Last October 19yr old Hallel Rabin, a young Israeli woman, explained why she refused to be a part of the Israeli occupation force. She’d already been languishing in an Israeli prison for 4 weeks before this video was posted and was preparing for a 3rd stint in an Israeli prison. Hallel also sent a message through her lawyer after she returned to prison….
“Hello again, this is Hallel Rabin
I’m writing you this message from inside the military prison – Last week I was tried again by the Israeli military for refusing to draft and serve occupation and war. I was sentenced for another 10 days in jail – my fourth incarceration term! My appeal for the military conscience committee was heard on Wednesday, and I hope to receive my exemption afterwards. But if that won’t happen, I’m willing to stay in jail for as long as it takes until justice is done.
I’m held at Military Jail No. 6 with other female inmates. My connection to the outside world is through phone calls with my parents and meetings with my lawyer. I was moved and excited by the enormous wave of international solidarity I received – If I could, I would thank each one of you personally. But the Israeli military forbids any direct contact with media, diplomats or other supporters, trying to isolate me. They even won’t allow any picture of me with prison uniform to be shared. But I know that as long as you, and many more, share my message, I’m never truly alone.
Hallel Rabin, Refuser in Jail”
Hallel is far from alone it seems. Today, we learn that 60 Israeli High School seniors have written to the Israeli PM declaring the reasons why they’ve decided to refuse military service and why they reject Zionism and occupation of Palestinian lands. In their letter, they also call out the ruthless oppression and murderous exploitation of the Palestinian people and declare that they refuse “to put on the bloodstained military uniform and preserve the legacy of the Nakba and of occupation” or to uphold “the legacy of massacre, expulsion of families, and land theft, the legacy which enabled the establishment of the State of Israel, as a proper democratic state, for Jews only.”
These young objectors refuse to enforce what they call “collective punishment”. They refuse to arrest and jail minors and they call out the use of blackmail as a way to recruit “collaborators”. They also call out other Israeli war crimes, such as the government’s “policies of apartheid entailing two different legal systems: one for Palestinians and the other for Jews” and the 10yr siege of Gaza which “has created a massive humanitarian crisis… there is no drinkable water nor electricity in Gaza for most hours of the day. Unemployment and poverty are pervasive and the healthcare system lacks the most basic means.”
“Real peace.. requires justice” they say and “Justice requires acknowledgment of the historical and present injustices, and of the continuing Nakba” as well as “the end of the occupation, the end of the siege on Gaza, and recognition of the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Justice demands solidarity, joint struggle, and refusal.”
You can read the full 2021 Shministiyot Letter here folks.
It seems, despite all the Israeli propaganda, hope for peace, justice and solidarity still thrives.
If you’d like to support these amazing young champions of peace and justice then please join and support The Refuser Solidarity Network today.
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