Jan 19, 2004
Over the last couple years with the second Intifada, small groups of Israeli reservists have refused military service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on moral grounds. Usually they were given mild sentences of several weeks in prison. The regime was trying to avoid drawing any attention to the "refuseniks."
But recently another level of opposition has emerged, coming from a handful of teenagers refusing to perform the 2-3 years military service required of almost all Israelis, men and women, after graduating from high-school. A military court sentenced five teenagers to one year in prison for such refusal.
This harsher sentence is a sign that the Israeli regime now wants to make an example of such opposition and hopes to nip it in the bud.
But for everyone who opposes the Sharon government's brutal repressive policies against the Palestinian people, the stance taken by these teenagers is also a hopeful sign. It shows that not all Israelis support the brutal regime headed by Sharon.