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

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:

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.

About Moriel Rothman

Writing, Activism, Poetry, Love.
This entry was posted in IDF & Refusal to Serve. Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Hey,
    I’m from Germany and read all your posts concerning the refusal to join the IDF. Conscription was recently abolished in my country and I’m glad that I never was forced to join the military.
    In my opinion, a militarized society will have difficulties finding peaceful solutions to any kind of conflict and the first step to end the middle-east conflict is to overcome war itself. That means working on other political problem: Social justice, better education, etc.
    Thank you for all your writings! I’ll discuss this topic with my university group and hopefully we from Amnesty International can do something for the detainees in this case.

  2. Pingback: Israeli peace movement news roundup | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  7. Pingback: Conscientious objector Natan Blanc sentenced to prison for the second time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army « MasterAdrian's Weblog

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  10. Pingback: ISRAEL: Third detention of conscientious objector Natan Blanc - Ikkevold | Ikkevold

  11. Giorgio Forti says:

    Dear Natan,
    I simpathyse with your strong opposition to the violence made by the israeli government against the Palestinian people. I think that what you are doing is an example for everybody willing to reach peace, freedom and justice.
    yours, Giorgio Forti ( from Milano, Italy)

  12. Pingback: תקופת כליאה רביעית לסרבן המצפון נתן בלנק : פרופיל חדש

  13. Sjouke says:

    From the Netherlands without agressive militarisme I wish you lot of strenght and succes.

  14. Pingback: ISRAEL: Fourth detention of conscientious objector Natan Blanc - Ikkevold | Ikkevold

  15. Deborah says:

    Dear Nathan
    I visited your country and Palestine in 2010. This evening on New Zealand Maori TV I saw a documentary about the insidious IRON WALL which is cutting off Palestinian communities from their land. My friends were shocked by the extent of the wall. Some ex Israeli soldiers had the courage to speak out about how they had behaved.

    I salute them and you for your courage, for your resistance in the name of justice. You are in my thoughts.

    Yesterday I met two young Israeli soldiers who have the luxury of 3 months holiday in my country. I told them that I did not agree with the policy of Israel and we had some heated arguments. They agreed that there were some things that they did not agree with. However they were obviously not going to rock the boat.

    Thank you again for your courage. Remember that there are people in other countries who are holding you in the light, as we Quakers say.

    In Peace

    Deborah from New Zealand

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  18. Admin says:

    Dear Nathan,

    in the name of mine and of the Communist Party of Southern
    Switzerland, I express you all the solidarity for your decision not to
    join the zionist army. We will start a campaign to let know your
    struggle for peace and against militarisation of the society and the
    youth. We will also ask to the swiss “neutral” gouvernement to stop
    its collaboration with the Israeli Army and to protest for your

    I’m also a conscientious objector to the military service and I risked
    imprisonment in Switzerland for this decision: so I have much
    admiration for your courage and coherence. In Switzerland, the
    army, although popular, has repressed strikes and operates a strong
    social control on the population and on the new generations who are
    conscripted. For this reason my Party want to abolish this tool of
    indoctrination that guarantees the rule of the imperialist

    Hold on! this fight is also ours, you are not alone!

    In solidarity

    Massimiliano Ay, political Secretary of the Communist Party of Southern Switzerland

  19. Pingback: תקופת כליאה חמישית לסרבן המצפון נתן בלנק : פרופיל חדש


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  22. Gráinne McDonnell says:

    Congratulations, Natan. You are a hero.
    Gráinne from Ireland.

  23. Pingback: תקופת כליאה שישית לסרבן המצפון נתן בלנק : פרופיל חדש

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  25. totohanthala says:

    The ‘Refusniks’, ‘Combatants Letter’ and the ‘Courage to Refuse’ are all bits of courage and integrity to look up using your personal search engines….Most enlightening…

  26. me says:

    a bunch of communists around here…yeah, no military so it is easy to defeat….

    Is Israel military power that keeps israel from been wipe out…

    • Rachel says:

      You can always spot a fascist – they have a propensity for claiming that everyone who disagrees with them must be a “communist”.

  27. Pingback: תקופת כליאה שביעית לסרבן המצפון נתן בלנק : פרופיל חדש

  28. Pingback: CO Natan Blanc imprisoned for his seventh term : New Profile

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  30. Gayle Holt says:

    You have obviously found your own internal truths. I hope you are taking comfort in living in your own beautiful “shoes”. This will help if you are placed in a cell, as your loving mind brings you limitless happiness and is never constrained. Still I hope that you can soon live free to walk about the world. The world needs you to spread your spirit all around.
    In Peace,
    Gayle Dunkelberger New York

  31. George says:

    Nathan, So few have the courage to withstand the social pressures and the punitive state apparatus to uphold basic morality. My friends have compared Israel to the Nazi state’s occupation of surrounding countries and others have compared Israel to South Africa’s apartheid, depriving Israeli’s Arab citizens of their civil rights, made more obvious recently in segregating Arabs from Jewish public transport (buses). There are other decent Israelis who preserve their humanity, like the Jewish Grandmothers at checkpoints and other Refusniks who will not take part in the brutality in the West Bank and Gaza. You are a small minority, an island of decency and humanity. My heart is with you.

  32. Pingback: Seventh prison term for Israeli CO Natan Blanc - Ikkevold | Ikkevold

  33. Rachel says:

    It takes a brave man or woman to do the right thing amongst so many doing wrong. Thank you to all of the conscientious objectors in Israel for doing the right thing. Your brave stance is noted out here in the wider civilised world.

    Rachel, Scotland.

  34. Pingback: Immediately and unconditionally release conscientious objector Natan Blanc from his 10th term in prison!

  35. Miltarydefence says:

    Sad to say Others say I will believe it but not communist party. Look at all the countries controlled by communists, in your so called ideological change people died in the millions in soviet union and china communist party under mao ze dong great leap forward,repression in other words. While china faces a lot problems, people are having better lives than back then moving to capitalist. At least the in majority of countries by imperialist bourgeoisie, they gotta give way to people or they die. Words only words, people like you go into power doing things different from what you say, history shows very well how communists are, epically gaining absolute powers.
    Also the countries should change their “defense” ministry to war ministry if they like to go on offense. Defence means protecting your Territory integrity.

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