Resistance to war growing among Israeli conscripts as dozens of past, present and future soldiers sign an open letter calling for mass disobedience
By: John Vibes,
As the hostilities in the Middle East have continued to escalate in recent weeks, we have been noticing a number of hopeful stories which show that the average people who are caught in the middle of this conflict, do not have any interest in fighting these wars. In Israel, the situation is especially difficult, because young adults are forced into the military and required to take up arms for the government, whether they agree with its actions or not. Conscription is one form of slavery that is still socially acceptable in this world, and Israel is one of the many places where this policy is widespread.
Luckily, over the years a large number of potential Israeli military conscripts have been growing disenfranchised with their government and they are rebelling and seeking a less aggressive lifestyle than the one that has been chosen by their “leaders”. Not every Palestinian is a terrorist, nor is every Israeli a trigger happy jarhead. This may be the image that Hamas, Fatah and the Zionist regime want for their people, but this is not the kind of future that the young people of both territories wish to create.
This week it was reported that a new resistance movement is growing within the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) , in response to the military assault that their government has been carrying out in Gaza. Over 50 reservists and ex soldiers posted a petition, which was eventually published by the Washington Post, stating that they were refusing to serve in the military and that they were encouraging others to do the same.
According to a post made by Yesh Gvul Movement, “dozens of conscientious objectors have refused to take part in the current military operation. At least one reserve soldier has been sentenced to 20 days in prison (in addition to Uriel Ferrera, an 18 year old refuser serving his fourth term). Another refuser was sent home as soon as he refused. Two other refusers, military physicians have left their base. The details about others are unclear. Around 30 reservists have contacted New Profile’s network which runs a hotline providing assistance to all those wishing to refrain from being enlisted by the emergency call-ups.”
The full open letter, which was published by The Washington Post, can be read in part below:
The Israeli Army, a fundamental part of Israelis’ lives, is also the power that rules over the Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967. As long as it exists in its current structure, its language and mindset control us: We divide the world into good and evil according to the military’s categories; the military serves as the leading authority on who is valued more and who less in society — who is more responsible for the occupation, who is allowed to vocalize their resistance to it and who isn’t, and how they are allowed to do it. The military plays a central role in every action plan and proposal discussed in the national conversation, which explains the absence of any real argument about non-military solutions to the conflicts Israel has been locked in with its neighbors.
The open letter has already inspired more people to come forward and refuse to fight. On Monday, a conscript named Udi Segal will refuse to serve in the Israeli military during a public protest.
The petition for Israeli soldiers and reservists is located at Lo-Meshartot.org.
Check out Murray Rothbard’s classic essay on conscription below: