Joseph, I have been following your blog with interest and also read your entries on another blog. I had posted this comment there but did not receive a reply. I am curious about people in Israeli society who have leftist views and have served in the IDF. How do you think they feel about the occupation. As someone who has served, did you have any conflict with this? did you ever have to serve in the occupied territories? What happens when one refuses to serve there? Can one refuse? Dan
Thanks for the comment. Right before I opened the page, I opened the newspaper here and say this headline. Almost all the people in Ta’ayush have served in the IDF. I have not served in the West Bank but some have. One Ta’ayush activist just recently got out of the IDF and started coming with us because of his experiences as a solider at Bilin. He was on the IDF side there, shooting protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas. One week, he went to the protest as a civilian and upon returning to service was dismissed to a desk job.
One of our main goals is to talk with soldiers. Make sure that they understand that they have a choice and voice in what they choose to do. Often, you can see looks of disgust on the faces of certain soldiers and I personally try and talk with them about what they are experiencing. One Ta’ayush member spent, I believe, a couple of weeks in jail for not serving in a reserve unit operating in the West Bank. Israel has promoted an image of itself as the most moral army in the world. If you refuse to serve in the West Bank, you go to jail. Does that sound moral?
[...] Ezra has written a letter that was placed on The Nation As mentioned in his letter, the international pressure did not fall on deaf ears, as the Israeli Ministry of Justice and other governmental bodies have responded to our letters with confused and irrelevant statements such as “Mr. Nawi provokes the local residents. [ie. Jewish Settlers]” or “…Mr. Nawi who has often uses insults…”; the official response can be found here and on my response here [...]