Memo from August 13, 2002
Dear Ometz Lesarev supporters,
Last Tuesday we recieved the Military Attorney General’s response to the appeal of David Zonsheine and 4 other friens of our group. The four who have joined David’s appeal started to serve their time in jail, since the Military Attorney decided not to postpone it. Full details after the legal update.
Last Tuesday the Military Attorney General has given his verdict concerning the appeal of David Zonsheine, Rami Kaplan, Maor Parsai, Uri Phine and Shaham Ramah against the results of their disciplinary hearings. Here are the main points of his verdict: We have no justification for disobeying orders during military service- If we thought that the service we were summoned to was illegal we should have claimed that our summoning to reserve service was illegal, instead of taking the law in our hands during the service itself.
The occupation is legal- it stands in all criteria of international law, laws of war. As proof for this claim he cited verdicts of the High Court of Justice concerning the legality of curfews, closures, etc. Freedom of conscience isn’t hurt- Conscience objectors have the right not to enlist (“total refusal” for pacifists), yet there is no right for selective refusal (namely, objecting service in certain areas or objecting certain orders) as the legal situation is in Austarlia, Britain and the U.S.
No change in the occupation- The differences that were underlined in our appeal between the occupation during the last two years and the occupation since 1967 do not exist. The present state of occupation is legal exactly as it was till two years ago.
The verdict was well-prepared (implying the IDF is quite frightened of the outcome of our appeal to the High Court), though I believe anyone can see that these claims can be refuted, as attorneys Feldman and Sfard will try to accomplish. In 30 days they shall petition to the High Court against the Military Attorney’s verdict. Till the fianl ruling of the court David Zonsheine will stay free, as the court ruled formerly. Yet, four of our friends who have joined the appeal and petition were sent yesterday to serve their time in prison.
List of prisoners:
Uri Tocker Maimon
Itamar Shahar (Yesh-Gvul)
Last Friday we held a demonstration (which has become a tradition) at the Rakevet Junction. As usual many have argued with us, while some have hunked in support. I’m allways glad to see us at that juction instead of the Moledet transferist freeks who ussually are left there alone. Our huge flag, which wasn’t hang on Friday, has been hanged on Wednesday near the Ayalon Freeway. Please tell us if the location was effective.
This Saturday, 17.8 at 12:00, we will hold a solidarity demonstration infront of Military Prison 6 nera Atlit. Buses leave from Binyanei ha’uma at 09:45 and from Rakevet Tzafon at 10:30, Come with your families, the conscience objectors imprisoned need our support.
And to the amusing conclusion: We don’t really know how. Yet, David Zonsheine is candidate for “the Man of the year” event of Yedioth Ahronot and Keshet. We decided to go for it and vote for David. So go to this link and vote as well, help us to arrive to the heart of the Israeli consensus: www.keshet-tv.com/special.asp?Progid=807
Who would believe a refusenik would get close to such a consensual title half a year ago?
Each one of you can help us in our struggle against the occupation in the following ways.
Our supporters in Israel:
- Participating in demonstrations and other protest activities
- Participation in activities such as distributing flyers, sticking up posters, manning our stalls
- “Adopt a refusenik” – adopt a jailed refusenik – send letters, keep in touch with his family
- Organize house meetings (of 10 to 20 participants with members of the group)
- Organizational and professional help (administration, foreign languages, advertising, fundraising, or any other kind of assistance you can think of)
- Sending letters to newspapers, participating in radio talk-shows that are open to the public
- Donation (account details at the end of this letter)
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, where you live, telephone number, and how you would like to help. We promise to keep you up to date on our activities, which are set to increase in the near future. At the end of this letter you find a list of our future activities.
Our overseas supporters:
- Organizing conferences on the subject of refusal amongst Jewish communities, in universities, and any other place that might be supportive of us
- Sending letters to those in prison (addresses below)
- Sending letters about us to the press
- Donations (details below)
To organize a speaking tour of one of our members, or with any other idea, please write to email@example.com.
To enable you to keep in touch with those in jail we have rented a postal box in order to receive letters, books, limericks or pictures. Whoever can devote some time to this important cause is invited to write to Postal Box 16238, Tel Aviv, and we promise that your letters will be passed as quickly as possible to the prisoner (in our experience, the army does not rush to pass on prisoners’ post). Please write the name of the addressee along with the Postal Box number (and not “Courage to Refuse”, and so on – this is for technical reasons).
Or, the address of Jail 6 is (note the name of the prisoner):
Army Post 01860
Branch:754 (Pinkas, Tel Aviv)
Account number: 105377
Holders of the account: Omets LeSarev
The Shefa Fund, which defines its mandate as Advancing Jewish Social Responsibility Through Grantmaking, Investing and Education, is more than happy to accept tax-deductible donations on our behalf, thus making the process of contributing to our campaign that much easier.
Funders should make checks payable to “The Shefa Fund”, with a note on the memo line that indicates they learned of Shefa via “Courage to Refuse” (the English translation of the name of our group). Their contact information is as follows:
The Shefa Fund
8459 Ridge Avenue, 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19128-2119
Phone: (215) 483-4004
Fax: (215) 483-4429