Støt de israelske refuseniks
Uddrag af brev fra Refuser Solidarity Network:
As the Israel Defense Forces steps up its military action in Lebanon, it must increasingly rely on reservists in the West Bank (an initial group of 5,000 were just called up), and when it does it will once again be confronted by the dramatic and powerful act of refusal.De israelske refuseniks gør en forskel ved at nægte at deltage i invasionen af Libanon og tage den straf, der måtte komme, på sig - og gør hermed en forskel i verden og i Israel for at vise, at det ikke er alle israelere, der støtter regeringens og hærens morderiske og morderisk ineffektive offensiv. De fortjener al den støtte, de kan få.
In fact, we have just learned of the first Lebanon War II refuser, Iztik Shabbat, a signer of the Courage to Refuse letter, who refused on July 19 to go to the Territories to free other soldiers for the invasion of Lebanon.
As one demonstration of the power of refusal, refuser groups, in particular Yesh Gvul, were heavily involved in organizing (with a wide range of groups) a large protest of between 2,500 and 5,000 Israelis on Saturday, July 22 (if that sounds small to you, please recall that the population of Israel is approximately 1/40th that of the United States. So a comparably-sized protest in the US would have resulted in between 100,000 and 200,000 people!). Clearly, Israeli society is not uniformly in favor of this war -- and the Israeli peace movement is just getting started.
It is, therefore, a crucial time to make sure that the refuser groups, from the group that got its start in the first Lebanon War (Yesh Gvul) to the brand-new collaborative between Israeli and Palestinian refusers (Combatants for Peace) are able to project their voices loud and clear into the national debate raging through Israel about this latest war.
To recap the situation for you briefly:
These actions raise many complex moral, legal, and practical issues. Israel, the United States, the American Jewish community would like to have you and the rest of the world believe that these issues can be addressed in simple, black-and-white terms terms which mean in the short run that bombs and missiles will continue to kill innocents.
- Israel Air Force bombs have killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including more than 100 children. They have also destroyed much of the Lebanese infrastructure, from bridges to roads to power generators. Half a million Lebanese have been forced from their homes;
- Hezbollah missiles rain on towns across northern Israel, killing dozens of civilians and causing widespread damage, and strengthening Israeli public support for the devastating attacks on Lebanon;
- Israeli soldiers remain captives in Lebanon and Gaza, while thousands of Palestinians, including dozens of members of the Palestinian Parliament, are held indefinitely in "administrative detention";
- Dozens of innocent civilians have been killed by IDF operations in Gaza, which continue with little attention now that war has broken out between Israel and Hezbollah.
We certainly believe that Israel has the right and obligation to defend its citizens. Hezbollah must end its bombardment of Israeli towns if there is to be any hope of peace. Yet the bombing of Lebanon is massive and indiscriminate, not only inflicting awful casualties, but also weakening the Lebanese government and radicalizing another generation of Lebanese and sympathizers in the Arab world. There is absolutely no justification for the path that Israel has taken.
The Refuser Solidarity Network joins the growing chorus around the world in a call for an immediate cease-fire of all hostilities. We call on Israel to end its bombing of Lebanon and withdraw its soldiers from that country. We call on Hezbollah to end its shelling of Israeli territory. Everyone knows there is no real military solution to this conflict, short of cataclysm. A negotiated path to peaceful co-existence is the only possible solution.
As Yonatan Shapira, leader of the Air Force Pilot refusers and co-founder of Combatants for Peace said this week, In order to defend my country, I ask the world for its support to make my government stop. Itzik and the entire the refuser movement now need our support more than ever.
As the operations in Lebanon and Gaza continue and expand, we fully expect that other refusers will become the first and most prominent line of opposition within Israel to continued war. Please respond to Yonatans call!
Take a public stand in your community, contact your elected representatives to pressure them to support an immediate cease-fire, write a letter to your local newspaper. And please make a donation to RSN so that we can pass on your contribution to the refuser groups, strengthening their work and lending them support as this horrifying and crucial time.