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military service

  • '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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  • An open letter to a future Israeli soldier

    I honestly believe you want the best for this country, but if you care about the Israeli society, there are other ways to make a difference. Joining the IDF only perpetuates the status quo — one that is bad for Israel and much worse for Palestinians. By Ido Liven Congratulations. You are 18 years old today. We don’t know each other but your birthday is especially important to me. Let me explain. When you were born, I joined the IDF. I shouldn’t have. [tmwinpost] Don’t get me wrong — it was a truly life changing experience. I met some of my best friends…

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  • Israeli conscientious objectors sent to military prison for second time

    The two young women already spent seven days in prison for refusing to take part in the occupation. An IDF tribunal sentenced two Israeli conscientious objectors, Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi, to 10 days in military prison on Monday for refusing to serve in the Israeli occupation. Two weeks ago, the young women declared their conscientious objection at the Israeli army’s Tel Hashomer induction base, saying that they refuse to take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. They were sentenced to seven days in military prison at the time. [tmwinpost] At the end of their current prison stint,…

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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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  • 'Draft dodger law' robs Israel's poor of higher education

    The vast majority of draft dodgers and deserters refuse to serve for economic reasons. Those youngsters, who already come from Israel's weakest communities, are the ones who will be harmed most by a new law that strips them of funds for higher education. By Sahar Vardi While clashes between in East Jerusalem took place surrounding the funeral of Yusuf al-Ramouni, and as the government was busy arguing about the ‘Jewish nation-state bill,’ the Knesset voted on the final approval of the "Draft-Dodgers Law.” The media coverage of the law, first proposed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ this summer, primarily conveyed that…

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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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  • WATCH: When refusing army service is a privileged position

    A group of 50 Israeli high school seniors recently sent letters to the prime minister declaring that they will refuse to serve in the army on ideological grounds. But refusing to serve the occupation can be a privileged position, one that is not afforded to various groups of Israelis of certain socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.  Read more on Israel's latest class of refusers: Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation

  • WATCH: Is the IDF the 'great equalizer' of Israeli society?

    One of the foundational myths of the State of Israel is that regardless of one's ethnic or socio-economic background, recruitment into the army was the way to create social mobility that would place everyone on an equal playing field. Today, minority groups such as Ethiopian, Bedouin and Druze continue trying to integrate into society through military service. But it turns out that exclusion in Israeli society is more powerful than the military ethos, leaving many minorities asking why they should die for a state that excludes them from its culture, economy and educational system. Related: Poverty in the IDF: Thousands…

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  • Palestinian citizens cannot be expected to serve Jewish state

    By Fady Khoury In an earlier post, I argued that the expectation for Palestinian citizens of Israel to serve in the army or in any alternative service lacks moral justification. I will elaborate on this argument here. It goes as follows: If (1) national service is an alternative to military service; And (2) there is no moral basis upon which Palestinians can be expected to serve in the army; Then (3) there is no moral basis upon which Palestinians can be expected to serve in national service. Going forward, I will attempt to prove the first two statements of my…

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