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:
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail