Natan Blanc, 19 from Haifa, To Refuse Service in the IDF

Four days after my own release from military jail and in the middle of escalating tensions, continued killings and the basic fear of war and violence, Natan Blanc, 19 years old from Haifa, has declared his intention to refuse service in the IDF and will most likely be sent to jail tomorrow. Below is his explanation of his decision in light of the current situation (Hebrew follows English). I have so much admiration for Natan, as he is making a decision much harder that I don’t think I would have had the courage to make at his age (as I intimated in my own letter, if I’d been here at 18, I would have most likely joined a fighting unit, felt extremely conflicted about, and “Broken the Silence” afterwards). Read his words, a glimmer of hope in dark times:

”I began thinking about refusing to conscripted into the Israeli Army during the “Cast Lead” operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred, and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect were the primary trigger for my refusal. Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it.  From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides.

As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight.   But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game.  That is why I have decided to refuse to be inducted into the Israeli Army on November 19, 2012.

Natan Blanc

Natan can be contacted by email at nathanbl@walla.com.

Please spread widely and send your support to Natan!

נתן בלנק, 19 מחיפה, עומד לסרב להתגייס מחר ה19.11.2012 ומסביר את ההחלטה שלו באור המצב הנוכחי:

התחלתי לחשוב על סירוב להתגייס לצה”ל בזמן מבצע “עופרת יצוקה” ב-2008. גל המיליטריזם הכוחני ששטף אז את המדינה, גילויי השינאה ההדדיים, ודיבורי הסרק על מיגור הטרור ויצירת כוח הרתעה, היו הטריגר הראשוני לסירוב. כיום, לאחר ארבע שנים מלאות טרור, ללא תהליך מדיני, וללא שקט בעזה ושדרות, ברור לחלוטין שממשלת נתניהו, כמו ממשלת אולמרט לפניה, אינה מעוניינת במציאת פתרון למצב, אלא בשימורו. מבחניתם, אין שום פגם בכך שפעם בשלוש-ארבע שנים נצא למבצע “עופרת יצוקה 2″ ו(אחר כך3, 4, 5 ו6), נדבר על כוח הרתעה, נהרוג כמה מחבלים, נאבד כמה אזרחים משני הצדדים, ונכין את הקרקע לדור חדש מלא שנאה משני הצדדים.

בתור נבחרי ציבור, אין לחברי הממשלה שום חובה לפרט את חזונם העתידי לגבי עתיד המדינה, וזכותם להמשיך עם מעגל הדמים הזה, ללא יעד סופי. אבל לנו, כאזרחים, כבני אדם, יש חובה מוסרית לסרב למשחק הציני הזה. לכן החלטתי לסרב להתגייס לצה”ל בתאריך ה19.11.2012

ניתן ליצור קשר עם נתן דרך אימייל:

nathanbl@walla.com

נא להפיץ!

UPDATE: 3PM, November 19th: As IDF forces continue to bomb Gaza, bringing the number of people killed in this recent round of conflict to almost 100, Natan was just put under arrest at the Baku”m and is awaiting trial to see how long he will be sentenced for. Send vibes.

UPDATE II: November 20th: Natan has been sentenced to 10 days in Jail 6, with a ”conditional” 10 extra days (ie., if/when he refuses again, he will be automatically given an extra 10 days to whatever second sentence he is given. Strength and love, Natan.