Youth Refuseniks to be Released in September

The sentece of the five refuseniks – Adam Maor, Noam Bahat, Haggai Matar, Shimri Tzameret and Matan Kaminer – is going to be reduced by a third. The refuseniks, who are going to be released this September, did not express regret for their actions as usually necessary in cases of sentence reduction for good behavior. The commitee that released them concluded that the absence of such a regret did not constitute a danger to society. Even once the refuseniks are to be released, they may be drafted to the army again – and serve in jail for the same crime, one more time (some of the refuseniks have sat in jail for the same crime over seven times).

I know Haggai Matar, Shimri Tzameret and Matan Kaminer personally from our activisim in the Israeli Youth Refusal movement, a.k.a. the Shministim. The five were willing to do civil service like most conscientious objectors do. In fact most conscientious objectors I know who have been released from the army, whether or not after jail service, are now serving their community in this way or another. For the amount of time each refusenik served in jail, check out this site.

12 thoughts on “Youth Refuseniks to be Released in September

  1. I agree that the draft dodgers should be able to perform civil service instead of serving in the army. They have every right to campaign for that change in the law. As it stands, however, the law is that you have to serve in the army and they are breaking that law.
    If you don’t pay taxes and you serve time for that, and then you go back out and don’t pay taxes again, you have to go back to jail. This is no different.

  2. I am sorry about the way I spoke about Jmerica.com. They are a good site and I was wrong about the way I spoke to them and Blogged it accross the site. I am sorry again and as well I retract everything I have ever said. I just went on there site for the first time and see it is not good but GREAT!!!!!

  3. How can a law made by a representational legislature be undemocratic? A law can be unconstitutional, but I don’t think that’s what you’re claiming. The ultra-orthodox and the Arabs should have to do civil service as well, but they shouldn’t go to jail if they’re not breaking the law.

  4. “the law is undemocratic ”
    Im not sure you have such a firm grasp on the term “democracy”.
    In fact, it probably wouldnt even violate the 14th amendment here in the U.S., just as it didnt during the Vietnam war. (this, of course, has nothing at all to do with democracy).

  5. Asaf,
    I am impressed that you tried to minimilize Babylonian’s remark about Haredim by reminding us of the increasing amount of ‘secular’ draft dodgers.
    This is the first step towards admitting that the Haredim and the settlers are not to blame for Israel’s failures and perhaps the non-religious majority has a lot more responsibility than it admits.
    I’ll agree that the civil service definitely needs to be expanded for boys, Jews and Arabs. Draft dodgers are still breaking the law passed by the democratic knesset. I’m happy to hear that most of your friends are doing civil service, but I doubt that most of draft dodgers do, since the program doesn’t have that capacity.
    and stop using the term ‘refuseniks’ for Israeli draft dodgers. It is blatant disrespect for the hundreds/thousands of FSU Jews (like Sharansky for example) who were not allowed to leave the Soviet Union.

  6. Josh,
    regarding the term refuseniks, it is very different from the Russian/Soviet one. Those were technically refused-niks.
    And yes, I think there is a lot of xenophobia against haredim, and the hatred against the settlers is hypocritical. The is to be put on the big parties who allied with them.

  7. The draft dodgers are called ‘sarbanim’ in Isral. No one calls them ‘sarbanikim’, so maybe you should start using ‘refusanim’ or the more appropriate – draft dodger.

  8. i prefer the term refusers. but really – i dont give a shit who calls who what in this case. draft dodgers is simply inaccurate description.

  9. I’m curious as a European are all Isrealis Extremist Nazis intent on destroying and oppressing the Palestinians? Or are there actually some Isrealis who can actually understand what there country does contravenes basic humanity?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.