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.
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.
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: