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WATCH: Supporters stage prison vigil for conscientious objector Natan Blanc

Israeli teenager Natan Blanc was sentenced to a tenth prison term of 28 days for refusing to serve in the Israeli army last week. With the latest sentencing, he has been sent to prison more times than any previous conscientious objector in Israel. Earlier this year, supporters and activists held one of many regular support vigils on a hilltop overlooking the IDF’s Prison 6, where he is currently being held.

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    1. rsgengland

      Is it not time that the IDF takes this boy and places him in ‘detention barracks’ for the duration of his service.
      Then he will not have served in the Army, but neither would he be draft dodger.

      Reply to Comment
      • He isn’t a draft-dodger. If he wanted to dodge the draft, he could have acquired a medical exemption easily enough – this is an open door that a lot of people take. But he wouldn’t lie. He made it clear that his reason for not serving was conscience, and he went to prison for that. How this is dodging? If he chose, he could be out of prison now – jailed refusers are typically released after a military psychiatrist declares them unfit to serve on mental health grounds. This is what has happened to all the recent refusers. But Natan Blanc has been refusing to see the military psychiatrist, presumably because he doesn’t want to be subjected to the IDF’s intriguing reversal of Catch-22, whereby if you don’t want to serve in the Israeli army you must have some sort of psychological problem. He is making it clear that this is about conscience.

        Some refusers have been sentenced for the duration of their service (that happened to one of the bloggers here). But the army didn’t keep the policy, perhaps because young conscientious objectors imprisoned for a two or three-year stretch tend to grab rather a lot of unfavourable attention. Far easier to deal with refusers quietly by giving them a couple of months in jail and then lowering their profile to 21.

        Reply to Comment
        • It is not about being right, Vicky, but about being loudest. But here, on +972, you prevent such shouts from dominating.

          Reply to Comment
    2. David T.

      So Israel puts Jews in jail, if they doesn’t want to oppress Nonjews?

      Reply to Comment