Protester with photo of Nathan Blanc at recent demonstration in Tel Aviv
Photo: T. Applebaum
Nathan Blanc, the young imprisoned Israeli conscientious objector, was informed this morning (Thursday) that he will be freed and that the IDF will declare him “unsuitable for military service.” This according to the Israeli daily, Ha’aretz (Hebrew). It should be noted that Annie Robbins reported on Blanc a couple of months ago
Blanc will be released next Thursday at the end of his current sentence. Thus will end an ordeal in which Blanc will have served 177 days in prison on 10 separate occasions.
The 20-year-old refuser declined a psychiatric exemption, which was available to him, rather he insisted that he be allowed to do alternative non-military service.
Protests in support of Blanc have increased recently. Last Tuesday dozens of activists demonstrated in front of the government offices in Tel Aviv demanding his release. A few days prior to the protest, a group of academics wrote a letter to the head attorney of the army, Danny Ephroni, requesting Blanc be freed because his punishment had been excessive. Also, Eitan Klinsky in an editorial posted on News 1 called for Blanc’s release. He wrote that the repeated prison sentence that were given Blanc violate the legal principle that you do not try someone more than once for the same crime.