Wednesday, December 24, 2003

So. Pim posted a note about refusniks and Imshin had something to say about that. Was that what gave me the itch, or is it what R. calls "the back of the broom closet syndrome"?

Whatever. Next time, before you call someone a "self-appointed Don Quixote-type who feels superior and therefore above the law", please have the courtesy to spend five minutes of your life listening to what this person has to say. You know, being mainstream is no guarantee against self-righteousness. I was bloody mainstream for 17 years. No, actually that's not true. The mainstream, and we both now it, doesn't know one side of a gun barrel from another. Most able Israeli males don't have to bother about refusal, because if they do any service at all, its a 9-5 in Tel Aviv. If I did 17 years of regular and reserve service in the territories, and then, after long and hard deliberation decided that I would serve my country best by refusing, don't you think I at least earned the right for you to hear me* before you put words in my mouth?

Because no, I don't think I am above the law. In fact, I'm the sucker who bows his head and pays the price, while the mainstream guys get medical papers. Believe me, if I wanted I could have found an easy way out, just like 10,000 others. Hell, my commanders even suggested it. And yes, I think that right wing refusal is just as legitimate as left wing. But don't play dumb. The good guys in Tapuach or Yitzhar can't really be bothered. Refusal? Don't' make me laugh. They shoot.

Civil disobedience is part of the democratic game. It is an extreme form of protest. Read some Thoreau? It is justified (and this is my personal definition) under three terms:

  • It is non-violent

  • It is a personal act

  • It it a result of careful deliberation, and a conclusion that the evil it brings is overwhelmed by the evil it warns against

Oh and about the number on the counter. Has it occurred to you that many refusniks are afraid to have their name made public? As in, afraid to loose their job? Their friends? But that's beside the point. This pettiness is really not worth arguing. I mean, at the time I was in Military prison 6, there were over 40 refusniks with me. That's more then there were during the whole Lebanon war. 40 should be enough to make you think. Why do these people, who have always been on the front lines, choose to spend a month in prison? Why do they defy their friends, family, upbringing, suffer economic loss? 4 should make you wonder. 40 should make you stop and think. 400 should make you shout "what the hell is wrong here?" So, you think there's only 1167, and not 1220? Fine. Have it your way.

* In case IndyMedia's server is down, my text is googlecached

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