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Arnon Livnat (1937-1967)

Arnon Livnat the son of Mordechai and Zahava, two of the founders of Kfar Vitkin, Arnon Livnat was born in this village on June 22, 1937. He attended the local primary and secondary schools, and became the social and cultural organizer and the center of attraction while still in primary school. He was an outstandingly bright pupil and also managed to be an actor and comedian in parties and shows; in addition, he shone at writing impromptu songs and in impersonating various characters. Furthermore, he was a talented artist and adorned all his exercise books with drawings and illustrations, one of the subjects he loved best being depicting aircraft.
As a teenager, he joined the Gadna (pre-military youth group) and the Noar Haoved (working youth group), and also took part in sports. On finishing secondary school and passing his finals in the sciences stream, he was conscripted into the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) in 1955. He passed the qualification exams for entry into the IAF (Israel Air Force), but because his best friend failed them, he decided to give up his own plans to become a pilot and remained in the ground forces with his friend. The IAF conscription officer could not get over such a display of loyalty to a friend - giving up one's own career for the sake of another - and tried to dissuade him from taking such a drastic step, but Arnon remained adamant and refused to change his mind. Together with his friend he volunteered for the elite paratroop corps. After doing well in his non-commissioned officers' course and becoming a company sergeant, Arnon displayed qualities of leadership, and was sent to an officers' course. The Sinai Campaign broke out a few months later. Arnon met some of his former paratroop comrades who were preparing for a drop behind enemy lines, and on the spot decided to join them even though by doing so he would be giving up his chances of becoming an officer. He took part in the Battle of the Mitla Pass, and completed his military service with the rank of sergeant-major, serving as a paratroop instructor.
After his discharge from the army and return home, he was undecided whether to continue his studies or to carry on working on the farm. He had a deeply ingrained ambition to get ahead and achieve things in his lifetime, and felt that he had missed a great opportunity by giving up the pilot's course; this gave him no rest. He therefore made up his mind and joined the IAF. He put a great deal of energy into what he was doing, and since he was the oldest trainee, and also the most experienced one, he soon became a father figure to, and a leader of, the rest of the trainees. He also became the life and soul of the group with his good and kindly sense of humor.
After finishing the course with flying colors and getting his wings, he married Chava and together they set up a family nest. His great love for children, for which he was well-known in his village, found its expression in the hours he devoted to his young son, Aviv. He knew how to keep him amused not only by playing games and sporting with him on the beach, but also by writing children's poems for him.
He decided to combine his duties as a pilot with university studies; he had numerous plans for the future. On the first day of the Six Day War, June 5, 1967, serving as a fighter pilot and leading his formation in an attack on enemy forces, he was killed in aerial combat over El Arish. He was survived by a wife and two sons - the second one, Arik, was born a few weeks after his death and did not get to know his father. Arnon was buried in his home village, Kfar Vitkin.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with Arnon Livnat

The disc, 'The One You Can't See,' is dedicated to his memory by his sons Aviv and Arik.
Nostalgia- recorded by the livnat brothers in 1987 (Arnon Livnat's voice- in the music playback)


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