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LETTER OF SHIMINISTIM

LETTER OF SHIMINISTIM

To the Prime Minister, Mr. Ariel Sharon,

It has been a year now since we, 62 Israeli boys and girls raised in Israel, sent you a letter announcing that we will not take part in the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people. Today, with a worse situation in Israel and in the Territories, we say it again, together with many who have joined us: we refuse to be soldiers for the occupation.

The state of Israel commits war-crimes and tramples over human rights, destroying Palestinian cities, towns and villages; expropriating land, detaining and executing without trial, conducting mass-demolition of houses, businesses, and public institutions; looting, closure, curfew, torture, preventing the administration of medical care, constructing and expanding settlements – All these actions are opposed to human morality, and violate international treaties ratified by Israel. In these and other actions Israel systematically prevents Palestinians from maintaining any reasonable life. This reality leads to suffering, fear, and despair, which yield terror attacks. Therefore, the occupation is not only immoral; but it also damages the security of Israel's citizens and residents. Such security will be achieved only through a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

When the elected government tramples over democratic values and the chances for a just peace in the region, we have no choice but to obey our conscience and refuse to take part in the attack on the Palestinian people. As youth about to be called to serve in the military we pledge to do all that we see fit so as not to serve the occupation. Some of us will refuse to serve beyond the green line, others will avoid military service in other ways – we view all these means as legitimate and necessary, and we call on other youth, conscripts, soldiers in the standing army, and reserve service soldiers to do the same.

Copies:

Minister of Defense, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer

Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon

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