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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Israeli teens enter jail rather than take part in army crimes against Palestinians

Israeli Army Refuseniks

On Monday, Israeli teenager, Noam Gur, began an initial ten-day prison sentence because she publicly refused to serve in the Israeli army. A second teen, Alon Gurman, presented himself at the military base in order to refuse service, along with Gur, but according to a tweet from Gur was sent home without being jailed.

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In a short video produced by Jillian Kestler d’Amours for the Alternative Information Center, Gur explained – at the gate of the military camp where she is serving her sentence – why she has chosen to resist conscription:

I’m in prison because Israel is committing crimes. Israel has been committing crimes since Israel was established… It committed crimes since 1948, when the Nakba occurred. People were banned away from coming here, which is a crime that Israel is still committing, not allowing them to come back… Israel is committing crimes when its occupying and killing people, not allowing them to have any kind of human rights, it takes land and water resources. It’s committing crimes in the siege of Gaza. Concluding all of that, it makes sense that I would not want to serve this country.

“I don’t want to be silent”

In an interview with The Electronic Intifada last month when she first announced her intention to refuse, Gur explained the importance of doing so publicly, rather than just seeking to avoid conscription quietly as many other Israelis do:

Noam Gur: Ten years ago, there was a huge movement of refuseniks and in the last two or three years, it’s kind of disappeared. I’m the only refusenik this year, so for me it was trying to let people know that it still exists, first of all.

Second of all, I don’t want to be silent. I feel like [since] high school, we’ve always been silent. We always let our criticism be known only in small circles. The world doesn’t know, Palestinians don’t know. I don’t know if it will change anything, but I can only try. I feel better with myself knowing that I tried to make even the smallest change.

Noam Gur “in solitary confinement”

Noam Gur tweeted all the way into the military base where she’d begin her imprisonment.

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However, a supporter continues to tweet updates using Gur’s account. They latest update was that Gur had refused to wear a uniform and thus had been placed in solitary confinement:

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Comments

On Sunday, I posted this
<I've had a PM from a Refusnik, NG. She requests that some one from The National Union of Students and the Union of students in Ireland [NUS-USI] make contact in connection to the BDS vote in the NUS-USI event. I'm well past student connections so I've posted this on my wall. She is due to be jailed tomorrow so has another, TS, taking her place. Please PM me if you require further info or have something to pass on. Robert>

The NG is the VERY BRAVE young woman, Noam Gur. http://www.facebook.com/a.g.noam Even pacing the prospects of 3+ months of imprisonment she was not thinking of herself but contact an old Irish guy who might help the Palestinian cause.

I think that we owe it to her to achieve something so that her sacrifice is not in vain.

i really respect her pointing out and mentioning our right of return and the nakba, plus on her twitter description it says "Living in 48' Palestine"... i wish there were more than 2 who refused to serve this colonizing military.... and i wodner how many have drafted, they r 2 refuseniks out of... ? hundreds maybe thousands? represet probably less than 0.1% of israel, well they don't even represent israel...

We South Africans also owe our freedom to the few in the white minority who refused to condone the barbarity and injustice of apartheid. Noam and Alom are beacons of light in a sea of despair and cruelty. May God reward them well, and may they be the role models for all Israelis.

What a brave young woman. May God protect her and give her fortitude, which she will sorely need, surrounded as she is by the racist Israeli machine, to which she and her moral purity represent a mortal threat.. The lesson is, that there do exist people of honour and goodwill on both sides. One state IS possible (two state solution died years ago) but it will take years and great hardship. God bless her.

Congratulations to Gur, Gurman and their supporters for having the courage to stand up for what is right, and for their defiance towards the Isreali Occupation.

#FreePalestine
#EndTheOccupation

An old rabbinic story suggest that 10 just men(people) hold God's wrath from destroying the world with all its sins (a primary one being nationalism of any sort and here it is Zionism). Well we are witnessing one of these 10 just people in the actions of this young woman. May her actions be one more chink in fortress Israel, calling it back to its true roots, not in nation state violence and oppression but in humility, love of God and neighbor and compassion. I will keep her in my daily prayers that God's grace may sustain her in this witness.

Unlike the Zionist militaristic and colonialist ideology, this young woman rescues the true values of Jews: intelligence, courage and determination. Zionism is the real enemy of Jews, it promotes hate, crime, colonization, exploitation and plundering of other peoples.
Zionism is an ideology of hate.

Thank you to you and all of the refusniks!