The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Israelis Speak up Against the War in Gaza

Jan 26, 2009

A certain number of Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, publicly protested the war in Gaza. On January 3, 50,000 Israeli Arabs demonstrated in Sakhnin in Galilee against Israeli intervention in Gaza and denounced the “betrayal by Egyptian President Mubarak.”

Some 300 members of Courage to Refuse, made up of refuzniks (members of the Israeli armed forces who refused to repress the Palestinians in previous wars and the majority of whom spent time in prison for this action) held a rally on January 10 in Tel Aviv, calling on current soldiers to refuse to participate in the war. As of January 11, seven reservists refused to respond to the call to go to war.

Some 1,800 Israeli Jews and Palestinians, of whom 500 live in Sderot, which has had the most rockets falling on it, signed a petition calling for the end of military operations in Gaza.

Further, a hundred Israeli students signed an open letter refusing to serve in the Israeli army, expressing their “opposition to the policy of occupation and oppression in the occupied territories.” They risk prison for this action.

This view is very much a minority one in Israel, but it represents an important breach in Israeli government propaganda.