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Israeli conscientious objector sentenced to third stint in jail

Tair Kaminer sentenced to 30 days in military prison. She has served a total of 45 days after refusing to enlist in the IDF due to her opposition to the occupation.

Tair Kaminer a 19-year-old Israeli from Tel Aviv, walks into the Tel Ha'Shomer military base where she will announce his refusal to draft to Israeli army service, January 10, 2016. Tair says she refuses to take part in the occupation after she spent a year of volunteering with youth in south of Israel, near the border with Gaza. (Activestills.org)

Tair Kaminer a 19-year-old Israeli from Tel Aviv, walks into the Tel Ha’Shomer military base where she will announce his refusal to draft to Israeli army service, January 10, 2016. Tair says she refuses to take part in the occupation after she spent a year of volunteering with youth in south of Israel, near the border with Gaza. (Activestills.org)

Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer was sentenced on Monday to another 30 days in military prison for refusing to enlist in the IDF. This is Kaminer’s third sentence; she has sat a total of 45 days in jail.

In early January, she informed the army that she would refuse to serve because of her opposition to the occupation, and was sentenced to 20 days in the women’s military prison.

After being released, Kaminer will be made to the induction base where she will be required to enlist once again. Should she refuse, she will be sentenced to another stint in jail. This process repeats itself ad nauseam until the army decides to officially discharge her. Over the past few years, a number of conscientious objectors have been sentenced up to 10 times in this way.

Kaminer, 19, recently finished a year of national service with the Israeli Scouts (“Tzofim”) in the southern development town of Sderot. There she volunteered with children who suffer from trauma due to multiple wars in Gaza and continual rocket fire on the city. “The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict and have had extremely difficult experiences from a young age, experiences that caused them to feel hatred, which can be understood, especially when it comes from young children,” Kaminer wrote in a statement several days ago.

“Like them, many children who grow up in Gaza or in the West Bank, in an even more difficult environment, learn to hate the other side,” she continues. “They, too, cannot be blamed. When I look at all of these children, and the next generation on both sides and the reality in which they grow up, I see only more trauma and pain. And I say enough! That is why I refuse: so that I do not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the injustices that the Palestinian people face under occupation, so that I do not take part in this circle of hate in Gaza and Sderot.”

Kaminer also writes that she aspires to peace, equality, democracy, and security for all people who live in Israel/Palestine, emphasizing the security of those whose security tends to be forgotten — Palestinians and Israeli residents of the western Negev Desert. “They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.”

Two weeks ago Kaminer informed the army that she is refusing to serve because of the ongoing military occupation, and was sentenced to 20 days in the women’s military prison. Kaminer is expected to be released this coming weekend, after which she will once again likely refuse to serve and be sentenced to another period in prison.

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    1. Carmen

      “They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.”

      Bravo Ms. Kaminer. I hope that you’ll continue on the path you’ve chosen and be a pioneer of peace. I hope you and your compatriots will work towards reconciliation and the realization of one state for all people, the same rights and responsibilities equally for all, a secular demcracy.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Yes a democracy with a Jewish majority.

        as far as the secular bit? England is a Christian country yet it is still a democracy. Not a perfect one mind you, but nevertheless as good a democracy as one can hope for during peace time. During it’s great war for survival of course, England had to introduce quite a few undemocratic draconian measures in order to protect itself. For instance, they interned their own German naturalized citizens into detention camps so they could not even consider acting as a fifth column. They also applied a strict censorship regime and a few other things.

        As for Arab countries? No, they don’t seem to have a tradition of democracy. So no, we won’t be experimenting with a state which is to have an Arab majority coz they will do to us what they do to ALL their minorities whom they oppress. We won’t do it despite the sloganeering of the likes of Carmen who pretends that her vision would be utopia. Of course, the Carmens of this world are welcome to experiment on their own little selves elsewhere, not here in Israel. I will even wish them good luck. Howzat? LOL.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          A terribly dishonest analogy. England does not refuse to marry Christians and non-Christians. Can you imagine?! Had England maintained a 49-year brutal post-war occupation of Germany it would have suffered terrible blowback. Of course England did not. The far more accurate analogy is England’s colonization of India. And of Palestine. Didn’t turn out too well.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            England would have occupied Germany for 200 years, or worse…

            …if the Germans would have behaved the same way as the Arabs have been behaving with us since their surrender in 1967…

            Maybe we should have been as brutal to the Arabs straight after the 1967 war as the iron fist with which the Brits employed straight after WW2. Hey I am not criticizing the Brits for it. The Germans deserved what they got after the war, given what they did…

            … but we were too soft after 1967. Maybe we too should have rounded up the Arab elites and organized a Nuremberg style war trials which led to the execution of the ring leaders. Instead, we empowered their Waqf to take control of the holiest site of Judaism just to show them how much we want peace with them…

            …as a consequence, after the initial shock of their defeat, the Arabs drew the right conclusions. They said to themselves, “hey these bloody Jewish Zionists may have a strong military for now, but they [the Jews] are mentally weak, they are just pussies and we will outsmart them and outlast them and will prevail at the end”….

            Of course they are wrong. They will not outlast us and they will not prevail. But we probably did create a rod for our own back after the 1967 war. We should have taken a leaf out of the book of the Brits and we too should have put the fear of God into them by dealing with their elites, the way the Brits dealt with the German elites.

            Oh yea, and German lands were confiscated too at the end of WW2. And a few million ethnic Germans were expelled from those confiscated lands. Many of those Germans died during their long march to Germany.

            So Benny-leh? Ya wanna say something else? If you do, I’ll start copying and pasting to dispel your lies that I know you are just itching to post…

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            That’s right, the zionists were too soft, if you know what I mean, and I’m sure you do. Raping, killing, destroying village after village after village and turning Palestinians into refugees. Yep, you were a bunch of real limp dicks.

            “Instead, we empowered their Waqf to take control of the holiest site of Judaism just to show them how much we want peace with them…” You did? Was it a “So let it be written, so let it be done!” moment for you? Sorry, got you confused with Yul Brynner. How amazing! But its weird because the “holiest site of Judaism” doesn’t sound like it means too much to you. Good thing the Palestinians aren’t the same way, huh? There’s a long history of respecting holy landmarks of other religions in Palestine, going all the way back to Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn, so it wasn’t you showing them anything, but them showing you how they respect God. Funny how some people do what others would call being a freier. IMO, of course.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here is what the Arabs did in 1948 after they took over East Jerusalem.

            “Upon its capture by the Arab Legion, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was destroyed and its residents expelled. Fifty-eight synagogues–some hundreds of years old–were destroyed, their contents looted and desecrated. Some Jewish religious sites were turned into chicken coops or animal stalls. The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps. The Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the cemetery and graves were demolished to make way for a highway to the hotel. The Western Wall became a slum area.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Sigh. A terribly dishonest statement of what every party you mention did and did not do and why they did it or did not. You never cease to amaze me how you will twist history for the glory of Greater Israel. There is absolutely nothing, we have learned, that you will not excuse and rationalize with some deranged WW2 analogy. And when not pressed you will sound merely right wing. When pressed a real fascist vilifier comes out. An iron fist torture and brutality enthusiast. An angry, paranoid irredentist guy. Really obstinate. Sadly dishonest (see: Prónay). Willing to say anything. Absolutely uninterested in any peace overture and determined to interpret any overture negatively. Absolutely unwilling to recognize any evolution of opportunities. These eruptions of yours when pressed are instructive as to what is the real attitude and mind set of the far right, increasingly the mainstream right, underneath the pablum fed the Americans and the Europeans. Eye-opening. Instructive. Enough said. Post all the tedious historical footnotes you like. It will change nothing. I’m being threatened with the cut and paste! Oh no! Not that! Hang me by the wrists instead! Waterboard me! Anything but the cut and paste! Aaaaugh!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”A terribly dishonest statement of what every party you mention did and did not do and why they did it or did not.”

            Oooops says Benny, gustav mentioned a few inconvenient facts. Let’s issue a press release and deny it all. LOL.

            So Benny-leh, these are some of the parties that I mentioned…

            1. The Nuremberg war trials which led to the jailing and execution of many of Germany’s war time leaders. That did not happen Benny?

            2. We allowed the Waqf custody of the Temple Mount to continue instead of taking over the control of our holiest site. Not true, Benny?

            3. German lands were not confiscated at the end of WW2 Benny?

            4. German refugees who were kicked out of those lands did not die as a consequence, Benny?

            Ok Comrade Benny. Just issue another blanket denial and revise history at the stroke of your keyboard. If only things were that simple… But they aren’t. And no, Benny-leh, not even you can change what actually happened.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Nacho

      How can we support this gold standard for humanity?

      Reply to Comment