Saturday, December 16, 2023

Israel Forces Ukrainian Refugees to Enlist Into the Israeli Army — You Can Help


Israel Refuser Solidarity Network military conscientious objection war Palestine Gaza Ukraine

My name is Inna. I am New Profile’s Counseling Network legal aid coordinator. I am writing to you with an urgent request to support our work of providing legal consultation and representation to Ukrainian refugees who are forcibly drafted to the Israeli military. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are the only organization in Israel assisting Ukrainian refugees, fleeing the horrors of war, in obtaining an exemption from the compulsory military service in Israel.

New Profile is a feminist and de-militarist movement founded in 1998. We believe that militarism, which is deeply rooted in Israeli society, makes society more violent, sexist, and racist. Furthermore, it blocks the path to peace and to ending the Israeli occupation of territories captured in 1967, and perpetuates human and women rights’ violations in Israel and Palestine. A substantial part of our work is the Counseling Network, which since the establishment of New Profile to date has supported over 22,000 youths who independently chose not to serve in the Israeli Military. 

Most of the updates you get from Refuser Solidarity Network are about the handful of Israeli youth who refuse military draft publicly, publish a public statement, talk to the press about their refusal, and get imprisoned. The work of our counseling network is complementary to that, by supporting the dozens of thousands of youth who refuse “under the radar,” in a non- public way. Typically, the youth we support come from marginalized backgrounds. We help them go about obtaining a military exemption via ongoing support, free legal aid, and additional resources and information.

I am an immigrant from Russia. I came to Israel at the age of 21. Because of this, I was able to experience first-hand the layers of discrimination of Jewish society in Israel, which is still trying to melt—into a single mass—the Jewish people living on "their own land." I quickly found out that every citizen who does not meet the ideas of the occupation regime, about how a "real Jew" and "real Israeli" should be, instantly becomes demonized. A good citizen, in the eyes of the state and most of Israeli society, is one that takes part in the occupation of Palestine and serves in the Israeli military. The "real Jew" and "real Israeli," according to the system, must be a loyal soldier of the occupation.


Israel Forces Ukrainian Refugees to Enlist Into the Israeli Army — You Can Help

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