Hello, my name is Daniel. I'm 18 year old from Tel Aviv and I'm part of a new group of teens, school seniors and youth refusers that. We're called the Shministim Letter - 60 teens and youth aged 16-21 signed the statement we sent to Israeli Prime Minister, calling for refusal to enlist to the Israeli military. 'Shministim’, literally meaning 12th graders, is a movement of high school seniors who publicly refuse to serve in the Israeli military as a conscientious objection to the occupation and oppression of Palestinians. Over the last year, we’ve gotten together to learn about injustices and abuse that are an inherent part of the military regime. Together, we decided that right now, as Israel enters another election and Biden enters the white house, is the time to act. We demand justice, and justice demands solidarity and joint struggle.
For the first time, our Declaration of Refusers focus on the Nakba (The destruction and exodus of Palestinian in 1948) alongside the 1967 occupation as a reason why we refuse. To quote from our letter itself, we believe that by drafting to the Israeli military :“We are ordered to put on the bloodstained military uniform and preserve the legacy of the Nakba.”
We are calling for others our age to ask themselves: What and who are we serving when we enlist in the military? Why do we enlist? What reality do we create by serving in the military of the occupation? We want peace, and real peace requires justice. Justice requires acknowledgment of the historical and present injustices, and of the continuing Nakba. Justice requires reform in the form of the end of the occupation, the end of the siege on Gaza, and recognition of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
You can read the entire letter online and support our movement