War Resisters' International has been informed today by the Shministim and New Profile that the first two signatories of the 2009-10 Shministim letter have been detained by the military on 22 October 2009.
Efi Brenner and Or Ben-David went to the military induction base in Tel-Hashomer and refused to enlist. Efi Brenner was indeed sent to prison, while Or Ben-David has not yet been sentenced (she was told that the military prison for women was full) and had to return to the induction base on 23 October, spend the weekend there and will be sent to prison on Sunday. War Resisters' International will send an update on her situation once we know more.
Efi Brenner was sentenced to his first prison term of ten days (more terms in prison are likely to follow), which he serves in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit. Following the media exposure that the Seniors’ Letter has received after it was made public, Efi Brenner was kicked out of home by his father, and spent the last days before imprisonment at a friend’s house. In prison he has already been transferred to the isolation ward for refusing to obey the military dressing code. In addition, the prison authorities decided (against all known regulations) not to allow him to take books with him into prison.
Efi Brenner has prepared the following statement upon entering prison:
I object to oppression, whether it is committed by a hierarchical organisation, such as the military is, or whether it is committed by the human species against animals. The Israeli government and military conduct a policy of occupation and oppression against the Palestinian people since 1948. It began with the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in 1948, which continues to this day, and continued with the imposition of an oppressive military rule on Palestinians, with the restriction of the freedom of movement of all people, with roads for Israelis only, with administrative detentions, house demolitions, land thefts, etc. We must act in peaceful ways and refuse to take part in the crimes committed by the military. That is our true duty. All the things mentioned above stand against the basic values of freedom and justice in which I believe and for which I struggle. I therefore refuse to enlist to the Israeli military and indeed to any military force of any kind.
Efi Brenner is due to be released from prison on 30 October, but is likely to be imprisoned again soon afterwards.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Efi Brenner:
Efi Brenner (Military ID 203258272)
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 email@example.com, 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/9042.
Please send a copy of your letter to the Shministim (High School Seniors), as letters are often not handed to those in prison. Please send a copy be email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
War Resisters' International