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Resistance and Efforts for Peace

250 Israeli High School Students Declare Refusal to Serve

Shministim

In March of 2005, a group of 250 Israeli high school students sent a joint letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, declaring they will refuse to take any part in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and people. After five years of continious bloodshed , we’ve decided it is time to raise our voice and call for an immediate end of the occupation.

Arial Sharon, Prime Minister

Lt. General Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defence

Lt. Genral Moshe Yaalon, Chief og General Staff

Limor Livnat, Minister of Education

We the undersigned, Israeli girls and boys, believing in the values of democracy, humanism and pluralism, hereby declare that we shall refuse to take part in the occupation and repression policy adopted by the Government of Israel. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we are all agreed that these values are the bases of a just society. Every human being has the right to life, equality, dignity and freedom. We are bound by our conscience and as citizens of Israel to act in defence of these rights, by refusing to participate in the occupation and repression policy.

The occupation leads to inhumanity and to a massive infringement of the right to life. It tramples on the basic rights of millions of people and inflicts daily carnage and suffering. It leads to the confiscation of lands, to mass destruction of homes and public buildings, to arrests and killings without trial, to victimization and murder of innocents, to hunger, to a denial of medical assistance, to collective punishment, and to the building and expansion of settlements and the negation of any chance of normal living both in the occupied territories and in Israel itself. This flagrant violation of human rights is opposed to our view of the world, as well as being in contravention of international conventions signed and ratified by Israel.

The occupation contributes nothing to the security of the state and its citizens but on the contrary, it only aggravates it. It deepens the despair and fans the hatered among the Palestinians, feeds terrorism and widens the river of blood between the two sides. True security will only be accomplished by ending the occupation, dismantling the wall of Apartheid around the Palestinians and striving for a just peace agreement between the state of Israel and the leadership of the Palestinian people as well as the Arab world. The present policy is not a result of a military necessity, but the outcome of a nationalistic=Messianic phantasy.

The occupation has corrupted Israel, turning it into a militaristic, racist, chauvinistic and violent society. Israel is wasting its resources on the perpetuation of the occupation and repression in the territories, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in shameful poverty. In recent years Israeli citizens have experienced a deterioration of all public services. Education, medicine, welfare, pensions, everything to do with the well being of the citizenry has been neglected and sacrificed for the continued existence of settlements which the majority of the population wishes to be evacuated. We cannot stand idly facing this situation, which amounts to a “targeted liquidation” of the principle of equality.

We wish to live in a society which pursues justice, upholding equal rights to every single citizen. The occupation and repression policy is an obstacle to the realization of this vision, therefore we shall refuse to take part in it. We wish to contribute to society in an alternative way, which does not involve harming other human beings.

We call on all young people facing mobilization and on all members of the Israeli army to weigh again whether to risk their lives in the service of this repressive and destructive policy.

We believe that there is another way.

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Videos & Multimedia

Nonviolent Protest in Bil'in, 4/17/09; Bassem Abu Rahme is Killed

3/20/2004 demonstration in Karbatha, Palestine – activists shot

View footage from 2/6/2004 demonstration at Georgetown University, USA

View footage from 12/26/2003 demonstration in Mas’ha, West Bank—Israeli activist, Gil Ne’amati, is shot

View footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank

View footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Zbuba, West Bank

MORE footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Zbuba, West Bank

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Additional Resources

Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance

Charter of the United Nations

Organizations

Courage to Refuse

American Muslims for Palestine

A Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

More Religious Peace Groups

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