Conscientious objector Natan Blanc sentenced to prison for the seventh time for his refusal to join the Israeli army.
Natan Blanc, 19 years old from Haifa, arrived Thursday, 28.2.2013, to the Induction Base in Tal-hashomer, where he again declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli army. He was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment for his refusal, in military prison No. 6 near Atlit.
In his refusal declaration Natan Blanc wrote:
«I began thinking about refusing to be conscripted into the Israeli army during the “Cast Lead” operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect, were the primary trigger for my refusal. Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it. From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorists, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides. As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight. But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game.»
1. Sending Letters of Support
2. Letters to Authorities
It has come to my attention that Natan Blanc (military ID 7571368), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the seventh time for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit.
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Blanc is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. The repeater imprisonment of conscientious objectors is an especially grave offence, as it means sentencing a person more than once for the same offence, and has been judged by th UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention to constitute a clear case arbitrary detention.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Natan Blanc, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.