Oren Feld, Credit: Ore Cherbelis Hod

Oren Feld, Credit: Ore Cherbelis Hod

Israel: Sentenced to 14 days in prison for refusing to serve the occupation

by Oren Feld

(22.11.2021) Hello, my name is Oren, I’m 29 years old. I live in Jerusalem and I am an MA student. I run a social worker NGO and work in the Jerusalem branch of the Hadash party (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality). I was just released after 14 days in military jail for refusing to do my reserve duty in the Israeli military. 

When I was first drafted to the Israeli military as an 18 year old, I did not have the strength to resist it. Now I do. I spent 3 years of my life in a military service I did not believe in and over the years I have witnessed numerous injustices and wrongdoings performed by the army.

That is why now, at the age of 29 years, I said ENOUGH when I was called to do reserve duty. I will no longer be a part of an institution that oppresses, kills, and exploits innocent people. It is time to speak the truth about the history of our land, - starting with past  expulsions of Palestinians and continuing with the multiple present day measures aimed at the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, that are part of everyday life. Only truth will stop the occupation. 

The occupation manifests itself in many forms. It has controls over the Palestinian leadership; It controls transportation routes through the use of lockdowns and blockades; It performs mass arrests; It has the power to prohibit gatherings and demonstrations. The occupation is undeniable, and it is a political choice: there is no justification for an endless, limitless foreign rule over millions of innocent people. 

I choose peace. That is why when I received the order to report for reserve duty, I told my army commander that I will not comply. He sentenced me to 14 days in jail for my refusal. I sent a request to the conscientious committee asking them to release me from reserve duty, but they denied my request and I went to military jail. Serving time was a harsh and humiliating experience but I will continue to stand firm in the face of oppression!

I will not serve in an army that uses its resources to control the Palestinian civic population, which has virtually no basic human rights. I will not take part in the military rule in the west bank or in the naval and air blockade of Gaza. Nor will I take part in the monitoring of goods entering the Palestinian territories, which has given rise to a life without any basic means for millions of human beings, who have restricted access to food, to drinkable water, to housing and to electricity. 

This military control over another nation also corrupts the Israeli society from within. If we want to have a healthy, egalitarian society it needs to be based on solidarity, not on force and superiority of some over others. I care for this place and the people who live in this land! Anyone who feels the same should take a stand against the occupation and the oppression that have now been going on for over a half a century. This is why I chose to refuse now and why I will continue to refuse in the future. 

Oren Feld: Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison for Refusing to Serve the Occupation. November 22.,2021. https://www.refuser.org/refuser-updates/orenfeld

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Israel   ⇒ Objectors Report   ⇒ Prosecution   ⇒ Soldiers