FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why I Resisted the Draft

by Yair Khilou

[ Yair Khilou, is a young activist in several radical left-wing groups, and one of the organisers behind the “letter of the twelfth-graders” (a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, signed by 62 youths, announcing their refusal to cooperate with the Israeli army’s actions. Click here to read the text of that letter. Yair announced his conscientious objection to military service at the age of 16 and has refused to go through preliminary military medical and psychometric examinations (which most Israelis are obliged to go through at the age of 16 or 17). As a result, the military Conscience Committee refused to examine his case (they insisted that they need to have the results of his medical tests before they can decide on his case!) Two and a half weeks ago he reported at the Tel-Hashomer military compound, where he expected to be arrested for refusing to be enlisted. However, for bureaucratic reasons, he was only arrested yesterday.]

My name is Yair Khilou and I am 18 years old. I have refused to enlist in the army, and will soon be sent to military prison for that. I decided to write this statement before I am imprisoned because I believe that the reasons motivating me in my refusal to enlist in the army are shared by many people.

When I am asked to become part of a large and violent body such as the Israeli army, I should ask in what activities this body is engaged and whom does it serve. My parents, teachers and peers might answer that the army of the state is necessary to preserve my own security and the security of the citizens of the State of Israel. I desire very much that there will be security for the citizens of Israel and for me.

And still, I find this answer to be unsatisfactory. I fail to understand how does that pure Jewish space, which the State of Israel persistently tries to create by force since its establishment increases our security. I fail to understand how the repression of the Palestinian resistance to Israel by means of state terror–more cruel and of wider scale even than the counter terror which it provokes–serves the society that I am part of. How does the activity of the state, implemented through the army, can benefit me and those I care for?

The ‘sterile’ Jewish space created by the State of Israel is a ghetto for its Jewish residents as well. It prevents them from integrating into the Middle East. Nobody is safe in this space–neither Jews nor Arabs. Still, my opponents might claim, the State of Israel is a democracy and its army is the people’s army. I wonder where these people live. I have no ability to affect the actions of the army, although my friends and I definitely try. I am unable to stop war, unemployment, inequalities.

The vast majority of Israeli citizens wish to change this state of affairs. And still, the state does everything to block peace, welfare and equality. Mysteriously, everything ends up serving the interests of capitalists and generals.

The Israeli military men and capitalists, together with their Palestinian peers, do everything they can to remain in power. Their mass media and educational system spread vicious nationalistic propaganda, hatred and fear. Thus they divide and rule us. They incite against each other Arabs and Jews, East and West, while they continue to reign. These are our real enemies, preventing us from attaining physical and economical security. Against them Arabs and Jews should stand together.

I am not willing to accept such a reality. I am all the more unwilling to contribute to its continuation and fortification by serving in the Israeli army or in any other terrorist organisation.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail