A number of young Israelis refuse to serve in the so-called Israeli Defense Forces, and the Israeli Refuser Solidarity Network has published some of their conscientious objector statements.
In September, one refuser/conscientious objector letter appeared in September in Ha‘aretz, a major Israeli newspaper. It’s titled ‘After 12 Years of Being Taught to Hate, I’m Going to Prison Today to Say “No”’, and here a couple of excerpts:
.… Why is public opposition minimal? Why isn’t there a large, influential camp of Jews in Israel who are saying “enough.” How is it that a technologically advanced, well-educated and wealthy society has not expressed almost any opposition to what is clearly a terrible crime? One of the main reasons is the diet of awareness we are fed when we are children and teenagers. As someone who has just completed 12 years of study I can tell you that morning, noon and night the school system feeds us ultranationalism, militarism and violence.
They teach us in the schools about a fictional, unilateral situation in which the Palestinian people are a nation of terrorists who hate us for no reason, while we are only trying to defend our home.… My friends and I will today refuse to enlist, and will probably spend time in jail because we want to tell our friends from school, young Israelis, that there is an entirely different truth behind the diet of ultranationalism that they were fed.
Take a few minutes to read the whole statement!
This letter was circulated in the USA by the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.