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refuseniks

  • My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn't be prouder

    In our childhood we would fight imaginary monsters. Today the monster of the occupation is far stronger — yet Atalya continues to bravely fight on, and is willing to pay the price for her beliefs.  By Amitai Ben-Abba Tomorrow, Tuesday February 6, my sister Atalya Ben-Abba will refuse to join the Israeli army and will likely be sent to prison. Atalya has seen more of the reality of our troubled region than most Israelis her age. She volunteered for a year of national service with her youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair, to work with kids on the margins of Israeli society in…

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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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  • Israeli army jails two new conscientious objectors

    Dozens accompany the two young women as they declare their refusal to serve in the occupation. Two Israeli conscientious objectors declared their refusal to serve in the occupation Wednesday morning at the IDF’s Tel Hashomer induction base outside Tel Aviv. The two young women, Tamar Alon of Tel Aviv and Tamar Ze’evi of Jerusalem, are expected to be sentenced to military prison within a matter of hours, after which they will be sent back to the induction base where they can be sentenced to another stint in prison — a cycle which can continue for months. [Update: A military tribunal sentenced…

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  • Born again peaceniks: How ex-IDF generals clean their conscience

    For years they have served in high-ranking positions in the Israeli army, taking part in the most violent aspects of the occupation. Only once they leave do they suddenly discover that, perhaps, military rule isn't such a great idea. By now it has become a tired ritual: every once in a while a former high-ranking member of Israel's defense establishment "wakes up" and discovers — to his and his supporters' utter surprise — that over the past 50 years Israel has been maintaining a violent occupation over millions of people who lack basic rights. This week came Gen. Gadi Shamni's turn to…

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  • Israeli conscientious objector released from military prison after 160 days

    Tair Kaminer is released from Prison 6, where she served multiple sentences for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Israel's longest-serving conscientious objector Tair Kaminer was officially released from prison Monday night, after serving approximately 160 days for her refusal to join the Israeli army. She is the longest-serving female conscientious objector in Israeli history. [tmwinpost] Late last week a military committee found that Kaminer, 19, was not fit for military service due to her “poor and severe behavior” — namely the fact that she refused to serve in the army due to…

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  • The female conscientious objector who just made Israeli history

    Following her sixth trial, Tair Kaminer has become the longest-serving female conscientious objector in Israel's history. This is her story. IDF military "Prison 6" lies in one of the most picturesque spots in Israel, at the bottom of the Carmel Mountain, between green fields and banana plantations. The prisoners can see the mountains from the yard, but there is no view of the Mediterranean, less than a mile away. [tmwinpost] The prison includes a separate unit for officers and, since 2011, a female unit as well. Prison life is boring and discipline is harsh. Most prisoners’ favorite days are those…

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  • PHOTOS: Protest for conscientious objector outside IDF prison

    Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is being held in an Israel army women’s prison for refusing to take part in the occupation. Text by Haggai Matar Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Roughly 80 left-wing activists protested in support of jailed conscientious objector Tair Kaminer outside the IDF’s Prison 400 on Saturday. 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…

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  • Dozens protest in support of Israeli conscientious objector

    Tair Kaminer is expected to be sentenced to a month in military jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. Kaminer: 'Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.' Approximately 40 demonstrators accompanied Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer to the Tel Hashomer induction base on Sunday, where she is expected to be sentenced for her refusal to enlist in the Israeli army. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators held signs chanted against the occupation at the entrance to the base. Some of them organized a short performance, in which they wore IDF uniforms and pledged their loyalty to the state…

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  • Overcoming Jewish America's Israel fantasy

    The idea of Israel has long been an integral part of Jewish-American identity. But with a generational change among American Jews and increasingly stark political differences with Israel's leadership, could this be the dawn of a new era?  Last summer Michael Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009-13, blithely offended virtually the entire policy, journalism and government elite in New York City and Washington, D.C. with a series of accusations directed at President Obama and liberal Jewish Americans. In a nutshell, Oren accused Obama of deliberately sabotaging relations with Israel in order to achieve the goals…

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  • WATCH: Supporting jailed conscientious objectors in Israel

    For decades, since the First Lebanon War, Israeli military objector group Yesh Gvul has been leading demonstrations in support of imprisoned conscientious objectors. Last month, the organization went to ‘Prison 4’ in Zrifin to support conscientious objector Ido Ramon, who has served some 100 days for refusing to take part in the occupation. Social TV asks the activists what brings them to the demonstrations, what gives them the strength to keep returning for so many years, and what they have to say to enlistment-aged Israelis. More on conscientious objectors: Freed Israeli conscientious objector: They tried to break me Israeli teens…

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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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  • [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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  • Against spy revelations, Israel doth protest too much

    The nation’s establishment has called the whistle-blowers of Unit 8200 every bad name, but it has no answer to their charge that information deliberately gathered on innocent Palestinians is used to blackmail them into collaborating. The 43 refuseniks in Unit 8200, Israel’s legendary high-tech snoops, are this week’s Gideon Levys, this week’s Haneen Zoabis – the focus of patriotic hatred in the land. “Baseless slander” is what Netanyahu called their letter, published Friday in Yedioth Ahronoth, in which they declared they would no longer spy for the occupation. Aside from being called traitors, the 43 reservists have been called cowards,…

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