Here's a new American-led campaign to support the shministim, the Israeli kids who are refusing to serve the criminal and neverending Israeli occupation. Jewish Voice for Peace is leading the petition drive. Here's a link to a Palestine site, reporting that Omer Goldman, the daughter of a powerful conservative, whose willingness, along with two other young women, to go to jail earlier this year was so electrifying, has been declared exempt from military service on medical grounds. On the JVP site you can see a group shot of the shministim.
Here's a picture of
Yuval Oron-Ofir, who's now in jail for refusing. Gets out the end of this week. Oron-Ofir is obviously a lefty; he has been working with refugee kids for a while, living in a commune, "working with Ethiopian youth."
I admit to all readers that I identify with Oron-Ofir in a tribal manner. All antisemites feel free to hate me on that ground. He even looks a little like I did when I was that age. A reminder this morning of all the universalist Jews who in an age of unprecedented Jewish power and Zionist ethnocentrism are going to work with other leaders to help save the world from manifold threats.
Hear is Oron-Ofir's statement about an occupation that has "not been dictated by fate" [please read that, Gershom Gorenberg]:
"A human being among other humans, I, Yuval, feel committed to some
basic values without which we cannot exist. … What I see
is that with every additional day when Palestinians are kept by force
on their lands, my country manages to crush one more value, one more
rule. What I see is a country guided by the inanity of its leaders, a
country in thrall to an insatiable hunger for another street, another
tree to cram into its shattered borders. I see with what ease our
parents close their eyes to the atrocities that are being committed in
our name. I see how we are all turning inwards, just so we may not have
to hear the screams that are reaching us from the other side. All known
human atrocities have been possible only because of blind obedience,
silence, and an indifference to the fate of the other."