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Israeli refuseniks

Maya Brand-Feigenbaum, 18, was released from prison on 27 August after serving two sentences, 25 days in all, for refusing military service in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

The IDF’s service exemption committee subsequently granted her a release from military service.

Maya said on leaving prison: ‘The decision to refuse military service is one I will never regret because I was true to myself…. I faced comments like “all Arabs should die, and if you are on their side you should die too.” I wish the girls who spoke in this way understood that… we are all on the same side.’

The same day that Maya was released, Yasmin Ricci-Yahav, also 18, was sentenced to 10 days for refusing enlistment.

Yasmin was reported as saying: ‘The Israeli army nowadays does not function only as a defence force, but as a central tool in the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.... I believe there is another way.’

More info: search for ‘Mesarvot’, the network of Israeli conscientious objectors. Their Facebook page is more up-to-date than their website (both are in Hebrew).