutz Sheva journalist Gil Ronen laid to rest in Hadera.

Tags: Gil Ronen
Yoni Kempinski ,

Funeral of Gil Ronen
Funeral of Gil Ronen
Yoni Kempinski

Hundreds of family, friends, and supporters gathered in the Hadera new cemetery on Ben Zvi Street Sunday afternoon to pay their last respects to activist and journalist, Gil Ronen.

A long-time activist on behalf of traditional family values, Ronen was also known for his work as a journalist, his activities to support the rights of divorced fathers, and his efforts to combat police brutality.

“I’ll remember him first as a mensch, then as a father, then as a fighter,” said Ronen’s son Erez Ronen, at the funeral.

“If only in his life he had understood how many people cared about him, he wouldn’t have done what he did. When we’re far apart, it’s hard to see how much strength we have together.”

A native-born Jerusalemite, Ronen moved with his parents to the US at the age of seven, returning to Israel a decade later.

Ronen served in Israel Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) as the station’s first correspondent in Judea and Samaria, before working as a Knesset correspondent for the station. He later wrote for the Hebrew papers Koteret Rasheet, Ha’Ir, and worked as an editor for Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz.

In 1987, Ronen founded the Ohr Adom (Red Light) organization to combat police brutality.

In 2005, Ronen established the Familism organization, which works to strengthen traditional family values in Israel. He later became a prominent critic of the post-modern gender movement, debating supporters of the movement on television and publishing more than 100 pieces on the post-modern gender movement and its relationship with traditional family values.

Ronen was found dead in his home in Hadera Thursday. He is survived by his two children, Tami and Erez.

MK Yehudah Glick (Likud) lamented Ronen’s passing, tweeting Thursday: “Very, very sad. Gil Ronen. May his memory be for a blessing.”

“Gil Ronen (may his memory be for a blessing), was a person who was very involved in the struggles on behalf of divorced fathers, and actively helped them get through difficult times. Gil was on the front lines of everything related to the family and the importance of having both parents be there for their kids.”

Gil Ronen
צילום: באדיבות המצולם