Israeli conscientious objector imprisoned again

By agency reporter
September 13, 2018

Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi from Israel has been imprisoned once again for his refusal to be conscripted. Garmi is spending 10 more days behind bars. This is his third imprisonment and when released he will have spent 37 days in military prison in total.

In his declaration Garmi says: "I cannot enlist, because from a very young age I was educated to believe that all humans are equal.  I do not believe in some common denominator which all Jews share and which sets them apart from Arabs. I do not believe that I should be treated differently from a child born in Gaza or in Jenin, and I do not believe that the sorrows or the happiness of any of us are more important than those of anyone else.  …As a person who was born into the more powerful side of the hierarchy between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, I was given the power as well as the obligation to try to fight that hierarchy."

Hilel Garmi was first imprisoned on 29 July 2018, six days after he failed to report at the induction centre and undergo enlistment. He was arrested by plainclothes soldiers at his home – an exceptional action by the Israeli army which has not been seen in recent years.

Garmi's second imprisonment was on 6 August, following his declaration of conscientious objection together with another refuser, Luhar Altman, in front of the military induction centre. During their declarations, refusers were supported by Mesarvot  (a solidarity network of people refusing to serve in the Israeli military for political reasons), as well as their friends and family. Following their declarations, both refusers were imprisoned, Altman for 10 days and Garmi for 20 days.

* Read Hilel Garmi's full declaration here

* Mesarvot

* War Resisters International


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.