Israel: Hilel Garmi imprisoned for the fourth time
Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi from Israel has been imprisoned again for his refusal to be conscripted. Garmi was sentenced to 20 more days in military prison on Monday, 17th September. This is his fourth imprisonment and when released he will have spent 57 days in military prison in total.
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.
You can read Garmi's full declaration here.
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.
Garmi's second imprisonment was on 6th August, following his declaration of conscientious objection together with another refuser, Luhar Altman, in front of the military induction centre. During their declarations, refusers were supported by 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 declarations, both refusers were imprisoned, Altman for 10 days and Garmi for 20 days. On 3 September, Garmi was imprisoned for the third time to spend 10 more days behind bars.
You can also write to Israel's embassies abroad. Find a list of these here.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of all conscientious objectors. Refusing to kill is not a crime.