This work is in the public domain

Israeli refusniks are soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces who for ethical reasons refuse to serve in the Occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their stance for ethics and humanity results in discrimination and jail time from the apartheid Israeli government..

"Activists like Laura need our support. Matan reaffirmed the importance of simply receiving a letter, “Jail is an incredibly lonely place. Just to know that there are people hundreds of miles away who know about what you’ve done – it makes it bearable”,

What of the future of the refusenik movement, and hopes for wider change in Israeli society? The High School group isn’t really operational anymore. Matan believes that sending 5 people to prison was a pretty smart move. “Just as many people, actually more, are still dropping out of the army, but in semi-legal ways now – psychological discharge and so forth”.

But that doesn’t mean it’s had no effect. Of course refusal at current rates will have no physical impact, but the psychological effect is different. “Everyone who knows a refusenik questions their own automatic response to joining the army”. In addition people have stopped cooperating more generally, for example giving information to the army. And a range of support groups have been set up."

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When people realize that their government is no longer operating in the best interest of their fellow countrymen, enlistment to the military drops. Israeli incursions into Palestinian territories are obvious violations of human rights that even young Israeli teenagers are aware of. The growing number of psychological discharges are also refusniks, yet aren't counted as such..

The orders to commmit unbearable brutality against Palestinians is daily forced upon IDF soldiers and would likely result in psychological disturbed discharge over time. Having this knowledge beforehand could also effect the psychological well being of potential recruits. No young person in Israel, USA or elsewhere needs to commit human rights violations and genocide in the name of their corrupt government..

You have the right to refuse!!

Misha Hadar's refusal letter written to Israeli Minister of Defense;

"My name is Misha Hadar, I am 19 years old (11.12.1985), and I live in Ramat Hasharon. I am writing to you to ask you to use your authority, as per section 36 of the law of security service (meshulav version) 1986, to release me from military service and to enable me to do alternative civilian service. Below are my reasons."


"Two of my grandparents were Holocaust survivors: my mother's late father and her mother. I remember stories my grandfather told me when I was little – initially, when I was really young, they were adventure stories about his escape. Then, when I grew up a bit, there were stories about the role of the Nazis in his personal history, and finally there was the story of his whole family, most of whom were murdered with only him and his brother managing to flee. My grandmother told me less – only when I started asking her questions once I understood there was more to my grandad's adventure stories. As time passes I still discover parts of this history that I didn’t know before.

I heard about ghettos, about soldiers harassing human beings. These ghettos were not built by the Nazi leadership itself, not by the ideologues of the party. It was the simple soldiers who did the job, who obeyed the orders. And similarly, the soldiers who committed the actual cruelties were not necessarily racists or anti-semites. They were soldiers who had learned to regard human life as something dispensable, soldiers who emerged from a state whose moral principles had lost grip. When I stood in Abu Dis I could not but think of the ghettos my grandfather used to tell me about, and when I traveled by the new highway number 6, past Qalqilya, I had to think of them again.

When I hear eyewitness accounts from soldiers, friends, Palestinians, about the behaviour of Israeli soldiers on the checkpoints, and in the occupied territories on the whole, I can see the same source of this evil – which has long exceeded "singular cases" – in a society in which human life has become cheap – even the lives of that society's own young people. These are lives that are dispensable, young people whose bodies and lives may be requisitioned "for the sake of the nation", a society whose moral awareness has slackened. It is only in such a society that the things that are now happening in Israel and the occupied territories can happen."


"It is because of all this that I ask you to release me from my duty to serve in the Israeli army and to enable me to do alternative civilian service, which I regard as a true contribution to the society of which I am a member. If my request is rejected then I shall be obliged to refuse military service and conscription."

Misha Hadar"