From an email from Jewish Peace News
Ratcheting up their campaign against so-called “shirkers”, Israeli authorities have declared a new front in their “war” – as it is termed by the news item below – on Israeli youth.
Growing numbers of young men and women currently find themselves unable or unwilling to accept or trust the worn Israeli dictate: “There’s no other choice”. Four generations and over six decades of repeated, unending “military solutions” have engendered an expanding movement of young people who experience and express excruciating inner struggles and rifts in face of the legal duty to serve. Despite the attempt of state courts, both military and civilian, to compartmentalize such processes as either ‘political’, (very rarely) ‘conscientious’, or ‘psychological’, these internal conflicts are both emotional and ideological, combining views, feelings, convictions, ideas, beliefs, questions, personality, life experience and sense-of-self. For some young people, they also involve highly dangerous levels of personal distress and indeed, in recent years, suicide has claimed the lives of more Israeli soldiers than all other causes-of-death combined.
Rather than listening to the voice raised by these future citizens, rather than fathoming the social change it reflects and responding with changed, innovative policies, Israel’s state institutions have chosen to wage a “war” against these youths and the developments they represent. Criminalizing the movement, state authorities will now attempt to seek out illegalities in open and legal resistance work, a move characteristic of a militarized state abusing its power in a bid to keep in place an old, cracking order.
[…] Rela Mazali
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz recently ordered the police to open a criminal investigation against the New Profile organization – the first time a criminal probe has ever been launched against a group that encourages draft dodging.
The probe, launched in response to a request from the Israel Defense Forces, constitutes an intensification of the army’s war on draft dodging. It was prompted by concern over the growing extent of this phenomenon. Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit asked Mazuz to order the probe in February, and earlier this month, Mazuz acceded to his request.
New Profile’s Web site defines the group’s purpose as supplying “detailed and reliable information about the procedures that enable one to obtain an exemption from military service,” as well as “moral support” for those seeking such an exemption.