Israeli conscientious objector
Hadis Amit (ISR14913), a 19 years' old woman CO, was today sentenced to
14 days in prison for refusing to serve. In a letter to the military
authorities, announcing her refusal to perform military service, Hadas
"If I were to be recruited into the army, this would absolutely and
in all respects contradict my convictions and my way in life, since
violence, killing, nationalism and vandalism are not part of them. I am
not willing to wear the uniform of an organisation responsible for
killing and destruction, acting in a way detrimental to its
environment. Every State, the State of Israel included, should act by
peaceful means alone, and even if attached, not to respond with fire.
In any situation, Israel's case included, it is wrong to sustain a
military force trained for war and killing - this is altogether
contrary to the pursuit of peace and coexistence with our neighbours in
the Middle East."
Hadas appeared before the military Conscience Committee in November,
but was rejected. Hadas reported that during her hearing she was
constantly interrupted and had to suffer degrading and disrespectful
comments. A member of the committee demonstratively left the room, and
two other members were exchanging notes, with her sitting between them,
while she was trying to answer questions directed to her.
In a statement made on the eve of imprisonment Hadas wrote:
"I refuse to enlist in the IDF [Israel Defence Forces], as the D
of "IDF" symbolises nothing but killing to me. Who is it that decided
that I am not seeking peace, and put me with my back to the wall? I
could either lie or pay the price of my principles. It is for morality
and justice and the love of humankind that I shall be sitting in prison."
Since early 2005, women COs in Israel are referred to the same internal
military Conscience Committee as male COs (despite official legal
recognition of women's right to CO), and there is no right of appeal on
the Committee's decisions. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that
the military Conscience Committee is fundamentally biased against
women. It seems difficult for the members of this committee (4 men and
one woman; all but one of the men are military career officers) to
perceive a woman as a person with principles, with a conscientious
stance, and with commitment to this stance. As a result (although
official figures are not released), the committee rejects a far higher
percentage of applications by women than by men, and many of the women
applicants describe their committee hearings as a degrading experience.
Hadas is due to be released from prison on Friday, 29 December 2006.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Hadas
Military ID 6175691
Military Prison No. 400
Military Postal Code 02447, IDF
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the
Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter can
be sent at http://www.wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20061218a.html.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of
conscientious objector Hadas Amit and all other imprisoned
War Resisters' International
Mr Amir Peretz
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Military Prison No 4
Military Postal Code 02507
Commander of Military Prison No 6
Military Prison No 6
Military postal number 01860,
Commander of Military Prison No 400
Military Prison No 400
Military postal number 02447
Addresses of Israeli embassies can be found at http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/israel1.htm
Addresses of Israeli media:
2 Karlibach st.
2 Moses st.
21 Schocken st.
Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15 and +972-3-694-47-09
Galei Tzahal +972-3-512-67-20
Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09
co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts