We have been
following your refusal to serve in the military for a couple of
months now -- Ofer Neiman from
Yesh G’vul and Ruth
Hiller from New Profile
sent us details about your imprisonment. Since then we've kept
our eyes on the New Profile
website. We are delighted that you are publicly refusing to
serve -- we thank you for your principled & brave stand. We
hope you are well & in good spirits.
My name is Michael
Kalmanovitz, from Payday
-- a network of men working with the
Global Women's Strike.
We work with refuseniks & their families (usually wives,
mothers, sisters & aunts) & their campaigns in a number of
countries – an international army of refusniks! Our sisters in
San Francisco met with Ruth Hiller a while ago & said that the
anti-military organising that New Profile is doing is just
We have been
publicising your fight for CO status on our website
at various events:
We took a placard with your picture to the
Carmel-Agrexco Valentine’s Day picket,
organised by BIG here in the UK.
This was the first occasion that J-BIG (Jews
Boycotting Israeli Goods) had a public presence. There were
over a 100 on the picket -- people were shocked that (at the
time) you were facing your fourth term in jail.
Opposite is a copy
of the latest placard – it’s on the wall at the Crossroads
Women’s Centre in London from where the Strike network is
co-ordinated & also where we’re based -- along with placards of
refusniks Ehren Watada, Agustin Aguayo, Halil Savda (Turkey) &
Ron Kovic (Vietnam war refuser, US).
We took information
about you from the New
Profile website & made it into a flyer to distribute
at the inaugural meeting of Independent Jewish Voices. Their
intention is to create an organisation in contrast to “those
who claim to speak on behalf of Jews in Britain who put support
for the policies of an occupying power above the human rights of
an occupied people.”
distributed flyers with information about you at the first
sports boycott demonstration in the UK -- a picket outside the
Football Association on the day that England played Israel at
the Euro 2008 qualifier.
It’s clear from what
is happening here in the UK, in the US & in fact all over the
19-year-old Israeli refusenik, served five consecutive
jail terms for refusal.
“The army would contradict my convictions and way in
life – violence, killing, nationalism and vandalism are
not part of them.”
Global Women’s Strike
REFUSING TO KILL IS NOT A
criticism of the
occupation is exponentially on the rise– for which you and others like you must take some credit.
Zionism no longer has the hold it did over people, Jewish or
not, even on the BBC! It’s just great that the whole thing is
turning round & the movement for justice everywhere – the
traditional Jewish imperative that Zionism had tried to repress
-- is on the rise again.
Finally we just
wanted to be sure that you knew about Halil Savda & others in
Turkey who face a cycle of arrest, detention, trial, “release” &
new arrest. Whether it is in Turkey, Israel or anywhere, it is
against any notion of natural justice and must stop. It may be
of help to know that CO Osman Murat Ülke, also from Turkey, won
a great victory in the European court on the issue of being
repeatedly tried for the same “offence” in violation of Article
3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms.
Please let us know
how you are doing – we assume you have completed your fifth
sentence & are now out of jail. Are you facing re-arrest, is
there any news about getting CO status? We’d be delighted to
publicise news about your legal case, prison conditions, the
support (or hostility) you’re getting, organising with other
refusers, or any other organising that you’re doing.
Again, thank you for
your courage on behalf of all of us.
Yours for refusing