Rockford Family Worries for Daughters in Israel

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

Roni and Ronit Golan's daughters are 6,223 miles away from them in Jerusalem

"I actually talk to them once a day for maybe an hour on the internet," says Roni Golan, the girls' father.

"We're glued to the news, glued to Israeli news on the internet, news here in the States. We go to bed listening to the news, wake up listening to the news," Ronit says.

19-year-old Yasmin and 17-year-old Maya are in Israel for a program that prepares them for a two year stint in the Israeli Army.

"They're in a war situation, its not a good feeling," Ronit says.

The family moved to Rockford from Israel ten years ago.

"It's tough, me being here and seeing what's going on there, sometimes I feel like I need to be over there and help out," Roni says.

The girls will be following in their father's footsteps. Roni was a paratrooper in the Israeli Army for three years and even saw combat in Lebanon in the early 1990s.

"I came with helicopters from the sea and there was shooting all over," he says.

While the ceasefire agreement appears promising to some, the Golans are not so optimistic.

"Six years ago when we left Lebanon, there was a UN resolution that the Hezbollah would be demilitarized. Not only did that not happen, they've gotten stronger," Ronit says.

"We've been there before, that's why we're a little bit skeptical about this agreement," Roni says.

And when Ronit is asked when she will see her daughters again...

"Good question, we're not sure. They are supposed to come home for a month during the first year of their military service, but we don't know exactly when," she says.

Yasmin and Maya Golan will start in the Israeli Army in November. It is Israeli law that all boys serve three years and girls serve two years in the military.

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