In Israel, the military is by far the most trusted institution. And though it terrorizes Palestinians daily, the fealty it gets from Jewish Israeli society serves as a shield against taking it to account.
The Israeli military spying unit 8200 came to public attention in 2014 when reserve soldiers refused to serve as “tools for the deepening of the military regime in the occupied territories.” Now, facing a shortage of soldiers the unit will be seeking to get its recruits from the 10th grade.
Omri Baranes is a 18-year-old conscientious objector who served 67 days in military prison for resisting Israel’s obligatory military draft in protest of the nearly half-century occupation of Palestine. “Even before I knew anything about the occupation of Palestine, I couldn’t understand why our culture was centered on violence,” Baranes tells Mondoweiss. “It’s like we are born with guns in our hands. Our society is so militant and most Israelis never learn anything else.”