Israeli conscientious objector Moriel Rothman, 23 year old, from Jerusalem, arrived in the morning of Wednesday, 24 October 2012, to the Induction Base in Jerusalem, where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army as it is an occupying force. He was sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment for his refusal.
In his refusal declaration Moriel Rothman wrote:
“But it cannot be said lightly, the time has long passed for gentle language and “hear-able” rhetoric: The Occupation– which is the IDF’s primary function these days- is cruelty and injustice manifest. The Occupation is anti-God, anti-Love and staggeringly, constantly violent. The Occupation is based on a system of racial/ethnic separation that does, in fact, resemble South African Apartheid and segregation in the Southern United States until the 1960s. And this “temporary” Occupation is not “on its way out,” but is rather growing in strength every single day. There is almost zero political will within Israel’s government to end it, and the Israeli public has largely accepted the status quo, in which the occupation is basically a theoretical question, and one of which many have grown tired. But the occupation can only be theoretical if you are not occupied, and thus my refusal to support the occupation by serving in the IDF is also an act of solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.”
The imprisonment of Moriel Rothman is a violation of article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Israel is a party. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in Opinion 24/2003 on Israel came to the conclusion that the repeated imprisonment of conscientious objectors in Israel is arbitrary, and therefore it constitutes a violation of 14 par 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Israel is a signatory. The United Nations Human Rights Committee recognised in a decision from January 2007 the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as guaranteed by Article 18 ICCPR. In fact, in this decision on two cases of conscientious objectors from South Korea, the Human Rights Committee stated that not to provide for the right to conscientious objection is a violation of Article 18 ICCPR (see CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004 from 23 January 2007). Since then the Human Rights Committee on two occasions decided on further cases from South Korea and one case from Turkey, with the same result.
It has to be feared that Moriel Rothman faces repeated imprisonment for his refusal to perform military service.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Moriel Rothman:
Military ID 5410577
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter to Israels Minister of Defence Ehud Barak can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/20543.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Moriel Rothman, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International