War Resisters' International, London, 26 November 2008
ISRAEL: Conscientious objectors Raz Bar-David Varon and
Yuval Oron-Ofir imprisoned
Israeli Conscientious objectors Raz Bar-David Varon and Yuval Oron-Ofir, both signatories of the 2008 letter of the Shministim (High School seniors), were both sentenced to prison terms on 24 November 2008 for refusing to enlist.
For Raz Bar-David Varon, who already spent time in prison form 3-21 November 2008, this is the second prison term. She was sentenced to 7 days of confinement to base at Tal Hashomer military base. She is due out on 30 November 2008.
Yuval Oron-Ofir refused to enlist into the Israeli army on 24 November 2008, and was sentenced 14 days imprisonment. He is due out on 7 December 2008.
In his CO declaration, he writes:
"A human being among other humans, I, Yuval, feel committed
to some basic values without which we cannot exist. I have been
studying and learning about the occupation these past years, I feel
its pains and as I do so I am becoming familiar with the ills of
humankind. What I see is that with every additional day when
Palestinians are kept by force on their lands, my country manages to
crush one more value, one more rule. What I see is a country guided
by the inanity of its leaders, a country in thrall to an insatiable
hunger for another street, another tree to cram into its shattered
borders. I see with what ease our parents close their eyes to the
atrocities that are being committed in our name. I see how we are
all turning inwards, just so we may not have to hear the screams
that are reaching us from the other side. All known human atrocities
have been possible only because of blind obedience, silence, and an
indifference to the fate of the other.
It is because of all this that I regard it my moral duty to refuse serving in the army. My conscience does not allow me to join an organization that demolishes, by fiat of the state, the homes of innocent people, kills children who are not part of the armed fighting, and which prevents sick people from getting due treatment. The army interferes with the freedom of movement, undermines human rights and robs people of their land because they are not Jews. Implementing government orders, the Israeli army brings oppression and terror upon three and a half million Palestinians."
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to all Yuval Oron-Ofir (letters to Raz Bar-David Varon are unlikely to reach her before her release):
Military Prison No 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the
Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter
can to Israels Minister of Defence Ehud Barak can be sent at
Please send a copy of your letter to the Shministim (High School Seniors), who plan to use them in a demonstration. Please send copies to: Salon Mazal, Salame 50, Tel Aviv, Israel.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objectors Yuval Oron-Ofir and Raz Bar-David Varon, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International
Archives of co-alert can be found at