19 year-old Israeli woman, Tair Kaminer, is refusing to do her compulsory army service because she objects the Israeli Defense Force’s violence against Palestinians. Reactions have been mixed with her being labeled courageous as well as a traitor. However, she faces the real prospect of being imprisoned for 20 days.
“I think it is a stupid move by the government and the military authorities to force people to serve in contradiction to their beliefs. A girl declares that she has a conscience opposing the occupation and she wants to do an alternative service is being put in jail. That is just outrageous”, Kaminer’s father told RT.
Russia Today reported that Kaminer served a year of national service with the Israeli Scouts, where she volunteered with children who had suffered injuries in Israel’s Gaza wars. The experience prompted her to disobey Israeli’s orders of conscription.
“The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict and have had extremely difficult experiences from a young age, experiences that caused them to feel hatred, which can be understood, especially when it comes from young children,” Kaminer wrote in her statement in the beginning of January.
“They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity,” the activist added.
“I realized I did not want to take part, nor to contribute to further hatred and fear, and not to take part in the occupation”, Kaminer said in a video posted on Facebook by the Jewish Voice for Peace.
Avichai Shorshan, co-founder of “My Truth” told RT, “This is a democratic country and everyone has the right to be critical. But, there is a right way of doing things. What she did was illegal and if you try to legitimize it, that is encouraging unlawful behavior.”