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.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Obama’s Legacy
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Christopher Brauchli
Parallel Lives: Trump and Temer
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
December 01, 2016
Kenneth Surin
Life and Politics in Appalachia
David Swanson
Why Flag Burning Matters
Ray McGovern
Petraeus Redux?
John Wight
The Fierce Debate Over Castro’s Legacy
Jan Oberg
Orwell in Oslo: Nobel Institute Honors Kissinger (Again) and Brzezinski
RP Burnham
Egoism and Empathy in the Era of Neocons and Neoliberals
Blake Gentry
Fighting for Indigenous Rights: From the UN to Yaqui Territory and Standing Rock
Peter Lee
Chinese Catastrophism Collides with Trump Catastrophism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail