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WATCH: Refusing to enlist in the IDF

“Only after the first time I went to the occupied territories did I realize that I could never be a part of the army.”  -Alon Gurman, 19, from Tel Aviv. 

In March 2012, Alon Gurman and three other Israelis announced their decision to refuse to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, forming the first collective refusal in recent years. Here is a short video telling the story of Noam Gur and Alon Gurman, who both came to the decision after joining demonstrations in the West Bank in solidarity with Palestinians opposing Israeli occupation and land theft. 



This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media organization (NGO) working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality as well as to mobilize its viewers towards activism.

Four young Israelis refuse army draft in new refusenik wave
IDF on hunt for draft dodgers, deserters
J’accuse: Israeli youth headed to prison for refusing the draft 

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    1. Proudly Deserted

      Brilliant. I entered the Israeli army after making Aliyah. I had no real idea what goes in Israel and what Zayinism really was. Less and less Israelis are going into combat. Over half the lone soldiers who went to mikveh alon with me, including our chayal mitztayen, all dropped from the army eventually. I eventually left because there really is no honor in the Israeli military. Its one big video game, and somewhere in Ramallah there is factory that spawns out more checkpoint rats each day. Israelis, Anglophone zionists etc. don’t even see the Palestinians or any Arab for that matter as human. Kol Hakavod, Alon and Noam. Go to Sweden. They accept deserters of wars they don’t support. I should have done that instead of going back to USA.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ilse Koch

      I too applaud the growing phenomenon, and hope that one day there will be insufficient troops to guard israel.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Charles-Jerusalem

      I believe that the army and especially conscripts have nothing to do in the west bank. this is the business of the police. The role of the army is to protect the borders and the civilians against other armies or guerillas that want to destroy the country.
      I am still a “zayianist” who grew up in the love of Israel and sionist I will remain.
      I nevertheless understand, as there are Israeli civilians in the West Bank, the army has to be there to protect them, but protect its civilians against other civilians.
      By getting into a war for which it is not made for, Tsahal is loosing its soul in the West Bank.
      I am sorry for “proudly deserted” who was naive about the situation.
      There are alternatives to army service, there is civil service and many other solutions, I think we are part of something bigger than us and desertion is a destructive solution for the ones who do it. It is still better than committing suicide.

      Reply to Comment
    4. max

      Here’s to a positive activism: several new young Israelis have been drafted a couple of days ago to the IDF. They are part of an AKIM project called “IDF Project for the Intellectually Disabled”, aimed at helping those young people improve their self image and facilitate their integration into the general society.
      Hebrew (last year’s?): http://www.akim.org.il/zahal2011
      English (project only, not the results): http://akimisrael.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=65&lang=en
      One can contribute to this good cause, and yes, they do the same important work for all parts of the Israeli society (and it’s not only Jewish Israelis that were drafted…)

      Reply to Comment