Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN)

Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN)

A refuser wave is on the way

Newsletter of the Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN)

by Mattan Helman

(19.05.2024) Dear all,

Mattan here. I’m the Executive Director of Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN) and an Israeli refuser. Over the last few weeks, there’s been a noticeable shift in Israeli public sentiment and we’ve received signs indicating the emergence of a new wave of refusal. Increasingly, Israelis view the ongoing fighting not merely as a matter of self-defense aimed at bringing hostages home, but rather as an enduring political war with a right-wing agenda. Moreover, there’s growing exposure to the harrowing realities in Gaza, a first for many Israelis. These developments have led to a rise in acts of refusal, particularly among reservist soldiers, some of whom are now expressing their refusal publicly. You can show your support by signing the petition provided below and spreading the word among your friends. Criticizing Israel, refusing to participate, or showing support for refusers often leads to persecution. Shortly after our last newsletter was circulated, a right-wing Israeli news channel, Channel 14 TV,  published an article targeting myself, RSN, and our partners, to intimidate us. Subsequently, right-wing groups called for the dismissal of individuals from their jobs because of their ties to refuser organizations. Although more than one hundred people have refused to fight in Gaza since October 7th, an estimate reported from our partners on the ground, the majority have refrained from doing so publicly. 

In light of this challenging atmosphere, many refusers prefer to refrain from publicly refusing. It’s crucial for us to demonstrate to them that they are not alone, that support exists, and that we will stand by them during difficult times. From personal experience when I refused to serve in the military, 6 years ago, getting letters of support was very important to me. When I was feeling alone and disheartened, the dozens of letters from all over the world strengthened my spirit and gave me the power to carry on the fight.

This is where your assistance, Marah, becomes invaluable. We implore you to lend your support by signing our petition and sharing it with your friends and family. The petition’s message reads:

"TO: Israeli conscientious objectors,

We, citizens of countries around the world, support your brave decision to refuse to take part in the Gaza genocide despite the persecution you face.

Not only is refusal to participate in war crimes a moral imperative, it is crucial to ending the horrors of the war. By withdrawing your cooperation and disobeying, you are undermining Israel’s ability to continue destroying Gaza.

We want you to know that many around the world support your courageous action, and hereby vow to help you in any way we can. Together, we can end this massacre."

We at RSN are committed to supporting the refusers. They need all the support they can get as they stand against the Israeli army and face persecution. Sign the support petition and send it to your community. Let’s show refusers, as well as those considering refusal, that they are not alone, and that we have their backs!

In solidarity,
Mattan Helman
Executive Director
Refuser Solidarity Network

Mattan Helman, A refuser wave is on the way. Newsletter of the Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN). Sent by email on 19.05.2024,

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Conscription   ⇒ Israel   ⇒ Project Reports   ⇒ USA