During the recent fighting, I featured an eloquent video by Courage to Refuse based on interviews with Israeli soldiers who refused to fight in the Occupied Territories. Reader Peter Drubetskoy brings news from Israel’s Generation Dov that one of the most articulate of the refusers, Noam Livneh, has been arrested for adhering to his principles.
This is an excerpt of his statement comparing the courage it took him to serve under intense combat conditions versus the courage it took him to refuse to serve:
I was a combat officer for four years. I was in Gaza. I was in Lebanon. I commanded ambushes. I commanded outposts. I fought “terrorists.” I was under mortar attack. I was shot at and did all the scary things one does in the military. And I say with all my heart that to refuse demanded more courage.
I call on all soldiers, pilots, officers and all who participate in this war to seek that courage within.
Stirring words from the frontline of the battle for the hearts and minds of the Israeli public.
Interestingly, though he refused during the war, the IDF chose not to arrest him till after fighting ended. Could it be the IDF knew it would create a martyr if it singled him out DURING the war for prosecution; and that this would provide enormous publicity for those who opposed the war?
One also has to wonder why, given that scores of others also refused to fight in Gaza, they chose to jail Livneh? Give a listen to his interview and you’ll immediately understand why. His is a gifted, passionate and profound statement why Israelis should refuse to serve and perpetuate the murderous Occupation. The IDF wants to single out the most articulate advocates and make an example of them. They want others to understand that the next ones will be them after they’re done with leaders like Livneh. It’s a simple act of naked intimidation.
The IDF uses guns on Palestinians. It doesn’t use these weapons on its own. But the methods still can be quite brutal and vicious.