Conscientious objection in Israel

All Israelis, men and women, are required to serve in the national military when they turn 18. That’s a hard social background within which to be a conscientious objector, even before you account for the fact that refusal to serve means jail time. Yet there are Israeli COs. On the God’s Politics blog, Howard Zinn introduces a campaign on behalf of one cohort of teenage COs, the Shministim. (That’s Hebrew for “twelfth-grader” – can you imagine going to jail for your beliefs as a high school senior? Yeah, neither can I.) The American-based Jewish Voice for Peace is looking for people to sign a statement calling for the Shminstim to be released, to be delivered to the Israeli Minister of Defense as one big pile of postcards on 18 December. Sign the statement here.