shministim letter 2009-10

I've blogged before about the shministim, Israeli youth who are refusing to participate in the Palestinian occupation. What I didn't know is that the word shministim is Hebrew for twelth graders - high school seniors - the age at which Israelis are required to serve in the military. In a sense, the name shministim equates war resistance with coming of age.

This year's crop of shministim has a new public letter. You can sign to show your support. An excerpt:
Out of sense of responsibility and concern for the two nations that live in this country, we cannot stand idle. We were born into a reality of occupation, and many of our generation see this as a "natural" state. In Israeli society it is a matter of fact that at 18, every young man and woman partakes in military service. However, we cannot ignore the truth - the occupation is an extreme situation, violent, racist, inhuman, illegal, non democratic, and immoral, that is life threatening for both nations. We that have been brought up on values of liberty, justice, righteousness and peace cannot accept it.

Our objection to becoming soldiers of the occupation stems from our loyalty to our values and to the society surrounding us, and it is part of our ongoing struggle for peace and equality, a struggle whose Jewish-Arab nature proves that peace and co-existence is possible. This is our way, and we are willing to pay the price.

Sign here.

Also: Why We Refuse.

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