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IDF sentences two conscientious objectors to month in prison

Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi will serve 27 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the occupation.

Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi stand outside the IDF’s Tel Hashomer induction base where they were expected to declare their refusal to serve in the army, and be sentenced to prison, Tel Aviv, November 16, 2016. (Haggai Matar)

Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi stand outside the IDF’s Tel Hashomer induction base where they were expected to declare their refusal to serve in the army, and be sentenced to prison, Tel Aviv, November 16, 2016. (Haggai Matar)

The Israeli military sentenced two Israeli conscientious objectors, Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi, to 27 days in military prison on Monday for refusing to serve in the army due to their opposition to the occupation.

The young women first declared their conscientious objection at the Israeli army’s Tel Hashomer induction base in mid-November, saying that they refuse to take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. They were sentenced to 10 days in military prison at the time.

At the end of their current prison stint, the two will be released, after which they will be required to once again present themselves at the induction base. They will then likely declare their refusal once again, and be handed a fourth prison sentence, a cycle that can repeat itself for months on end.

Israeli law allows for conscientious objection, but in practice it is only ever accepted on grounds of pacifism, not for political reasons, a category in which the IDF includes opposing the occupation.

Ze’evi and Alon are both asking to perform an alternative civilian national service instead of military service.

“From a young age I met my parents’ Palestinian friends — I met people who are supposed to be my enemies who smiled at me, played with me, and spoke with me,” wrote Alon in a declaration ahead of her refusal.

“I can’t accept the claim that the oppression of another people, the denial of basic human rights, and racism and hate are necessary for the existence of State of Israel,” she continued.

Ze’evi, in her refusal statement, wrote: “On the one hand, it’s my legal and societal obligation, which I always intended and expected to fulfill — the right to safeguard the security of my home and the people most dear to me.”

“But on the other hand,” she continued, “is a childhood in the shadow of terror attacks and wars real security? What about the security of those human beings on the other side of the walls? Am I, as a daughter of the people controlling the another people, responsible for their well-being? Where is the line where we stop collaborating, have we already crossed it?”

Earlier this year another conscientious objector, Tair Kaminer, spent five months in military prison, the longest sentence ever for a female refuser.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Women lead the way ! Onward !

      Reply to Comment
    2. Carmen

      Don’t give in and stay your course – there are a lot of people here who support you and your families. This is the judaism that is about all of humanity and tikkun olam.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Subway1EightyNine

      Excellent! I expect them to do the full 2 years in military service, even if they spend the full 2 years in military prisons. Draft refusal for any political reason can not be tolerated in a society whose defense is based on conscription.

      Reply to Comment