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(en) Israel, Youths rally in support of 2 draft resisters*

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 22 Mar 2005 15:03:00 +0100 (CET)

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Fifty high school seniors demonstrated Tuesday at the army's central
induction center in support of two youths who intend to refuse to be drafted.
The draft resisters, Alex Kohn and Eyal Barmai, were to be part of
a group of new draftees in be inducted on Tuesday. They intend to
tell the Israel Defense Forces that they will not participate in what
they view as an oppressive occupation of the Palestinians.
Along with Kohn and Barmai, the protestors signed a letter urging refusal to
serve in the IDF, and supporting conscientious objectors already in military prison.
"I will give the officers a letter I prepared, and let them know I have no intention of
aiding the occupation," said Kohn. "I know that by the end of the day I will be in prison."

He does not care if he receives a non-combatant job in the military,
he said. "Every job in the occupation army gives legitimacy to the
army's actions in the territories," he said. "If they were to propose
civil service in place of military service, I would be happy to give to
society." He noted that his parents do not agree with his views, but
respect his decision.

Shomri Tzameret, 21, is a veteran draft resister. Along with five
others, he spent nearly two years in prison for refusal to serve, and
was released six months ago. He arrived on Tuesday to encourage
the younger generation continuing his path.

"I admire their initiative," he said. "The hard thing is the morning.
They will wake up each morning and remind themselves why they
did this. Every morning they sit there they shorten the occupation
and reduce the deaths on both sides."

About 250 teenagers signed the 12th-graders' letter, which they
mailed a week ago to the prime minister, the defense minister, the
chief of staff, and the minister of education. The letter calls for all
teenagers called up for the draft, and all Israeli soldiers, "to consider
afresh if you will risk your life and take part in a policy of
subjugation and destruction."

"The current policy is not a result of security requirements, but
rather of a nationalist, messianic worldview," the letter continues.
"Israel is wasting its resources on conducting and occupation and
oppression in the occupied territories, at a time when hundreds of
thousands of Israeli citizens live in shameful poverty. In recent
years, citizens have seen a deterioriation in all public institutions:
education, health care, infrastructure, pensions ... They are
neglected for the sake of the settlements' continued existence."

The teenagers asked for an alternative means to help society, one
"which does not include hurting people."
* [Ed. note: significant number of the new wave of 250
list of high-schooler refusnics are also involved
with the Anarchist Against The Wall initiative.]

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