As in South Africa under Apartheid with the End Conscription Campaign, a small group of Israeli refuseniks, teenagers sent to support the settlers in the West Bank, have refused to serve in the oppressive Israeli Army. Below is an appeal I received today and the response when I had sent a letter. I would urge you all to take the time out to write in their support.
The Shministim – all about ages 16, 17, 18 and in the 12th grade – are conscientious objectors in Israel and right now they are taking a stand. They believe in a better future for themselves and for Palestinians and Israelis, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They’re in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends and the Israeli government. They need our support.
The Shministim have asked to let the Israeli government know we are watching, and that we support their courage. They’re hoping to receive hundreds of thousands of postcards to be delivered to the Israeli Minister of Defense on December 18th, when they will hold a massive rally and press conference. They have asked every person who strives for justice to support them. Will you join me? It’s simple. Sign a letter. Click here: http://www.december18th.org/
Thank you for taking the time to send a letter to Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, about the Shministim. The Shministim are confident that tens of thousands of letters demanding their release will make a real difference.
In 8 days, we generated 8,000 letters. We have less than 2 weeks to go.
The following e-mail was sent on receipt of my letter:
It has been a wonderful experience for us at Jewish Voice for Peace to work with the Shministim. They are real-life heroes, strengthened in their resolve to stand up against overwhelming pressure and all too aware that their counterparts in the Occupied Territories must endure far worse on a daily basis.
Let the world know that for the sake of both Israelis and Palestinians, Israel’s occupation must end, and that a new generation of young people is willing to go to jail to stand up and say NO.
On behalf of the countless people and groups working to free the Shministim,
Cecilie SuraskyJewish Voice for Peace