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Matan Helman

  • My great-grandfather saved Jews during the Holocaust. Now I'm in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF

    Helman says his family's history of resistance to oppression inspired his decision to refuse to enlist in the Israeli army. By Matan Helman Two Israeli draft refusers were sent to jail last Tuesday. Ayelet Brachfeld, 18, from Tel Aviv, and Matan Helman, 20, from Kibbutz HaOgen. Helman, who has already served 90 days in military prison, faces another 20-day prison term. Brachfeld, who has already served 40 days in military prison, will spend another 30 days behind bars. Before his imprisonment, Helman wrote a letter about his family’s uncommon story during the Holocaust. Helman’s father is Israeli, born on the kibbutz.…

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  • Draft refusers prepare for jail: 'We are part of a movement for change'

    Saar Yahalom and Matan Helman will serve time in prison for refusing to enlist in the army because of the occupation. By Yael Marom Dozens of supporters joined two Israeli conscientious objectors as they heaed to the IDF induction base Sunday to declare their refusal to join the Israeli army. Saar Yahalom, 18, from Be’erotayim, and Matan Helman, 20, from Kibbutz HaOgen, say that they will not enlist due to their opposition to the occupation. They are expected to be sentenced and imprisoned on Sunday. [tmwinpost] For Yahalom, this is his first declaration of intent to refuse to serve in…

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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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