Israel: After New Profile, now investigation against Yesh Gvul

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Yesh Gvul reported on 26 June that three of its members - Micha Rachman, Mordechai Zeldon and Peretz Kidron - have been summoned to interrogation by the Israeli police. The alleged grounds for the investigation is the suspicion that the group and its members engage in "incitement to evade military service", do so consistently and "promise financial incentives" to that end.

The investigation against Yesh Gvul follows an investigation against New Profile. On 26 April 2009, the homes of six members of New Profile were raided and computers seized (see co-update No 47, May 2009).

Yesh Gvul also reported on 23 June 2009 on the imprisonment of two occupation refusers, who wish to remain anonymous.

D, a 19 year old conscript soldier serving in the Kfir brigade has reported abuses he witnessed during service in the Occupied Territories (see Haaretz, 24 June 2009). He was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in military prison after telling his commanders he would refuse to continue participating in his unit's operations in the territories. D. announced his refusal after taking part in a March 26 operation in the village of Kifl Hares, in the northern West Bank. The soldier, several of his friends and several Palestinians present said Palestinian prisoners were abused during the operation.

In addition, Y., a reserve soldier from an infantry unit, had been sentenced on 23 June to a 7 day prison term in military prison no. 6, for his refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories.

Sources: Yesh Gvul: Reports on Israeli youths and soldiers refusing to serve the occupation: July 2009 - Occupation Refusenik D, a conscript soldier, and Y', a reservist, in prison, 23 June 2009; Haaretz: IDF jails soldier who refused to serve in West Bank, 24 June 2009

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Submitted by Jim Haber on Fri, 07 Aug 2009 - 00:39

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I know it pushes buttons among my fellow Jews for us ever to be compared with Nazis, but these attacks on Israeli anti-militarists deserves just such a scary, offensive wake up call.

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. All you have to do is tell them that they are in danger of being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger." -Hermann Goering (1893 - 1946)

I wish that were the only parallel that could be pointed out, and I am saddened and sickened that there are other, even more egregious ones (witness Gaza, the open air prison, the maintenance of which violates so many Jewish teachings that I can't believe people in Israel and the diaspora defend it).