Wednesday, 31 December 2008



In the dark hours of the Israeli massacres in Gaza, it is good to know of the groups in Israel who oppose these horrific actions. Among these, pride of place in my opinion, goes to the Shministim, the young Israelis who say NO to conscription in the Israeli Army.

The Shministim are not the first refuseniks in time but they are especially inspirational.

Reading through their testimonials is a boost to any human who espouses non-violence. They suffer jail terms for their refusal. This is not easy in any country but especially so in iron-fisted Israel where the word "traitor" is easily thrown around at people who act out of conscience in a way that is not complicit with the beliefs of the IDF and the State.

These young teenagers of the Shministim are a light of hope shining in the midst of the darkness that is the State of Israel.

As an introduction please look at the video below and listen to what they say:
(there are four speakers aged 18, 19, 19, 19)

"We are Shministim ...
We are Israeli Conscientious Objectors
That means we refuse to serve in the Israeli Army
Because they are occupying another people, the Palestinians
Palestinian kids like us can't get to school because of checkpoints
Many Palestinian kids get arrested for no reason
A lot of them have been killed or their homes demolished
The Government says this policy is keeping us safe
But denying Palestinains their basic human rights put us all in danger
It's illegal
It's wrong
It's immoral
It's against my personal beliefs (x2)
It's against my basic values
It's against my values
That's why we are Conscientious Objectors (x3)
That's why I am a Conscientious Objector
We are Shministim (x3)
I am a Shministit
We are being jailed for refusing to serve in the Army
We need your support
Please sign the letter
and tell all your friends
Palestinians, Israelis, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, - everyone
We all need to stand together against violence
against oppression
no matter who does it
Take a stand with us for peace
and coexistence
and refuge for children like us everywhere
Sign the letter today (x2)
Please sign the letter today"

The names are: Sahar Vardi, Yuval Oron-Ofir, Omer Goldman and (I think) Miya Tamarin.

Link to sign the letter:


The Sickening Murders in Gaza

For the past three days the Israeli Army has been murdering people in the Gaza strip.

I am sick and tired of their excuses for these multiple murders and as a pacifist I have been wondering what non-violent people can do to stop such brutal aggression so far away from the scene of the heinous action.

With the remembrance of the US bombing of Iraq burned in my mind, the monster demonstrations worldwide that tried but failed to stop it, the millions of words spoken and written, the non-violent direct actions resulting in protracted court appearances and imprisonment for so many brave people, still ongoing after all these years, I was looking for some faltering request from people in Gaza. Something that would say "This is what you can do. This will help us." I have heard their cries and to some extent felt their pain but I was hoping for a request from them that might be possible to fulfill and that might help to stop their suffering.

Two hours ago a heart-rending e-mail came from a non-violent group not in Gaza itself but in Palestine.

Here is the e-mail

"To all free people of the world,,, to all who call for freedom and Justice……

To all who have a living conscience,,, to all who love Peace,

The hearts of the children of Palestine are calling to you, the screams of the bereaved mothers are calling your consciences.

We are wondering how the world sleeps while the children of Palestine are been cut into pieces, forgive us, our eyes are full of tears and our hearts are saddened by the criminal actions of the Israeli occupation that are beyond our imaginations.

It is also hard to see the support of the governments of the world for such war crimes, which are giving permission to Israel to commit more crimes.

We are calling upon you all on the following:

1- To continue your demonstration in front of the Israeli embassies and your parliaments not just as an emotional reaction

2- A serious boycott to Israel at all levels and work to ask the Israeli ambassadors to leave your countries

3- To work towards having the Israeli war crimes put before war crime courts

4- We call upon all popular committees in Palestine to organize more demonstrations on a daily basis

5- We call upon the Israelis who refuse the occupation to demonstrate in front of their war ministry"

Maybe some answers lie in there