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Courage to Refuse > Press
Video: Courage to Refuse Demonstration Jan 8th 2009
Photographed by the Israel Social TV
Before the Consensus Breaks
"Vengeance is not a mode of operation," wrote activists of the Courage to Refuse movement on the war's 12th day. Even if they are right, there is no doubt that the feeling of vengeance is a uniting force among the protesters.
Refuseniks call on soldiers to refuse striking Gaza - By Yossi Yehoshua
Courage To Refuse conscientious objectors movement renews activity in wake of numerous killings of innocent Palestinians by IDF in recent weeks. 'We call on soldiers to refuse to bombard Gaza and carry out what are clearly illegal orders,' group says in statement
Academics, left-wing activists hold protest in Ariel college - Lily Galili
A group of some 60 Tel Aviv academics and left-wing activists gathered Wednesday morning in front of the Judea and Samaria College of Ariel in the West Bank, to protest a government decision to confer university status on the college.
'West Bank U' a hot button - Moran Zelikovich
Demonstration and responses at College of Judea and Samaria in West Bank show government decision to upgrade school to university status not going down easily. 'How dare they establish a university in occupied territory?' says protester. 'We'll keep teaching,' college official responds
In the service of refusal - Amir Ben-David
Now that he and the group he leads are candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, David Zonsheine is looking toward the next stage of the struggle. His charisma gave the refusal of soldiers to serve in the territories a measure of legitimacy in Israeli society. The same just cause, he believes, will ultimately lead the country to come to its senses.
Courage to Refuse nominated for Nobel Peace Prize - Lily Galili
"Our candidacy is a victory for those who love Israel, and a victory for Zionist values and the Israeli spirit, which have championed an uncompromising battle defending the State of Israel alongside protecting human life, human rights and honor," Zonshein said.
Elite IDF officers criticize military's actions in territories - Amos Harel
The letter supplies a partial answer to a question that has puzzled many observers: Why has there been virtually no public criticism of the army's actions in the territories from soldiers doing their compulsory service? Many reservists have gone public with their criticisms, and some teenagers have refused to be drafted at all, but the draftees have largely been silent.
Reservist gets 28 days for refusing Gaza duty - Lily Galili and Charlotte Halle
An IDF reservist was sentenced on Sunday to 28 days in jail for refusing to serve in the Gaza Strip. South African-born Sgt. (res.) G.S., employed at Tel Aviv University, reported to his base last week for duty, but told officers he was not willing to follow their orders to guard settlements in Gaza for 21 days.
In the name of Zionist values - David Zonshein
The refusal of the right and the refusal of the left do not have even one thing in common. A vast abyss separates us. Israel must decide whether it is falling into the abyss of the occupation or is pulling away from it.
Left-wing activists protest against Rafah incident - Nadav Shragai
Hundreds of left-wing activists on Wednesday staged demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa in protest over the Rafah attack in which eight Palestinian protestors were killed by the Israel Defense Forces.
Mazuz: Conscientious objection could be 'positive phenomenon' - Yuval Yoaz, Gideon Alon and Lily Galili
"This seems like it could be a positive phenomenon that demonstrates social involvement and concern," he said. "Refusal to serve and civil disobedience for political reasons are an integral part of the Israeli reality in the last few decades," he said.
Israeli rebels with a cause - Jim Reed
One by one, the seven stood before their mainly Jewish audience and told their stories. They all underlined their commitment to Israel. They all emphasized that they loved their country and would fight to the death to defend it. But they all added that they believed deeply that the military campaign against the Palestinians and the occupation of the Palestinian Territories were illegal, immoral and useless. They all testified – and I think that's the right word – that
Refuseniks protest in Tel Aviv-Guy Raivitz
Reservists who refuse to serve in the territories demonstrating opposite the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv yesterday.
What makes the IDF unique-By Ze'ev Schiff
Things used to be otherwise. The IDF used to have the uniqueness of an army that helped in the building of a nation, in the absorption of mass immigration, in the creation of a national melting pot and in the advancement of many young people. In this respect this was a glorious army that was probably unparalleled in the 20th century or ever. And so it was until the national consensus was broken because of our control of another people.
Immoral ethical codes - Arik Diamant
Israel is fighting two wars nowadays. One is a war of no choice, a difficult, complex war - a war against terror. The second war is stupid and evil - a war that sanctifies land rather than people, that discriminates between the blood of some and the blood of others, that violates the most basic human rights of millions of people. That is the war to protect the settlements.
Elite Israeli troops reject Gaza violence- by Conal Urquhart
'We believe that what we are doing now is very Zionist,' said Zohar. 'If a plane is going to crash you can jump out or you can try and prevent it from crashing. That is how we feel about Israel. The reason we were able to withstand the attacks we endured in the Yom Kippur war in 1973 was because we knew we were fighting for a just cause. Many people know that now we have lost the just cause.'
Elite Israeli commandos take heat for refusal to serve - By Conal Urquhart
The shock for many Israelis is that the latest dissidents are fighters of Sayeret Matkal. Militarily, these men are like the U.S. Army's Delta Force commandos, but as politically glorified symbols of patriotism, they have no equivalent in America.
From Fringe to Centerstage - Michal Levertov
Though we invested a huge effort in the election campaign, we were unable to make an impact on an indifferent electorate. It looked as if the future was doomed, with both Israelis and Palestinians entrenched in bereavement and mistrust. How, I wondered, could a mere citizen do anything to change this?
Refuseniks, settlers face off at rallies near Gaza barrier - Lili Galili
"There aren't many Israelis left who think we should stay in the Gaza Strip, yet soldiers are still being killed here defending a handful of criminals who live here," said Hen Alon, one of the leaders of the group Courage to Refuse. "I've just returned from reserve duty at Hamat Gader, and all the officers there told me they are not refuseniks, but would not enter Netzarim," he said.
Three groups of conscientious objectors to work together - by Lili Galily
The movements share political and ideological similarities. Members of the three groups define themselves as Zionists, with a concern for the army and Isralei society. All three also restrict their refusal to service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (For example, they are willing to serve along the northern border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah operates.)
Israelis condemn army refuseniks
The refuseniks also came under fire from opposition Labour Party MP Danny Yatom, a former head of the Mossad overseas intelligence agency and deputy commander of the Sayeret Matkal, who branded their protest as "illegal".
13 Sayeret Matkal reservists join refusal to serve in territories - by Amos Harel and Mazal Mualem
The letter - signed by soldiers and officers - was delivered to the Prime Minister's Office, which refused to comment on the content of the letter. Among the 13 signatories are nine who still do reserve service in Sayeret Matkal, while the most senior is an officer with the rank of major.
Elite Israeli Troops Refuse To Serve in the Territories - by Molly Moore
The reservists said they were taking the dramatic step of publicly criticizing their government's policies "out of deep fear for the future of the state of Israel as a democratic, Zionist and Jewish country and out of concern for its moral and ethical image."
"We're air force pilots, not mafia. We don't take revenge" - by Chris McGreal
Israel's F-16 and Black Hawk refuseniks say why they could not obey illegal orders and kill innocent Palestinians
Message from Above - by Hirsh Goodman
What these pilots were essentially saying, if one listens to the deeper message -- if one gets beyond the argument of whether they should have spoken out, or whether this is a stab in the back -- is that they no longer believe in the goals of the war they are being asked to fight.
Listen to the Pilots - by David Grossman
The bottom line of the pilots' message is that if the Palestinians are currently capable of carrying out painful attacks on Israel and Israeli citizens, the war that is raging is still, ultimately, a war between a military power and a civilian population. And in a war of this sort, Israel must impose limitations on itself of both a practical and a moral nature.
Refusal for the sake of Democracy - Amos Schoken
Some argue that refusal to obey military commands for political-ideological reasons undermines the democratic process. It is hard to quarrel with this argument, but I wonder if we would have accepted it in the case of a white South African refusenik during the apartheid era. I tend to think not. I wonder if, in spite of the differences between South African apartheid and our situation, there is not also some similarity.
Three Comments on the Pilots' Letter - by Rafi Man
It is very good that there are people, either wearing G-suits or not, who do not bow their heads in silence, but rather speak up their voice, out loud, against the continuation of the occupation and against the aggressive policy, which not only does not eliminate terrorism, but makes it worse.
Why we Refuse - Avihai Becker
When you're sitting in the cockpit, the battlefield is a totally sterile concept. It's like a silent movie. The life going on somewhere far below - a whole world - doesn't affect you. I doubt whether a pilot ever stood as close as 500 meters to a place hit by one of the kind of bombs that he drops.
Suspensions for the Pilots who Signed Refusal Letter – by Amos Harel and Lily Galili
The letter, details of which were first published in Ha’aretz last week, is signed by 27 reserve duty pilots, but only nine are still doing active duty in the Air Force. The signatories addressed their letter to the Air Force Commander, Major General Dan Halutz, and defined the aerial attacks in the territories as “illegal and immoral,” declaring their refusal to participate in aerial attacks in the heart of densely populated Palestinian areas in the territories.
The Refusers Escalate their Fight – by Lily Galili
Members of “Courage to Refuse” have kicked off a new campaign. Yesterday evening they demonstrated against serving in the territories and the attempted assassination of Ahmed Yassin, calling: “It won’t end if we don’t refuse”
A Skeptic About Wars Intended to Stamp Out Evil - by Chris Hedges
The group Dr. Lifton helped found, Friends of Courage to Refuse, is made up mostly of American Jews. It has pitted itself against the powerful array of pro-Israeli groups in the United States, most of which have what Dr. Lifton calls "an uncritical endorsement of Israel's aggressive policies against the Palestinians."
Court rejects Israeli reservists' appeal
Israel's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a group of reserve soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories.
Behind the Thin Green Line - Gershom Gorenberg Interviewed By Chris Fan
Gershom Gorenberg says his story about Israel's refuseniks 'isn't about a debate between patriots and peaceniks.'
Why I Refuse to Fight for Sharon's Settlements -by David Zonshiene
After two years of deliberation and many sleepless nights, I came to the inescapable conclusion that Zionism is not what the zealots have made it. Zionism is not about occupation and territories; it is about obtaining a secure and internationally recognized home for the Jewish people.
430 Heros in Israel
In the language of the open letter, these reserve officers and soldiers say they ''were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people.''
Israel's reluctant reservists torn 'Brutal campaign' weighs heavily - by Anna Badkhen
Abi, 24, is a reservist, called up a month ago to help wage war against what his government says is a "terrorist infrastructure" whose suicide bombs have killed dozens of Abi's countrymen. But while Abi fights the Palestinians, he is also waging a war with his conscience.
Israel's Army of Peace - by Jonathan Freedland
Even their critics have to concede that these men are motivated by love of country. If they merely wanted to avoid the personal agony of a West Bank tour, they could fly abroad or develop a convenient health problem - both familiar techniques. Instead they are taking a stand in public and on principle.

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