The Journal of History     Spring 2005    TABLE OF CONTENTS

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250 teenagers sign new "Refusal Letter"

About 250 Israeli teenagers today  sent a collective letter to the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, chief of  the IDF general staff and Minister of Education. The signatories declare that  they will refuse to take part in the occupation, either by refusing to serve in  the Occupied Territories or by altogether refusing to serve in the army.
"The occupation policy is is immoral  and contrary to the principles of democracy. We will not be part of this  illegitimate policy. By our conscience and our sense of civic duty, we are bound  to refuse" they declare. "We wish to live in a society which pursues justice,  upholding equal rights to every single citizen. The occupation and repression  policy is an obstacle to the realization of this vision, therefore we shall  refuse to take part in it."
Next week, the call-up date comes  around for the first two conscientious objectors among the letter’s signatories,  Eyal Brami and Alex Cohn. They intend to show up on the appointed time at the  army’s Induction Centre, in order to inform the military officials of their firm  refusal to be drafted: "The occupation policy tramples upon Palestinians' basic  human rights. It leads to the killing of Israelis and Palestinians, and  turns our society into an impoverished, violent and terrorized society. We  believe that there is another way."
The group follows in the footsteps of  previous “Shministim” groups, initiated by successive generations of high school  pupils at various times in the past two decades. The sending of previous letter  in 2002 led to the imprisonment of many of the signatories. Six of them were  singled out for a highly-publicized trial at a full military court-martial,  resulting in an accumulated period of some two years behind bars for each of  these six. The initiators of the new letter, well aware of that record, declare  themselves to be unintimidated and determined to follow the dictates of their  conscience at whatever cost will be exacted.
To contact the new  Shministim (High School seniors):
Omri Evron: +972-(0)3-5228176 /  +972-(0)54-2044485

Provided by The Other Israel on March 13, 2005


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