Voices Against War (VAW) is a social media initiative of the Refuser Solidarity Network.

Voices Against War (VAW) is a social media initiative of the Refuser Solidarity Network.

The problem is not a specific soldier, it is the entire army

Newsletter of the Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN)

by Mattan Helman

(05.05.2024) Dear all,

Mattan here. I am the executive director of Refuser Solidarity Network and an Israeli refuser. I am writing to you as I would like to let you know how actions of the U.S. government against the war, can distract from the root of the problems, the Israeli systematic oppression of the Palestinians. You can support resisters and refusers, like myself, who speak out against the occupation and the war on Gaza here

After months of a devastating massacre of Gaza and hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli hostages, the Biden administration is continuing to support the Israeli military and approved a significant $26 billion military aid package. However, amidst this financial support, there’s a notable shift in policy. As a measure to address concerns regarding human rights violations, the administration plans to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda battalion, barring them from utilizing US weapons. This move comes in response to mounting evidence of murder and abuse of Palestinians by this specific battalion. Yet, for many activists, myself included, this action falls short of addressing the root issue and minimizes the actions of the Israeli army. 

Before I refused to serve and spent 110 days in prison, people tried to convince me to join the army so I could be the "nice soldier" at the checkpoints. They believed I could make a difference in how Palestinians were treated and many served in the army for that reason. As if the oppression, occupation or massacre can be moral if the soldiers were more moral. The truth is, there is no moral form of oppression. It is not about individual soldiers or units in the West Bank or Gaza and how they treat the Palestinians, it is the fact that there are soldiers there in the first place. The whole Israeli military is responsible for systematic oppression, occupation, massacre in Gaza and ethnic cleansing.

While sanctioning the Netzach Yehuda battalion is a start, it’s not enough. We need to stop President Biden from giving weapons to the Israeli military until the Israeli oppression ends. This isn’t just about one unit; it is about making real changes to prioritize the end of this massacre, bringing the hostages back to their families and finding a way to freedom, equality and justice for everyone on this land.

Israeli resistance has the power to end the massacre in Gaza and years of oppression.  As I have always said: no soldiers, no oppression. But we need your support. We need the international community to support Israeli resistance and not the continued bloodshed. That’s why we, RSN, are here. Help us build the movement of resisters and refusers by donating here.

Together, we can continue to call out these bandaid sanctions and amplify the voices of refusers and resisters of the massacre.

In solidarity,
Mattan Helman
Executive Director
Refuser Solidarity Network

Voices Against War (VAW) is a social media initiative of the Refuser Solidarity Network established in October 2023 to amplify the voices of Israelis resisting the Gaza war.

Mattan Helman, The problem is not a specific soldier, it is the entire army. Newsletter of the Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN). Sent by email on 05.05.2024, https://mailchi.mp/refuser/the-problem-is-not-a-specific-soldier-it-is-the-entire-army-refuser-solidarity-network.

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Israel   ⇒ Objectors Report   ⇒ Peace Movement   ⇒ USA   ⇒ War