Israeli conscientious objector Hilel Garmi, 19, has been imprisoned for the sixth time for his refusal to serve in the army. On 11 November, Garmi was sentenced to 20 more days in military prison. This will add to 77 days he has already spent behind bars in total.
See here a video interview with Garmi where he explains his refusal to be conscripted.
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.
Read Garmi's full declaration here.
You can also read a letter Garmi wrote from prison here.
Protests to support Garmi
On 24th November, Saturday, Yesh Gvul Movement activists are organising a demonstration outside Prison 6, where Garmi is kept. The demonstration is to show solidarity with Garmi and to protest Garmi's treatment by the military inside the prison.
On 27th October, Yesh Gvul Movement activists organised another demonstration in support of Garmi. In response, as reported by activists, Garmi was asked to make a call to the protestors to stop their demonstration. He was told that otherwise he would be taken to 'Zone C', where soldiers committed serious crimes (such as murder and rape) are kept and where prisoners have fewer rights than other sections. Garmi refused to cooperate and -as a punishment- was transferred to the Zone C for one night.
Find more information about the protest on 24th November here.
As well as filling in our email alert, please send your solidarity messages to Garmi via the online form of Mesarvot (solidarity network of conscientious objectors refusing to serve in the Israeli military for political reasons).
You can also write to Israel's embassies abroad. Find a list of these here.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of all conscientious objectors. Refusing to kill is not a crime.