Israel: “I’m going to prison rather than serve in the Israeli army”


An article from Finalscape (translation by CPNN)

My name is Nattan Helman. I’m 20 years old, I come from Kibbutz Haogen.

On November 20, I will refuse to serve in the Israeli army for reasons of conscience. In the third year of college, I came across documents about the occupation and started asking: What are we doing there? How does this affect our society? How does it affect me?

Video of interview

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Question related to this article:

“Put down the gun and take up the pen”, What are some other examples?

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After doing some research, after reading books, articles and testimonies of soldiers, after seeing the territories, I concluded that Israeli policies were oppressing Palestinians and Israelis.

When I received my first call from the army, I knew I would not go. I told my parents. At first they took it very badly, then they understood and they supported me.

At first, I felt lonely and thought I was the only one to think so. I knew that my refusal was a violation of the law but in front of every law there is morality, a conscience, a limit.

In the past, there was a lot of social injustice that was legal. The Holocaust in Europe, apartheid in South Africa, slavery in the United States are all examples of legal injustice. A law requiring enlistment in an army that opposes an entire population is not an ethical law and I do not feel the obligation to obey it.

I spoke with former objectors about the conditions of life in prison, and I try to get used to the idea of ​​living there.

The situation is frightening and stressful, but I think if I continue to believe in my values, they will strengthen me and protect me there.

(Click here for the original French version of this article.)