Støt de israelske refuseniks

Refuser Solidarity

En radikal del af den interne opposition i Israel, som vi generelt hører alt for lidt om. Jeg har modtaget dette nyhedsbrev fra

As you no doubt realize, we are coming upon the end of 2008. It has a difficult year in the Middle East, with the Bush “peace process” going nowhere fast, the blockade of Gaza continuing with devastating impact on the many people who live in that largest of all prisons, and settlement construction continuing apace. We all hope that an Obama Administration might be more effective, but will it be any more inclined to achieve a truly just solution that ends the Occupation? Certainly, it will be much more likely to happen with vigorous, well-organized voices of opposition from within Israel.

We, the board members of the Refuser Solidarity Network, continue to believe that refusers offer one of the most effective means of convincing both Israels and Americans (in particular, American Jews) that a different path must be followed, that Palestinians must be given back their freedom, their land, their resources. We hope that you will consider a donation to the Refuser Solidarity Network to help us strenghten the refuser voice. RSN is the only charitable organization established in the United States that provides grants directly to refuser organizations. You can contribute by credit card or by check. All details are available at Just press the Donate Now button. If you would like to designate a specific refuser group to receive your funds, please make sure to indicate that in the Refuser Project field of the donation page.

Below you will find short updates on each of the refuser groups. They all offer much more detailed information on their own web pages.

Warm regards, the RSN board of directors.


The Shministim are Israeli high school students who refuse induction into the Israel Defense Forces, for the most part out of opposition to the Occupation. A number of the Shministim have been imprisoned recently for refusing to serve. Jewish Voice for Peace is rallying support for the Shministim through a letter-writing campaign. Show your support by contacting the Israeli Minister of Defense using the form provided at (14,000 LETTERS AND COUNTING SO FAR!).

Some background: although Israel mandates universal military service, many graduates avoid service through “gray” refusal: they obtain letters from doctors and psychiatrists excusing them from service, or they leave the country. The Shministim are a group of high school graduates who take a more direct (and braver) approach, refusing induction openly. On June 27 of this year, the latest incarnation of the Shministim (each year, the group must more or less form themselves again, based in the latest set of students about to graduate) invited young men and women considering refusal to a meeting in Tel Aviv, explaining: “Our political and social power depends on our ability to organize. As a group we will be able to make a difference.” The group also sponsored a discussion of the abuse of Palestinian detainees by Israeli soldiers, an event that coincided with the annual UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.


RSN has been a major supporter of New Profile for many years. Recently, New Profile has been in the news as the target of a criminal investigation for allegedly encouraging draft dodging-a crime in Israel. Here is an account of the probe from the Israeli press (Amos Harel, HaAretz, September, 2008):

And a response from New Profile’s Rela Mazali is available here:

Jewish Voice for Peace recently interviewed Ruth Hiller, one of New Profile’s co-founders. Read that interview here:

New Profile is a group of feminist women and men who oppose the militarization of Israeli society. NP works for a truly democratic
civic education, teaching the practice of peace and conflict resolution, rather than training children to enlist and accept warfare. More information is available at New Profile’s websote


Ory Yassur of CFP sent us this update: Combatants for Peace is an organization that unites Palestinian and Israelis who participated in violent actions on both sides of the conflict, but have now left that circle of violence and are committed to a non-violent solution. In the past year, the activity of Combatants for Peace hasexpanded. Since the founding of our organization, we focused on meeting with the “other side” and listen to each other’s stories, as well as on lectures in various locations both in Palestine and Israel (schools, campuses, private houses etc.). In 2008, we carried on with those activities, and we also launched three local groups of about 10-15 people from each side that meet every 2 or 3 weeks. Besides having the chance of getting to know each other more, those groups generate many non-violent activities against the occupation. For example, Combatants for Peace organized demonstrations against road blocks placed by the Israeli army in the village of Shufa
(around Tul Karem) and next to road 60 (southern to Hebron). We also organized help for Palestinian farmers threw the time of olive harvest. The farmers are often harassed by settlers and the army during this time of the year. One more event that drew a lot of attention from the Israeli media was our second Memorial Day joint ceremony on last May. Around 800 people, most of them Israelis (due to the occupation authorities transfer permissions policy), gathered in Tel Aviv and commemorate the loss of lives in both side of the bloody conflict. The event brought many new coming members of Combatants for Peace. Detailed info about our activity in 2008 can be found here:

Here are some other specifics about CFP activities:

A-Ram (17.11.2008 )

First meeting of “Ramallah-Jerusalem” Combatants for Peace group. Around 30 people, Palestinians and Israelis,
attended the first meeting of the Ramalla-Jerusalem group of Combatants for Peace was held in A-Ram, in north-east Jerusalem. Around 30 others, who expressed their will to become members of the new group, will have to await the opening of yet another group in the area, hopefully in the near future. The Ramalla-Jerusalem group is intended as a new base for the movement’s activity in this crucial area and we hope it would succeed in initiating actions of various kinds.

Wallaga (12-13.12.2008 )

An activity for supplying running water: A group of Jerusalem based activists has formed around Abed,the land owner, and decided to preserve this oasis by making it an active ecological center, a place were people from both sides of the valley can meet, learn and work together. The first priority is to create a supply of drinking water, as Abed now has to carry water from a spring-filling jerricans and transporting them by donkey or by car. We will build a rainwater collecting
system that will resolve the problem, at least partially. Combatants for Peace will join hands and help promoting this project.


Yesh G’vul (“There is a limit!”) is an Israeli peace group campaigning against the Occupation by backing soldiers who refuse duties in the Occupied Territories. Yesh G’vul arose in response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It offers counseling to soldiers who wrestle with the painful choice between serving policies they find abhorrent and defying military discipline. The organization provides moral and material backing for those who elect to refuse, ranging from financial support for families of jailed refuseniks to vigils at the military prisons where they are held. The oldest of the refuser groups, Yesh G’vul continues to struggle against illegal military actions in the Occupied Territories.

About the Refuser Solidarity Network

We were formed in April of 2002 to provide support for the growing Refuser Movement in Israel. The initial impetus for the establishment of the RSN was the publication in January 2002 of the Combatants Letter by a group of 52 reserve officers, which later became Ometz Le’sarev or Courage to Refuse. RSN now supports Combatants for Peace, Yesh G’vul, the Shiministim, New Profile and other Israeli organizations advocating peaceful conflict resolution in Israel/Palestine and working to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories seized in 1967. A 501(c)3 charitable organization, RSN makes grants to refuser groups to support their work financially. RSN is funded entirely by contributions from individuals in the U.S. and around the world.

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