Over the last couple of days, four new objectors have been imprisoned for their refusal to serve in the Israeli army altogether or specifically in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Three other objectors were released from prison at the end of last week. All in all, the number of objectors that we know of, currently held in Israel’s military prisons now reaches 10.
Some of the information below is taken from recent postings by Yesh-Gvul and from an article in IMC-Israel. My apologies to those who already received part of the information through one of these sources.
A Recommended Action section follows.
1. ILAN WINDHOLZ
Objector Ilan Windholz, aged 18, was sentenced on Sunday (24 Mar.) to 28 days in prison due to his objection to service in the Israeli army. In a brief statement he prepared for the occasion of his imprisonment he wrote:
“I, Ilan Windholz, hereby declare that I am unwilling to serve in any military unit, combatant or non-combatant, which fortifies our control over the Territories and/or the Palestinian people, and protects and strengthens the settlements and the occupation. I therefore request to be exempted from service in the Israeli army on grounds of conscience and ideology – an ideology opposed to the conceptions held by the Israel Defence Forces and the governments of the State of Israel since 1967. I am willing to bear the consequences of my stand, imprisonment included”.
Ilan Windholz was only transferred to Military Prison No. 4 the 26 March, after being held in detention for two days. We suppose that the reason for this is the great amount of people with whom the military prison system has to deal these days. Ilan’s prison address appears below.
2. DAVID PERLMAN
Objector David Perlman was sentenced on Sunday (24 Mar.) to 14 days in prison, which he now spends in Military Prison No. 4. Perlman is among the signatories of the Courage to Refuse declaration. He is also well-known as an activist in environmentalist groups and a member of a community theatre.
After reporting to his reserves base, Perlman was announced that he was to be stationed to perform some tasks in the Occupied Territories. At that point he notified the army that he refuses to perform this duty and sked to be re-stationed elsewhere. The army then proposed to station him in a military base near the Ma’ale Edomim settlement, Outside Israel’s 1967 borders. He was assured that there he would not be stationed for such activates that would require him to act immorally. “Other soldiers on base will do all the immoral things” he was told.
In response, Perlman claimed that: “If instead of stationing me in the Occupied Territories they would station me in a place where the Israeli Defence Forces’ activities are indeed necessary in my view, such as on the international border with other countries and in similar places, I would not have refused. However, once I made my decision of principle to avoid service in the Territories, i.e. performing acts that I consider to be immoral and unjust, and even not indirectly or remotely justifiable, I decided to stand my ground of principle and to refuse to perform any action or course of action taking part in the military occupation, one way or another”.
“I immigrated to Israel 7 years ago, out of my free will and my identification with the Jewish identity. It was also my choice to enlist in the army, despite the fact that I had the opportunity of avoiding regular military service. Today I told the officer who judged me that the same principles that led me to immigrate to Israel and to recruit to guarding this country, are also the principles that led me to taking this step of refusal”.
3. PIKI BEN-SHALOM
Major (res.) Piki Ben-Shalom of Jerusalem was sentenced to 28 days for refusing service in the Occupied Territories. He is also a signatory of the “Courage to Refuse” declaration (www.seruv.org.il). See the Recommended Action section for his prison address.
Incidentally, Piki Ben-Shalom is the highest-ranking officer so far to be imprisoned for objection since the beginning of this Intifada.
4. SHACHAR TZUR
Capt. (res.) Shahar Tzur (30) was also sentenced to 28 days in prison. Tzur is married, a resident of Haifa and a student of architecture at the Technion. He too is a signatory of the “Courage to Refuse” declaration (www.seruv.org.il). See the Recommended Action section for his prison address.
Calls of support can be made to Tzur’s wife Hagar – ++972- (0)4-828-36-27.
5. THREE OBJECTORS RELEASED FROM PRISON
Three objectors were released last Friday (22 Mar.) from prison, after the completion of their prison terms. They are Igal Rosenberg, Sharon Shamila and Ohad Matalon (formerly announced as O.M.) Shamila and Matalon are both reservists and do not face further imprisonment at least until they are called up again next year. Igal Rosenberg, on the other hand, is a draft resister. This prison term was his second in a raw, and a third term is quite possible and even likely. We will update you on developments in his case as they happen.
First of all, please circulate this information as widely as possible, through e-mail, Internet, conventional and alternative media, personal communication, etc.
You can messages of support to the imprisoned objectors at the following addresses:
Military personal number 7265473
Military Prison 4
Military Postal code 02507
Military personal number 5188146
Military Prison 4
Military Postal code 02507
Military personal number 4609194
Military Prison 6
Military Postal Number 03734
Military personal number 5067698,
Prison no. 6,
Military Postal code 03734,
Also, please send letters of protest on behalf of the objectors to:
Mr. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan st.,
Fax: ++972-3-696-27-57 / ++972-3-691-69-40 / ++972-3-691-79-15
Copies can be sent to the commanders of the prisons at:
Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6,
Military postal number 03734,
Commander of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Prison No. 4,
Military postal number 02507,
Addresses of additional military and government officials, as well as those of some Israeli media, to which you can send copies of your appeals, can be found at this web address. A standard sample letter is available at the bottom of the same web page. However note that it would be advisable to adjust your letter to the particular circumstances of the case.