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draft refusal

  • '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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  • IDF releases conscientious objector after 110 days in prison

    Atalya Ben-Abba went to prison rather than be conscripted into the Israeli army because of her refusal to take part in the occupation. By +972 Magazine Staff The Israeli army released conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba from mandatory military service on Tuesday after she spent 110 days in military prison for refusing to be drafted. Ben-Abba was released on grounds of unsuitability, after her request to be recognized as a conscientious objector was rejected a day earlier. [tmwinpost] “The army can call the waiver [from mandatory conscription] whatever it wants, but the fact of the matter remains that it gave me…

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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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  • Conscientious objector jailed by Israeli army for third time

    Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, has already spent 50 days in prison for refusing to serve in the IDF, and has now been sentenced to a further 30 days. Conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, was on Tuesday sentenced to a third stint in prison after reporting to the Tel Hashomer military induction base and refusing to enlist in the IDF. Ben-Abba will spend 30 days in jail, on top of the 50 days she has already served following her previous two refusals. [tmwinpost] On the previous two occasions, Ben-Abba was sentenced along with fellow draft refusers Tamar Ze’evi and Tamar Alon, both…

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  • When IDF conscription begins at age three

    An education system that brings an inherently violent organization in through the front door is failing at its most basic obligation. This policy is the first injection of militarism, ultimately meant to prevent our children from becoming critical citizens. Ten years ago, when my oldest daughter was five years old, I already had the honor of being the mother of a draft refuser. One day, when she was in kindergarten, my young daughter came home with a notice from the kindergarten teacher asking parents to help their children prepare care packages for a soldier. The notice included a list of…

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  • IDF commander dismisses Unit 8200 refuseniks

    'These operations, and not our letter, are what make military service political.' The 43 reservist soldiers who refused to serve in the IDF respond to their dismissal.  The commander of the IDF’s highly prestigious 8200 intelligence unit dismissed all 43 reservist soldiers who previously declared their refusal to serve in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu last September. The letter, which caused a great deal of controversy, cited Israel's military rule over the Palestinian people in the occupied territories as a policy of choice, rather than of self-defense, which violates basic human rights. In a letter addressed to the reservists, the commander…

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  • Freed Israeli conscientious objector: They tried to break me

    Uriel Ferera says he doesn't feel like he lost the 177 days that he spent in military prison. 'The opposite. I fought for my principles — to not lend a hand to the occupation.' By Daniel Beller After 177 days in Israeli military prison and 10 trials, ideological conscientious objector Uriel Ferera is a free man. When Ferera arrived at an IDF induction base on Sunday he was under the impression that he would be heading back to jail for an eleventh time. Instead, he was told that the IDF was releasing him from military service for “incompatibility on the basis of…

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  • [WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army (part 1): A history lesson

    According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The first episode in a four-part series looking at Druze in Israel, their relationship with the security forces, social equality and a not-so-new draft refusal movement.

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  • Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

    On Saturday evening, another anti-war demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A few hundred people marched and chanted and hoped that rumors of a drawdown were true. With minimal numbers and attention, the demonstrations have had little impact. But there doesn’t seem much else that those opposed to the war can do. Soldiers and reservists have another option: civil disobedience, refusal to participate. It is a huge taboo. The idea of avoiding IDF service in a society whose mythical founding narrative is about protection from existential destruction is anathema even in normal times. To refuse a draft order in wartime…

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  • WATCH: IDF to jail ultra-Orthodox Jew for refusing to serve the occupation

    Uriel Ferera, a 19-year-old Haredi from Be'er Sheva, was raised on the values of social justice and peace. Now, the IDF has announced it will jail him for an undetermined period of time for refusing to serve. By Daniel Beller When Uriel Ferera was born in Argentina 19 years ago, democracy in the South American country was an established fact, and no one was being jailed for having left-wing views, not to mention being a pacifist. On April 27th, in Israel - a country that likes to call itself “The only democracy in the Middle East” - he will be…

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  • Outside prison, protesters demand conscientious objectors be freed

    Demonstrators play music and sing songs to inmates in 'Military Prison 6' in a show of support for Omar Sa'ad and other draft refusers. Similar vigils take place in cities across Israel, Palestine and abroad. About 100 Palestinian and Jewish protestors gathered on the hilltop overlooking Israel's 'Military Prison 6' Saturday afternoon, calling for the release of Omar Sa'ad and all other conscientious objectors. Sa'ad, a violin player from the village of Maghar who has thus far been given two 20-day prison sentences for refusing the draft, has become a symbol of Druze resistance to conscription. Three other Druze objectors…

  • Druze youth likely headed to prison for conscientious objection

    Omar Sa'ad reports to Israeli army induction base and announces his refusal to enlist. He is expected to be sentenced to prison. Sa'ad has declared his refusal to be 'both nationally and conscientiously motivated.' "I was raised first and foremost as a human being, and as such I feel that I cannot possibly aim an assault weapon at any other human being, be it Arab, Jewish or whomever, and so it has always been clear to me that I will not be able to join the army," says Omar Sa'ad, a young Druze viola player from the village of Maghar. Sa'ad is…

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  • Tens of thousands protest plan to draft ultra-Orthodox into Israeli army

    As top rabbis declare that attempts to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army constitute a 'religious war,' masses turned out for an anti-draft rally in Jerusalem. Violent confrontations broke out between a few demonstrators and police. Thirteen were injured and 10 arrested. Around 30,000 ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) demonstrators, many more than anticipated, showed up for a mass rally against the planned induction of Yeshiva students outside the Israeli army's recruiting offices in Jerusalem Thursday night. The government plans to revoke a special exemption given to these ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, part of plan to "equalize of the national burden" orchestrated by Yair…

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