Tony Greenstein | 15 February 2017 | Post Views:

Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon (left) and Tamar Ze’evi.  Rami Ben Ari
Once again, amidst the terrible
things that are happening in Israel today, the bigotry and the racism, the
murderous indifference and the ethnic cleansing, I turn to what is a story of hope.  This is an article about 3 incredibly brave
young Israeli women who have chosen repeated terms of imprisonment in military
gaols rather than becoming complicit in Israel’s murderous occupation of the
West Bank and the oppression of the Palestinians. This is a story that says
that even in the midst of the darkest tunnel there is always a glimmer of hope
and light.
Israel is a state where
a cold-blooded murderer, Elor Azaria, who pumped bullets into the head of a Palestinian
man who was lying unconscious on the ground became
a national hero
.  Israel is a state where
a murderer like Azaria can have his face put on
thousands of supermarket shopping bags. 
But it can also produce teenagers like the women who are refusing to
participate in the military repression of the Palestinians.
In Israel they put the face of a cold-blooded killer on supermarket bags
But let us be under no
illusions.  It is only a minority, a tiny
minority, of Israeli Jews who reject the Jewish supremacist values of Zionism and
the Israeli state.  Just as in South
Africa it was only a minority of Whites who rejected Apartheid.  As Martin Luther King wrote in Letter from an
Alabama Gaol, the privileged never give up their privileges voluntarily.
However these are the Israelis
we should offer our solidarity with. 
They represent the best of Israeli society.  Those who, like the fake left Owen Jones,
speak on the platform of the Israeli Labour Party’s British extension, the Jewish
Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel, are joining hands with the putrid
corpse of yesterday’s Labour Zionism. 
The first 30 years of
the Zionist state were the years of Israeli Labour governments.  They were years that laid the basis for the
rule of Begin, Shamir, Sharon and now Netanyahu.  It was Labour Zionism, not Likud that
established the first settlements and which conquered the Occupied Territories.
Occupation objector, Tamar Alon, center, who has refused military conscription is flanked by Arab Aramin, left, and Yigal Elchanan, right, each of whom is the bereaved brother of a young girl, one Palestinian the other Israeli, killed during the continuing cycles of violence. For Tamar, the testimonies of both Arab and Yigal during the tenth Israeli-Palestinian memorial ceremony this past spring constituted “the defining moment in which I realized that I must refuse.” (Photo: Mesarvot)
The racist liars of
Labour Zionism and the JLM who purport to support 2 states, are resolutely
opposed to a refusal to serve in Israel’s army of occupation.  All Israel’s Zionist parties, including the
leftist Meretz oppose refusing to serve in the Zionist army.  The reason is quite simple – they support the
Occupation and the accompanying reign of terror.  They are the hypocritical Zionists who want
to be nationalists in Israel and pretend to be oppositions abroad.  Only the anti-Zionist left and the Arab-Jewish
Joint List support the refusal of Israeli Jews to serve in the army.
The Israeli Labour
Party, of which the JLM and LFI are the representatives in Britain has always
been viciously hostile to the idea of refusing to serve in the army because for
them the army is the object of veneration. 
As Joan Ryan MP demonstrated in the Al Jazeera programme ‘The Lobby’
when questioned about 2 states, this is a mere phrase masking their support for
the Occupation.  When subject to what she
thought about the settlements, Ryan blustered and retreated into clichés about
support for 2 states.  Because if you
support the Occupation you cannot support a Palestinian state.
That is why the support
that the JLM has received from Owen Jones, Rhea Wolfson and Jon Lansman is sick
example of the chauvinism that lies at the heart of British labourism.  There is nothing remotely socialist or
left-wing about Labour Zionism.  Labour Zionism
was always based on hostility to class struggle and class unity.  It operated under the slogan ‘From Class to
Nation’ –the Labour Zionists replaced the class struggle with the national
struggle – against the Arabs.  They
campaigned on the slogan ‘Jewish Labour’ i.e. a Boycott of Arab Labour not a
unified working class.  A Jewish state
meant an alliance between the Jewish working class and the Jewish capitalists
at the expense of the Arabs.
Tony Greenstein

Three young women
prefer to be behind bars than be part of an occupation that embitters
Palestinian lives

Bisharat Feb 06, 2017
Monday we’ll see if the army extends the detention of conscientious objectors
Tamar Ze’evi and Tamar Alon, who have spent 74 days in a military prison.
Another conscientious objector, Atalia Ben Abba, will be joining them at the
hearing for the first time.
important to note that these three young women weren’t among those who threw
bleach and stones at policemen in Amona. It’s just that they have a conscience,
and the hell with where it leads. These are girls who prefer to be behind bars
than be part of an occupation that embitters Palestinian lives. The price
they’re paying is a denial of their freedom.
been trying to figure out the nature of conscience, that wondrous creature
that’s subject to repression in many places but still springs up again in all
its power and glory. According to Wikipedia, conscience is “an aptitude,
faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from
never seen an independent conscience wandering the streets. Nor do I know in
which part of the body the conscience resides – the head, the heart, or maybe
the big toe. But every time the conscience rises up – whether through conduct
or by taking a stand, I tremble with pride and my eyes tear up at the
realization that I’m part of the human race and I can quickly forget Benjamin
Netanyahu, Bashar Assad and Donald Trump.
get me wrong; everyone has a conscience and a matching personal morality. Thus
the conscience of Zionist Union’s Tzipi Livni leads her to criticize the
“regularization bill” aimed at legalizing illegal settlements. The truth is, I
was a bit worried about her when I heard this but quickly calmed down when I realized
she’s fine.
Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon (left) and Tamar Ze’evi.  Rami Ben Ari
It turns
out she’s against the bill because “if we make a fuss over every mobile home,
we’ll be overreaching and end up with nothing. The regularization bill does us
more damage than Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem or any other organization.
Passage of the bill will get Israeli soldiers taken to The Hague,
” she said,
referring to the International Criminal Court.
We must
therefore clarify that Livni’s morals have no connection to morality, and if
they met true morality, they might be called traitorous. Livni’s morality is
mortgaged to the land lust that prevails here; grab as much Arab land as you
can. If the legalization lets you grab more, fine. If it doesn’t embarrass
Israel in front of the world, great. And if no Israeli soldiers are at risk of
prosecution in The Hague, even better.
morality is immoral. It’s like a mother telling her son, “Don’t hit too many
children because your hand will hurt.”
And here
we have conscientious objector Tamar Alon, whom I view as my daughter, saying
clearly, “I’m not willing to accept the claim that oppressing another people,
denying basic human rights, racism and hate are essential to Israel’s
She refuses to serve in the occupation army not because of what the
world will say, not because she fears the ICC in The Hague, but because the
occupation is immoral.
But the
system doesn’t embrace her and take pride in her comments, which testify to her
morality. It puts her in jail for weeks. Maybe her conscience will be repaired
245 students at Tel Aviv’s Ironi Alef High School have signed a petition
expressing their support for her. Big Brother, please note.
It’s not
easy for parents when their daughters pay a heavy price for adhering to their
consciences. But their stance paves a different trail for two peoples yearning
for a life of peace and tranquility. The Iraqi poet Muzaffar al-Nawab wrote, “I
know you cry alone, but you’ve added another lamp to the path.”
daughters are like shining stars in our long night.

Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi
say they won’t ‘contribute to Palestinians’ oppression’

Two Israeli women were arrested on Wednesday after they
refused to enlist in the Israeli military, citing objections to the IDF’s
activities in the West Bank.

Conscientious objectors Tamar Alon, 18,
and Tamar Ze’evi, 19, who were both slated to join the IDF, arrived Wednesday
afternoon at the recruitment office in Tel Hashomer. There, after declaring
their refusal to serve, the two were arrested and imprisoned for two days by
army authorities. Israel does not recognize political or conscientious
objection as grounds to receive exemption from the mandatory draft.
 Alon and Ze’evi refused conscription due to their “unwillingness to contribute
to the oppression of the Palestinian People,”
according to a statement by
Mesarvot — Political Refusal Network, an organization that is aiding the two
Tamar Alon is a second-generation
conscientious objector. Her father Chen Alon famously refused to serve as a
reserve officer during the Second Intifada and then founded “Combatants for
Peace,” a bi-national peace movement that connects Israeli and Palestinian
It was through that organization that
Alon met Palestinians and was exposed to the “harsh realities of their lives
from a young age,”
she said.
“I believe that the ways of war,
violence and oppression will not allow us to maintain a democratic state and be
a ‘free people in our land,”
she said, referring to a line in Hatikva,
Israel’s national anthem. “I refuse to enlist out of concern and love for my
society and out of a desire to encourage public discourse on the character and
future of our society.”
Ze’evi echoed Alon’s sentiments,
insisting that she was refusing to serve due to her love for the land and its
“We will only get out of this cycle of
fear and violence when we open our hearts and minds, look at what is happening
around us, and allow ourselves to feel the pain suffered by the people who live
in this land,”
said Ze’evi. “Once we all understand and accept this reality, I
want to believe empathy, tolerance and compromise will be our only choice.”
Alon and Ze’evi have received a new
enlistment date next week, and are expected to refuse and be tried again. This
cycle could ultimately lead to their protracted incarceration in military
Earlier this year, conscientious
objector Tair Kaminer spent 166 days in prison before she was eventually

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