When, in summer 2001, War Resisters' International decided to highlight the situation in Israel and Palestine for this year's Prisoners for Peace, there was no 11 September, no "war on terrorism". There was "just" a completely stuck peace process, and increasing violence: from both the occupying Israeli forces, and in the Palestinian response to this occupation. And there was a slowly growing movement of conscientious objectors in Israel. More than enough reasons for a Prisoners for Peace focus.
CO activist Sergeiy Sandler reports on the rising tide of objection to military service in Israel during the second intifada.
Thirty-two people is a small number. A demonstration with thirty-two participants would hardly be worthy of the word. But since October 2000, thirty-two people were imprisoned or otherwise penalised in Israel for refusing to perform military duty on conscientious and political grounds.
How the list works
First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence (in brackets, where known), then their place of imprisonment (in bold), and finally, the reason for their detention.
Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, or where sentences have been served or completed during the year are in italics.
On 12 September 2001, Gevork Palyan, a Jehovah's Witness, was sentenced to one year imprisonment for refusing military service on
On 1 December, put aside at least one hour and write at least four cards to prisoners;
Get your peace group or class or place of worship to organise a card-writing session;
Set up a stall in your town centre, perform a bit of street theatre, or do whatever else it takes to attract attention and interest.
Sending cards and letters
Always send your card in an envelope;
Include a return name and address on the envelope;
Be chatty and creative: send photos from your life, drawings;
Tell prisoners what you are doing
On 28 September 2001 the Palestinians commemorated the first anniversary of the second Intifada with more people killed and injured adding to the already hundreds of deaths and the thousands injured during this year.
The characteristic of this Intifada in contrast with previous Palestinian confrontations with the Israeli occupation is the extraordinarily high number of civilian casualties within both the Palestinian and Israeli societies. This was due to an excessive use of violence during the first year of this Intifada.