themcglynn.com

17 Jan

Courage to Refuse

‘We are creating suicide bombers from the sons of the dead’

Chris McGreal in Tel Aviv
The Guardian, Saturday 17 January 2009

Full Article

The call came at 11pm on a Saturday. Yitzchak Ben Mocha’s mobile flashed up “unidentified number” but he knew who it was. A recorded voice ordered him to report for duty at eight the next morning. As he packed his uniform he wondered if he was heading to prison. The 25-year-old paratrooper was about to tell his commanders that not only would he refuse to join Israel’s war in Gaza but would not serve in any capacity that helped perpetuate the conflict.

He reported for duty and was ordered to erect tents for combat soldiers.

“I told my officer, I am not going to do this. The next morning I was sent home. They told me they’d call me again if there was need. They have not called yet. In the past the army used to put refuseniks in jail for weeks. When they were released, sometimes they would be arrested again and this would go on for months.

“But now it seems the army doesn’t want to admit publicly there are refuseniks. [It] is embarrassed. It would go against the image of the whole army and country united behind this war.”

The Israeli military has told the press there is so much support for the assault on Gaza that more soldiers have turned up to fight than have been called up for what the local media is characterising as a “righteous war”. Ben Mocha says that obscures the increasing number of Israeli men of fighting age, almost all of whom are military reservists, who are refusing to serve the occupation.

One resisters’ organisation, Courage to Refuse, published a newspaper advert condemning the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians and calling on soldiers to refuse to fight in Gaza. “The brutal, unprecedented violence in Gaza is shocking. The false hope that this kind of violence will bring security to Israelis is all the more dangerous. We cannot stand aside while hundreds of civilians are being butchered by the IDF [Israel Defence Force],” it said…………………………………………..

Courage to Refuse Principles

Blog Site

*  We, reserve combat officers and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who were raised upon the principles of Zionism, sacrifice and giving to the people of Israel and to the State of Israel, who have always served in the front lines, and who were the first to carry out any mission, light or heavy, in order to protect the State of Israel and strengthen it.
* We, combat officers and soldiers who have served the State of Israel for long weeks every year, in spite of the dear cost to our personal lives, have been on reserve duty all over the Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people. We, whose eyes have seen the bloody toll this Occupation exacts from both sides.
* We, who sensed how the commands issued to us in the Territories, destroy all the values we had absorbed while growing up in this country.
* We, who understand now that the price of Occupation is the loss of IDF’s human character and the corruption of the entire Israeli society.
* We, who know that the Territories are not Israel, and that all settlements are bound to be evacuated in the end.
* We hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight this War of the Settlements.
* We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.
* We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel’s defense.
* The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose – and we shall take no part in them.

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