Excerpt from Aiden's declaration:
The military is a patriarchal body that perpetuates for the youth the a-symmetry between men and women. We can see this through gendered roles in the military – gendered roles for women such as a secretary, and those for [men] such as combatants. Serving in the military perpetuate the masculine oppression of young men and women in Israel, as well as the hierarchy within the country leadership as military leader become political leaders as well. I refuse to take part in an organization that makes “masculine” behaviors such as aggression and violence, an entry ticket to the social elite.
As someone who believes in gender equality, I can not ignore inequality in other issues. Arabs and Jews live in this country as two different classes; Israelis and Palestinians live under two different legal systems; It would be absurd to strive for justice in the context of injustice. I struggle against my oppression – my gender oppression as a trans women and my ethnic oppression as a Mizrahi Jew, and if I turn a blind eye to an oppression of another people, this would be hypocrisy.
I went to the Friday protests in the Palestinian village of Bil’in to protest the theft of the village lands for the growth of the neighboring settlement, and I saw the violent suffocating space the children grow up in. When the military does not allow the residents to protest legally, as it shoots tear gas canisters at elders, children, men and women that are trying to protest, I can’t but feel shame. For the soldiers, it would seem almost like a computer game they are playing, but in real life there are real victims.
For these victims I stand and say no! It is time for an alliance of the victims of oppression: chauvinism, ethnic oppression, racism, nationalism. We all suffer from the racism and violence around us, let us stand together and refuse to take part in it.