I am free.
My body has followed, now, to where I sought to keep my soul throughout this process, and I am free.
After being sentenced to my second jail term, and recognizing that I would never be granted a Conscience Committee or even an explanation, I decided surely that it was time to begin the processes of getting released in the way
that virtually all refuseniks here throughout the decades have been released: on psychological/mental health grounds, or a Profile of 21.
I was determined (and encouraged) to do this truthfully, not to invent stories (although to tap into darker places than I would independently choose to do) and this was helped by the fact that the second jail term was much harder than the first, for various internal and external reasons which I will explain on a later date.
After a not-simple few weeks in jail and a not-simple few days out, this afternoon I was granted a Profile of 21.
I am extremely relieved, and also very tired (I haven’t eaten or slept much in the last few days). I will be working on transcribing the 81 pages, 3 cardboard rolls and 1 shoe’s worth of writing that
I did over the last three weeks, and eventually posting a detailed piece about my experience, but for now, I need to rest, to be with family and friends, relearn how to use a smartphone (just kidding) and sleep without fluorescent lights on (less kidding).
I wanted to quickly thank everyone who supported me throughout this process, especially the folks from New Profile, and the lawyers and activists who volunteered their help, Jesse, who maintained this blog and answered critiques far more elegantly than I could have, my family and my friends, seriously. Guest post more often, Jess?
I also wanted to reaffirm my commitment to nonviolence and anti-militarism, my unbending opposition to the ongoing Occupation of the Palestinian Territories and people (and thus a moment of mourning for the children in Gaza who were killed by the IDF while I sat in its jail, and an acknowledgment of the Palestinian prisoners whose hunger strikes are far more bold than any action I have taken, and yet, unfortunately, are not given much media coverage or press attention), and also a profound feeling of non-anger and compassion to those I encountered within the system, prisoners, jailers, commanders and clerks. I affirm and expand my belief in love and humility and honestly and gentleness as methods of change and revolt, and also a hope that the respectful discourse generated around my action will continue, and that our society and world will become a drop less violent and militaristic and myopic and hateful, and that we shall beat our rifles into stethoscopes, place our bombs in sealed glass cases as tragic memorials of times in which burning other human beings seemed normal, and we shall learn war no more, or at least a little less.
In peace, calm, curiosity and commitment,
Moriel Zachariah Rothman
Update: A few pictures.