Israel: Refusers Hilel Garmi and Luhar Altman imprisoned
On 6th August, Monday, Luhar Altman and Hilel Garmi declared their refusal at the military induction centre with the support of Mesarvot (a solidarity network of people refusing to serve in the Israeli military for political reasons), as well as their friends and family. Following their refusal, both were imprisoned, Altman for 10 days and Garmi for 20 days. They are behind bars at the moment.
In his declaration Garmi says:
I cannot enlist, because from a very young age I was educated to believe that all humans are equal. I do not believe in some common denominator which all Jews share and which sets them apart from Arabs. I do not believe that I should be treated differently from a child born in Gaza or in Jenin, and I do not believe that the sorrows or the happiness of any of us are more important than those of anyone else. …As a person who was born into the more powerful side of the hierarchy between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, I was given the power as well as the obligation to try to fight that hierarchy.
Hilel Garmi was first imprisoned on 29 July, six days after he failed to report at the induction center and undergo enlistment. He was arrested by plainclothes soldiers at his home - an exceptional action by the Israeli army which hasn't been seen in recent years. You can read Garmi's full declaration here.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of all conscientious objectors. Refusing to kill is not a crime.