This week on Talk World Radio we’re talking about refusing military “service.” Our guest Charles Lenchner is a veteran peace activist, organizer, and political campaigner. Born in the United States, he grew up in Israel where he became an anti-occupation activist at a young age. In 1987, he was drafted into the Israeli Army and subsequently refused orders and spent time in military prison. More recently he was a co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders and today is part of the RootsAction team that publishes ProgressiveHub. I also work for RootsAction.
Israeli elections are coming up in January so it is Palestinian hunting season again. Israeli cynics call it a time “for mowing the grass.”
Out comes the well-worn playbook by Israel’s militaristic government that has worked to silence Israeli politicians and citizens who want a two-state solution. This is an opportunity to use and test advanced weaponry from the U.S., compliments of U.S. taxpayers, and squelch ongoing peace efforts, small and large, by Palestinians, Israelis and international peace advocates.
Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News
Jewish Peace News
These pieces are organized around the theme of resistance. They discuss various actions, initiatives and statements by Jews and Israelis who are speaking out and acting in solidarity with Palestinians who are struggling to keep themselves and their families alive in Gaza. There are many suggestions for actions that you can take.
(1) Tom Pessah, an Israeli doing a PhD in the US, writes another update on protests and people inside of Israel. His attention to nuance and detail make this description extraordinary. Rebecca Vilkomerson attended the rally too and reports that the number was closer to 500 people (Pessah reports about 100): “it was also noteworthy that there were so many women and children at the rally, which despite all the police who were present, gave the rally a rather gentle presence, and unlike in Tel Aviv, there were no counter-protesters throwing eggs, so all in all it was one of the more pleasant demo experiences recently.”
(2) On conscientious objection and military refusal:
Jewish Voice for Peace
Dec. 19, 2008
Yesterday, December 18th, was the Shministim Day of Action in Israel. Even as Tamar Katz remained in solitary confinement, the Shministim were thrilled. They told us they had not seen this much media coverage in Israel of young refusers in years. The global response, which continues to grow, has been overwhelming. I want to share with you this first-hand account that Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote about the day. And, thank you so much from all of us at Jewish Voice for Peace.