50 Young Israelis Send a Letter to Netanyahu:
We Refuse to Serve in the Occupation Army
Ruth Hiller, New Profile and Shministim, 8 March 2014
Yesterday morning, dozens of young Israelis sent Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, a letter in which they declared their refusal to serve in the Israeli military[*]. This is the largest group of Israeli draft refusers in the history of Israel; it is the first act of its kind in five years, but follows a long tradition of communal conscientious objection. The current Israeli government is trying to widen the army draft to all ethnic groups within Israel against their will and young people from all over the country are reacting by refusing to serve in the Israeli Army.
The purpose of this statement is to protest against the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories where, according to the signatories human rights are violated and acts defined by international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis. They are also protesting the way in which the army influences civilian life, deepening the sexism, militarism, violence, inequality and racism present in Israeli society.
Mandy Cartner, a 16 years old signatory from Tel Aviv said: "The actions of the army distance us from finding a solution and from creating peace, justice and security. My refusal is a way of expressing my opposition to the wrongs done daily in our name and through us."
Shaked Harari, a 17 years old signatory from Bat Yam, said: "The army serves the people in power and not the civilians, who are only a tool. My friends and I refuse to be cannon fodder."
Roni Lax, a 20 year old signatory from Bnei Brak: We stand in solidarity with the ultra-orthodox youth and the Arab youth Christian and Druze, some of whom are currently in an army prison.
Dafna Rothstein Landman 0522470123 email@example.com
Itamar Bellaiche - 0547484248 - firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is their statement: