A 'Refusenik's' Thank You - 5
More IDF Solders Jailed Today

From Peretz Kidron

Dear friend,
Below we include a letter from Yishay Mor, just out of jail. The letter speaks for itself. All the more reason then to attend the VIGIL FOR THE REFUSENIKS AT ATHLIT PRISON, this Saturday April 27, at 4:00 p.m., sponsored jointly by Yesh Gvul and Ometz Lesarev ("Courage to Refuse").
Meeting point: Bet Oren turn-off, the old Haifa-Hedera highway Transportation: Jerusalem (Binyanei Haumma) 1:30 Tel Aviv (Rakevet Tzafon - Arlozorov/Namir) 2:45 There will be transport from the vigil to the TEL AVIV PEACE MARCH (7:00)
==== From Yishay Mor
Excuse me for not writing to each and every one of you personally. Believe me -- I planned to. However, the amount of support I got was so overwhelming that it is practicably impossible.
Last Sunday I was released from my 28 day sentence for refusing to serve in the occupied territories. I am sure I need not explain the motivation for my refusal, but I'm not sure all of you realize how hard a decision it was. As confident as I was, and still am, in my act of disobedience, it goes against my upbringing, my way of life, and my feelings of loyalty.
For the last 12 years I have been a soldier and a commander in a highly praised reserve infantry unit. I am proud to belong to this unit. The hardest part about deciding to refuse was the feeling that I am betraying my friends. In almost all cases I witnessed, my comrades handled the most delicate situations with utmost professionalism and humanity. Yet, as morally as you wage war you cannot wage a moral war. I have not a single word of complaint against my fellow soldiers. The guilty ones are those leaders who sent us to missions that will taint our souls forever.
While in prison, I drew endless strength from the support I received. It is very frustrating to be locked away, seeing your country going down a dark ally, and feeling unable to act. The letters and other messages I received made me feel my act was not in vain. Thank you all!!!
There are circa 40 refusniks in military prison today. Support them. They need it, and they deserve it. Write to them and to their families, call and see if they need help. Come to the rallies outside the prison. Most of all, help them by doing the things they cannot do. Pick one refusnik, and every day he (or she) is in prison, do something to end the occupation.
Hoping for better days,
- Yishay Mor
URGENT Update: April 25 2002
Five IDF regulars (conscripts) have received jail sentences for refusal to take part in the campaign of repression against the Palestinian population.
On April 24, Corp. Alon Sela (Kochav Ya'ir) of an artillery unit was sentenced to 28 days for refusal to serve in the Hebron area. He declared: "Service in the occupied territories causes me moral conflicts I'm unable to handle. I don't know how others handle them."
On April 25, four additional conscripts got similar sentences after refusing, each in turn, to serve as guards at the Ktzi'ot ("Ansar 3") prison camp - recently reopened to hold hundreds of Palestinians detained during the recent IDF offensive in Palestinian towns and villages:
Sgt. Shay Biran (Hod Hasharon) - combat medic (Military ID: 6994014)
Sgt. Yiftah Admoni (Hod Hasharon) (ID: 6961658)
Sgt. Alon Dror (Kfar Saba) (ID: 7014088)
Sgt. Tomer Friedman (Kfar Saba) (ID: 6993743) - combat medic
All four serve in the Nahal brigade, which consists mainly of youth movement graduates. Before enlisting, they volunteered a "service year" devoted to youth work. Biran and Friedman had previously seen active combat duty in the occupied territories. Each of the soldiers defended his decision in detail, here are some selected passages (the full Hebrew texts will soon be on our website
Biran: "I am no longer willing to take an active part in the violent, needless and immoral policy conducted by my government... The [Israeli] occupier has been applying consistent violence and a policy of repression for 35 years, while yet excising it from the public consciousness, and people don't understand that [Palestinian] violence is in fact counter-violence. .. If I were to go to the territories, I'd be contributing to the state's destruction (not merely moral, but above all, concrete and tangible); by refusing, I am trying to save the state from self-destructing." Recalling the Palestinian bombing in Kfar Saba, near his home, Biran adds: "If I go to Ramallah, I'd be killing my own family. It's not just Arabs I care about, but those near me... Those who'll die because of a stupid, cynical and callous policy. This isn't a defensive war, it's our calamity...There's no future to this war, it must end because there's no victory in it."
Admoni: "Perpetuation of the occupation will take Israel to its end, moral and perhaps even physical... A policy that sacrifices the lives of the state's soldiers and citizens for the sake of territory and political calculation (refusal to dismantle settlements) and elects to oppress and imprison 3.5 million people, isn't democratic. As a soldier, I am expected to carry out this policy that contradicts democratic values, and therefore, by opposing that policy, I am defending democracy. ... The Palestinians' daily existence has become so intolerable that they're ready to kill themselves to change matters - that's the action of people with no hope, and I'm not willing to serve an army that perpetuates this situation."
Dror: "I've been a combat soldier for a year and a half, I went wherever I was told, but I refuse to go along any further with Israel's occupation policy, or take responsibility for its results. I call upon any other soldier required to help in the occupation, to act like me. On top of the moral damage the occupation inflicts upon the occupier, the occupation itself - the ongoing assault on the Palestinians and their human rights - doesn't merely bring us no security, rather, it creates the next generation of terrorists, people who have nothing to lose ... I am bound to oppose these actions. I'm bound to adopt disobedience towards the government; it's not just that I'm not bound by the law, I am bound, morally, to flout it. .. I don't see this as an act of treason; rather, it's a step aimed at saving the state, even if I must pay a personal price."
We will publish Friedman's letter in our next circular. The imprisonment of these five is most significant ! They are not the first young (18-20) conscripts to refuse duties in the campaign of repression. Others have done so in the past. But their 3-year service places them under much stricter discipline than reservists called in for a few weeks, and few have the maturity and self-confidence to face up to the ordeal they can expect from their superiors until their discharge. The spread of the refusal movement to the conscript units marks a notable breakthrough.
Meeting point: Bet Oren turn-off, the old Haifa-Hedera highway Transportation: Jerusalem (Binyanei Haumma) 1:30 Tel Aviv (Rakevet Tzafon - Arlozorov/Namir) 2:45
There will be transport from the vigil to the TEL AVIV PEACE MARCH (7:00)
Peretz Kidron - Ram Rahat YESH GVUL
From Sheryl Jackson
I cried when I read the letter from the Refuseniks. I am so filled with joy and the recognition of miracles. If you received my communiques last week, you will remember that I questioned what are the Americans doing by running interference for the Israelis? Who are we to interfere with God's Chosen People? They are acting out their aggressions like the Nazis. Now their army is questioning the sanity of their leaders.
This is God working miracles on the battlefield. This is Gods' moving among the Jews. This is God bringing His love and foresight to fruition. This is declaring a war and people are not attending. This is what I have prayed for for years for the Jews of Israel. This is newsworthy. This is NEWS. We must continue to pray for the Jews and their sanity. The men who are refusing to go to war are going to inspire the other men of the world to not wage war.
Bless these men. Bless their families and strengthen their resolve. These are true martyrs. They will be shamed and humiliated by their peers, but more will be doing this. Amazing. Astounding. Miracles.
Sheryl Jackson

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