NYT op-ed: Why I Won’t Serve Israel

…There is a growing chasm between Israeli rhetoric and reality. In the discourse of Israel’s Knesset and media, the Israel Defense Forces represent a “people’s army.” Refusal to serve is portrayed by politicians and pundits — many of whom began their careers through service in elite units — as treacherous and marginal. This rhetoric becomes the common wisdom: A popular bumper stickers reads, “A real Israeli doesn’t dodge the draft.”

The outrage is disproportionate. Rarely do more than a few hundred Jewish Israelis publicly refuse to serve each year in protest against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The shrill condemnation of refusers is thus an indication of the establishment’s panic.

Last year brought something of a surge in refusals. Open letters of refusal were published by a group of high schoolers, a group of reservists, veterans of the elite intelligence Unit 8200 and alumni and former staff members of the prestigious Israel Arts and Sciences Academy. All were denounced by politicians and in the media: In September, the Knesset’s opposition leader, the Labor member Isaac Herzog, blasted the letter from Unit 8200 as “insubordination.”

Aggression toward refusers is widespread. When I accompanied a refuser named Udi Segal to his draft station during the Gaza war this summer, we were met by a group draped in Israeli flags and chanting, “Udi, you’re a traitor! Go live in Gaza!”…

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is working on a book about his experience refusing to serve in the Israel military.


This is an added bonus to their coverage yesterday of the Charlie Hebdo attacks — which fretted over France’s Muslims and said zero about France’s Jews.

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  • Hard Little Machine

    They are virtually non people in Israel. No one cares about them.

    • Frau Katze

      So they a little help from NYT.

  • minuteman

    no one is occupying Palestinian territories. Gaza was Egypt, until Egypt invaded Israel and lost it. They don’t want it back. The Golan Heights were Syria, Until Syria Invaded and lost it. To the best of my knowledge there is still a cease fire supervised by the UN along the Golan Heights. The “West Bank” was part of Jordan. They lost it when they invaded Israel. Don’t Think they want it back.
    An argument could be made that Jordan is the occupied territory. The British Mandate for Palestine was created to rule over the defeated Ottoman Turks by the UN. The borders were a bit messy since there really weren’t any what we would call countries in the area, but some of it became Israel and most of it became Jordan.

  • ontario john

    Its sickening today how the media is in full nothing to do with islam mode. The Star and Post have stories on how muslims saved the people of Paris, and right wing parties are on the march against poor islam, blah, blah. Why no crowds marching in the streets regarding the genocide in Nigeria, or censorship and floggings by moderate muslim states.

    • Frau Katze

      It seems to be the standard MO now. I didn’t link to many of the ones I came across: they all sound the same.

    • BillyHW

      Dhimmis love taking it up the ass.

  • Martin B

    Whenever and wherever Jews are slaughtered by Muslims, Muslims are praised & Israel is bashed. Wouldn’t expect anything else from the NYT.

  • john s

    If you refuse you should get a jail term at least twice as long as your service would have been . If you are not willing to do prison time for your beliefs then , like any draft dodger you are a coward, not a conscientious objector.

  • Mickey Oberman

    You wont serve Israel because
    1. You hate yourself and your Jewish origins.
    2. You are a snivelling coward.
    3. You are badly in need of a good shrink.
    4. you hope Israel will revoke your citizenship so you can become a man without a country and hopefully indulge yourself in notoriety.
    5. You have yet to grow up.
    This is not “choose one”.
    You are all of the above.

  • Observer
  • Alain

    Low life parasites who benefit from the freedom, safety and lifestyle provided by and protected by the blood and sacrifice of others.

  • Israel has a civilian army and it has to for obvious reasons.