Final Update Before My Draft Date


Tomorrow morning, I will report to the army offices in Giva’at HaTahmoshet in Jerusalem (interestingly: near Sheikh Jarrah and in occupied territory. The irony is sorta delicious), where I will inform the army of my intention to refuse service in the IDF in any capacity. The possible scenarios are as follows:

1. They will say: Wow, Rothman, your letter touched us deeply, and we have decided to let you go free. And nominate you for the Israel Prize. And buy you a lifetime supply of Dippin’ Dots.

2. They will say: Come on, just do it. I will say: No, really. They will say: No, really. I will say: No, really. Then they will understand that I am serious and unswayable, and will take me to be judged in a military court, where they will accuse me of ”disobeying orders.” I will admit to the charges but deny the crime, and will probably give some sappy speech about the moral obligation to disobey unjust orders, whereupon they will roll their eyes, snicker at my American accent, and sentence me to some period of time in military jail. I will say: Oh yeah? You and what army?… I will be sentenced for up to four weeks, probably less (and then, once I am released, the whole thing will probably start over again, but that’s for later).

3. They will say: Gotcha! And all of the soldiers will break out into song, and the passing Palestinians will join in, and it will all have turned out to be a large, Truman-Show-like build up to the final aria, which will be entitled “There is No Occupation,” and will star Mr. Edmund Levy, with special cameo appearances of Irving Moskowitz, Khaled Meshaal and Justin Bieber.

 Or it could be none of the above. I am expecting that it will be option 2, though. And I’m feeling ready, I think. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the support and love I have received over the last few weeks (from all over the place! Here are the countries, in order, in which my letter got multiple views (Ok, many of them are ”2.” But still!):

I am bit nervous but affirmed that this is the right thing for me to be doing. Here is a dweeby, short poem I put together, mostly to keep myself smiling. Definitely not a masterpiece, but it’s a fun form of communicating ideas, and less dry than blobbing:

And here’s another little poem I scribbled my my notebook:

My grin is lopsided but genuine: my breath heavy in my chest: dancing in my nostrils: lolloping. My face is smooth but for the wrinkles in my head: I cut my hair: Not to let them cut my hair.

And for a few other outpourings of my thoughts, here are a few interviews I did, with All for Peace Radio and with a friend, Daniel Roth.

At the suggestion of a friend, who heard of this tactic in Syria (don’t worry, I am by no means comparing the situations, blah blah blah), I have given the password to my blog to a number of family members, friends, heroes and fellow strugglers so that writing here will continue in case I am to indeed be without inter webs for the next small while. I will try to update on my situation through them, and I also asked them to simply post thoughts, reflections and blogs every now and then about justice, activism, politics, the situation, the world and like eptsetera. If anyone feels inspired to write something here, you can either leave a comment, or send an email to my brother, Jesse, at jessesrothman (at)

One more thought, on different types of hardness: There is the type of hardness of doing, of organizing, or writing, or running. Then there is the type of hardness of not-doing, of fasting, of not eating meat, of not freaking out. This has, in some ways, been the hardness of doing thus far- I have had to decide what to do, to write, to talk to people, to set things in order- but from here on out, I think, it switches into more of the hardness of not doing, which in some ways, feels easier? Or, at least, different-er. That’s all.

Here I go, armed with a toothbrush and a ton of books including:

That’s all for allora. Whoa. So much love,


(After all of this melodrama and preparation, I can totally see things going in the direction of 1 or 3, and them saying like ”oh, actually we wanted to draft a different Moriel Rothman, you’ve been exempt for years.” Which, though, would actually be a huge victory. Especially if they my release is done musically. IDFcapella.)