ISRAEL: Ayelet Brachfeld released after 100 days in military prison

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Ayelet Brachfeld

On 3rd July, the Israeli army discharged Ayelet Brachfeld who refused to be drafted due to her opposition to the occupation. Brachfeld spent 100 days in total -in four prison terms- behind the bars before she got her exemption by the army's conscientious objection committee.

Brachfeld's exemption is one of the rare cases where the army granted conscientious objector status to a non-religious Jewish Israeli.  Most other political conscientious objectors are ultimately discharged for “serious misconduct,” “unsuitability,” or are given psychological exemptions instead of being recognised as conscientious objectors.

Upon leaving prison, Brachfeld said that as an Israeli, she has the responsibility to do “everything I can to stop this cycle of bloodshed. Refusing is my first step.” She first declared her refusal to serve in the army back in February. In her statement, she said:

I’m tired of hearing kids my age say we “don’t have a choice”. I’m tired of people thinking nothing is going to change, that this is bigger than us. The way I see it, there is an extreme injustice here, and the first thing you can do is refuse to take part in it

Brachfeld is also one of the dozens of Israeli high school students who signed the “2017 Shministim Letter.”  The letter, addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu in December 2017, was a joint declaration of high school students of their refusal to join the Israeli army due to their opposition to the occupation. 

Source: +972 Magazine, IDF releases conscientious objector after 100 days in military prison, 3rd July 2018.

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