This week in Israel, four conscientious objectors, Shahar Schwartz (18-year-old), Einat Gerlitz (19), Evyatar Moshe Rubin (19), and Nave Shabtay Levin (18) have jointly declared their refusal to join the Israeli army, stating their refusal to take part in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In their statement refusers said
We, Israeli youth, refuse to join the Israeli army and take part in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip. We call out to all citizens of Israel to open their eyes and see the policy of oppression over the palestinian people carried out by the Israeli government. We object to the militaristic education forced on us by the same oppressive policies, we object to the educational system teaching us to hate our neighbors, and we object to the social norms that prohibits the educational system from sharing the true reality in the Palestinian territories with children and youth. We feel it is important to show there is another way.
Shahar, who has refused before and was sentenced to 10 days in military prison, repeated his declaration and expected to be imprisoned again. Einat was sentenced to 7 days in military prison. Evyatar and Nave, who refused on Monday, have received a 7-day sentence and 10-day sentence in military prison.
How to support?
- Write to Israeli officials and politicians, and get the message of the refusers to them using the template here.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, are candidates running for the Israeli Prime Minister’s position in the upcoming elections in November. In solidarity with Israeli refusers, send them an email, using the template here, saying you support the objectors’ statement and stand in solidarity with them.
- Write to the refusers themselves, sharing your messages of solidarity with them using the link here.
- Post your messages of solidarity on social media using the hashtag #SupportThe4