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conscientious objectors

  • 'We all live under one undemocratic system, so we must struggle together'

    In a letter from prison, Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi responds to Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the leaders of Gaza's Great Return March. 'Although we will not agree on everything, I discovered a vision for justice in your writing.' Read Abu Artema's open letter here. By Hillel Garmi Ahmed, I am writing to you from an Israeli military prison, after the open letter you published last week was read to me over the phone. It is not easy for me to write from prison, and at first I thought to wait until I am able to do so from the comfort…

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  • 'Let us fight together for human rights, for a country that is democratic for all its citizens'

    Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza, responds to Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi, who said his decision to refuse the draft is partly inspired by Artema's acts of civil disobedience. By Ahmed Abu Artema Thank you, Hillel. You gave us hope. The morality of a position is not measured by how closely it reflects popular opinion, but by its unique advantage. Throughout history, those who did not compromise their morals were the ones who carried more weight and inspired others, even if they were alone to confront mainstream perspectives. When a person decides to take an…

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  • Conscientious objector to mark Jewish new year in prison

    Hilel Garmi is in prison for the third time, for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. His decision was partly inspired by one of the lead organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza. By +972 Magazine Staff Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi was sentenced to 10 days in prison on Monday, after he again refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in protest of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. This is Garmi’s third detention, at the end of which he would have served 37 days in military prison. [tmwinpost] Garmi, 18, from Kibbutz Yodfat in northern Israel,…

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  • 'With my head held high': Conscientious objector freed after 110 days in prison

    The Israeli army had sentenced Helman to six separate prison sentences for his refusal to be conscripted into the military and, in his words, 'take part in the occupation and Israel's policies of oppression vis-a-vis the Palestinians.' Conscientious objector Matan Helman was discharged from the Israeli army on Thursday after six stints in prison adding up to a total of 110 days behind bars. The official reason for his discharge: Bad, grave behavior. Helman, 20, from Kibbutz HaOgen, first declared his refusal to be conscripted into the military for reasons of conscientious objection in November of 2017. [tmwinpost] In an…

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  • Dozens of Israeli teens: 'We refuse to enlist out of a commitment to peace'

    'Testimonies of former soldiers teach us that the reality of occupation does not allow one to make a difference from within. The power to change reality does not lay with the single soldier — but with the system as a whole.' Sixty-three Israeli teenagers have published an open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Thursday, declaring their refusal to join the Israeli army due to their opposition to the occupation. [tmwinpost] "The army carries out a racist government policy that enforces one legal system for Israelis and another for Palestinian in the same territory," they write. "Therefore, we have decided not to…

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  • Israel Hayom's new target: Conscientious objector's mother

    'Israel Hayom' put a high school principal in its crosshairs after she expressed support for her daughter's refusal to serve in the IDF. This is what a witch hunt looks like. By Yael Marom Israel Hayom, the newspaper funded by Netanyahu patron Sheldon Adelson, and the country's most circulated daily, has found yet another target. After an unsuccessful attempt last week to bring about the firing of Palestinian-Israeli journalist Makbula Nassar a week earlier, this week  Israel Hayom put Iris Gur, the mother of conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan, in its crosshairs. [tmwinpost] Gur, an elementary school principal, has expressed support…

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  • Conscientious objector freed after 150 days in IDF prison

    Ofir Averbukh only went public with his refusal to serve in the IDF after 130 days in jail. 'Despite the difficulties, I am proud of my decision to stand for my principles.' By +972 Magazine Staff After serving 150 days in military prison, the Israeli army released conscientious objector Ofir Averbukh late last week. Averbukh, 18, from Moshav Tzofit, identifies as a pacifist but the army repeatedly refused to recognize him as such. This past week, he was discharged by an IDF medical officer. [tmwinpost] Following his release, Averbukh, who opposes the Israeli army's conduct in the occupied territories, said he is…

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  • After 98 days in prison, IDF releases conscientious objector

    Noa Gur Golan, who refused to serve in the army due to her opposition to the occupation, is released due to what the IDF called her 'serious misconduct.'  Israeli conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan was released from military prison Sunday after 98 days behind bars for refusing to serve in the occupation. She was granted an exemption for what the IDF termed "serious misconduct." [tmwinpost] Gur Golan, 19, from Netanya, refused to serve in the IDF due to her pacifist beliefs, and because she believes that she must actively work to reduce violence and bring about peace. She has previously stood before…

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  • After 5 months in jail, it's time to talk about why I refuse to serve

    Ofir Averbukh has served more than 150 days in Israeli military prison for his refusal to be conscripted into the army. In the following interview, Ofir explains why he is only going public about his refusal now, and why Israeli youth should view choosing to be conscripted, not just refusing, as a decision of significant moral weight.

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  • Israeli army imprisons two conscientious objectors for a month

    Noa Gur Golan and Hadas Tal are sentenced to 30 days in prison for refusing to serve in the army because of the occupation. By Yael Marom Two conscientious objectors were sentenced to their second stint in military prison on Thursday, after refusing to join the Israeli army over their opposition to the occupation. [tmwinpost] Noa Gur Golan and Hadas Tal were both sentenced to 30 days, respectively, at the end of which Gur Golan will have served a total of 71 days, while Tal will have served 50 days. Gur Golan, 19, from the city of Netanya, announced her refusal last…

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  • She dreamed of being an IDF pilot — now she's refusing to enlist

    As a child, Noa Gur Golan dreamed of being a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. But as she got older and became exposed to the occupation and the siege on Gaza, she decided to ditch her dream and refuse to serve in the army. Now she speaks about the support of her family, her pacifist views, and why she would rather sit in jail than be released on medical grounds.

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  • This summer's wave of protests gives us reason to be optimistic

    From asylum seekers demanding their wages to protests against the Gaza blackout to raising awareness over disappeared Yemenite babies, this summer's protests give us every reason to stay optimistic about this place. It's hot outside. The Israeli summer often brings with it a new wave of social and political protests, and yet it looks like summer 2017 will be a special one. [tmwinpost] Since the social justice protest of 2011 — and its successors in the following years — there has been a sense that Israeli citizens have lost faith in their ability to influence, change, protest, and get results. Meanwhile, the strengthening of…

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  • Israeli army jails conscientious objector for fourth time

    Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, has already served 80 days in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF and participate in the occupation. Israeli conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, was on Wednesday sentenced to a fourth stint in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. She has already spent 80 days in prison. [tmwinpost] Ben-Abba, a Jerusalem resident, was jailed after reporting at the military induction center, where she declared her refusal to serve in the army on the grounds that she was not prepared to take part in the occupation and repression of the Palestinian people. Ben-Abba was sentenced…

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