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Why I Refuse - Tair Kaminer's Statement


World  (tags: middle-east, israel, palestine, Gush Shalom, Gaza Strip, Sderot, OPT, "Mesarvot", "Refusers"), Tair Kaminer )

Evelyn
- 1038 days ago - zope.gush-shalom.org
"As long as the violent military way holds sway, we will simply have further generations growing up with a heritage of hate... We must stop this - now!" "I am not scared of the military prison - what truly frightens me is our society losing its humanity."



   

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Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 8:19 am
Why I Refuse - Tair Kaminer's statement

My name is Tair Kaminer, I am 19. A few months ago a ended a year of volunteering with the Israeli Boy and Girl Scouts in the town of Sderot, on the Gaza Strip border. In a few days, I will be going to jail.

An entire year I volunteered in Sderot, working with children living in a war zone, and it was there that I decided to refuse to serve in the Israeli military. My refusal comes from my will to make a contribution to the society of which I am a part and make this a better place to live, from my commitment to the struggle for peace and equality.

The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict, and went through traumatic experiences from a young age. In many of them, this has generated a terrible hatred - which is quite understandable, especially in young children. Like them, many of the children living in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in an even more harsh reality, learn to hate the other side. They, too, cannot be blamed. When I look at all these children, at the next generation of both sides and the reality in which they live, I can but see the continuation of trauma and pain. And I say: Enough!

For years now there’s no political horizon, no peace process anywhere in sight. There’s no attempt of any kind to bring peace to Gaza or to Sderot. As long as the violent military way holds sway, we will simply have further generations growing up with a heritage of hate, which will only make things even worse. We must stop this - now!

This is why I am refusing: I will not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and in the injustice to the Palestinian people that is perpetrated again and again under this occupation. I will not take part in the cycle of hatred in Gaza and Sderot.

My draft date was set for January 10th, 2016. On that day I will report to the Tel Hashomer Induction Center, to declare my refusal to serve in the military - and my willingness to do an alternative civil service.

In conversation with some people I care about I’ve been accused of undermining democracy, though my refusal to abide by the laws which were enacted by an elected Parliament. But the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories live under the rule of the Government of Israel, though they had no voice whatsoever in electing that government. I believe that as long as Israel continues to be an occupying country, it will continue moving further and further away from from democracy. Therefore, my refusal is part of the struggle for democracy - not an anti-democratic act.

I have been told that I am avoiding my responsibility for the security of Israel. But as a woman who regards all people as equal - and all their lives as equally important - I cannot accept the security argument as applying to Jews only . Especially now, as the wave or terror continues, when it becomes clear and evident that the military cannot ensure protection to the Jews, either. It is very simple - one cannot create an island of security in the midst of an oppressive occupation. True security can be created only when the Palestinian people live in freedom and dignity, in their own an independent state alongside Israel.

There were those who worried about my personal future in a country in which performing military service is held to be of supreme importance in the fabric of daily social intercourse. Caring for my future prospects, they suggested that I do serve in the army, regardless of my opinions - or at least that I don't make my refusal public. But through all the difficulties and worries, I chose to declare my refusal openly, for all to hear. This country, this society, are too important to me - I cannot and will not agree to keep silent. That was not the way I was brought up - to care only for myself and my private concerns. The life I had until now has been about giving and social responsibility, and such I want it to continue.

Even if I must pay a personal price for my refusal, this price will be worthwhile if it to helps place the occupation on the agenda of Israeli public discourse. Far too many Israelis don’t directly feel the occupation, and they tend to forget about it in their daily lives - lives that are eminently safe in comparison with those of Palestinians, or even of the Israelis who live in the Western Negev (Gaza border area).

We are told that there is no way other than the violent military way. But I believe that this is the most destructive way, and that there are others. I wish to remind all of us that there does exist an alternative: negotiations, peace, optimism, a true will to live in equality, safety and freedom. We are told that the military is not a political institution - but the decision to serve in the military is a highly political one, no less so than the decision to refuse.

We, the young people, must understand the full implications of such a choice. We need to understand its consequences for our society. After having deliberated these issues, I took the decision to refuse. I am not scared of the military prison - what truly frightens me is our society losing its humanity.
 

Sue H (7)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 9:31 am
Prayers Up for Tair.
 

Sam H (410)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 9:35 am
When we’re about to lose faith in the human race, someone like Tair would come along to renew that faith!

Thanks Evelyn!
 

fahad Al fahad (140)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 10:33 am
Actually she is a free woman !! Her words for the Zionist state is true
 

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 10:55 am
There is nothing as uncomfortable as the truth, Farhad, which is why even posting this is likely to be categorised as "Jew Hating", "anti-Semitic" by several Care2 members .... and she'll be given a rough time by fellow Israelis and pro-Zionists ...
 

Sheila D (194)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 12:56 pm
Old adage says that the truth hurts...also, there are none so blind than those who cannot see. I'd say those who will not see. Thanx Evelyn.
 

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 2:57 pm
Châpeau to Tair! How great it is to see Israelis, too have their "martyrs" and are proud of their resistance!
Aslong as there are role models like her, and may that army of refusniks grow and grow some more!, the fear she rightfully expresses, becomes a little less frightening.
Thanks Evelyn for sharing another inspiring story amidst all the daily horror!
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 3:01 pm
This bit, says it all:

We are told that there is no way other than the violent military way. But I believe that this is the most destructive way, and that there are others. I wish to remind all of us that there does exist an alternative: negotiations, peace, optimism, a true will to live in equality, safety and freedom. We are told that the military is not a political institution - but the decision to serve in the military is a highly political one, no less so than the decision to refuse.
 

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 3:05 pm
For those who missed, I'll once again add that video I posted on Sam's recent "love" story about the forbidden book. Israelis and Palestinians/Jews and Arabs REFUSE to be enemies!

VIDEO-let's kiss
 

Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 3:36 pm
It sure did Peace
 

Lona G (67)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 6:12 pm
As young as Tair Kaminer is, she's old beyond her years in knowledge and humanity. So much older than the average teenager because of the country she lives in and the things she has witnessed and learned from. Her brave act brings tears to my eyes: from hope and out of fear what may happen to her. For now, Tair has been sentenced to 20 days in jail, after that the whole circle will start all over again. Show Tair that you support her by sending an email to Moshe Ya'alon onConscientious objector Tair Kaminer imprisoned. You can also find an address there to send her a message of support directly. I haven't found any other petitions yet.
 

Freya H (345)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 7:08 pm
The quote in the picture is totally true! Every oppressive government has endeavored to keep the masses ignorant, and thus easier to herd.
 

Sherri G (128)
Tuesday January 12, 2016, 11:17 pm
Our own society has been dumbing down America. No one has power over you until you give them permission. Good for Tair. She is very courageous. Noted TY
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 13, 2016, 12:14 am
THANKS FOR SHARING
 

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday January 13, 2016, 1:01 am
Lona, thanks so much for that link.

Tair should know that many respect her integrity and courage - and other Mesarvot also, because there are those in her own society that will go out of their way to damn her & crush her confidence. She is a shining example of true Jewish principles - and of human values
 

Farah Hage Ali (155)
Wednesday January 13, 2016, 2:47 am
Tair dared to speak out loud, many do not have the courage or will to take such a bold step. She might have faced execution for just disobeying military rules.
noted, thank you for sharing
 

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 13, 2016, 4:23 pm
Thx very much for that link and website, Lona!
Release conscientious objector Tair Kaminer
Your message has been sent.
 

Shirley S (187)
Wednesday January 13, 2016, 11:06 pm
What a courageous young girl ! I do hope that she stays safe.
 

fly b (26)
Tuesday January 19, 2016, 1:13 am
yes, very courageous!
Thank you for sharing, Evelyn, and Lona.


Release conscientious objector Tair Kaminer

Dear Moshe Ya'alon,

19-year-old Tair Kaminer has been imprisoned for her refusal to join the Israeli military.

Tair Kaminer refuses to enlist in the Israeli Army based on beliefs and conscience. She claims her human right to conscientious objection, as guaranteed by Article 18 of the ICCPR. In a decision from January 2007, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recognised the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as guaranteed by Article 18 ICCPR.

I urge you to immediately release Tair Kaminer, all other conscientious objectors, and ensure that Tair is not re-imprisoned in future.

Yours sincerely,
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday January 19, 2016, 5:50 am
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