Israeli conscientious objectors imprisoned again

By agency reporter
December 16, 2018

Conscientious objectors Hilel Garmi, 19, and Adam Rafaelov, 18, from Israel have been imprisoned again for their refusal to serve in the military.

Adam Rafaelov was sentenced to 10 days in military prison on 7 December 2018. This is Rafaelov's seventh imprisonment since July. Upon completing his current sentence, he will have served 87 days in total behind bars.

In his refusal statement, Rafaelov says: "The Israeli regime justifies its violence toward Palestinians by claiming it is defending the Jewish homeland. But it is impossible to justify continual, violent, and oppressive rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.... Israel prides itself on being the ‘most moral army in the world,’ but there is nothing moral about occupation and oppression.... I refuse to take part in a system that goes against my worldview. I refuse to allow this system to continue to exist without resistance."

Hilel Garmi, who has already spent 97 days behind bars, has also been imprisoned again. On 11 December, Garmi was sentenced to 10 more days in military prison. This is Garmi's seventh imprisonment.

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."

Both Garmi and Rafaelov are supported by Mesarvot — Refusing to Serve the Occupation , a grassroots network that brings together individuals and groups who refuse to enlist in the Israel Defence Force in protest at the occupation.

* Watch a video interview with Hilel Garmi here

* Mesarvot https://www.facebook.com/mesarvot/

* War Resisters International calls for the immediate release of all conscientious objectors. https://www.wri-irg.org/en

[Ekk/6]

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