Two Israeli Teens Jailed for Refusing to Join Army

The conscientious objectors were spat upon and cursed by other draftees at an army induction base.

Women soldiers in the IDF.
Olivier Fitoussi

Two Israeli teenagers were arrested by the Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday after declaring themselves conscientious objectors and refusing to enlist in the army.

The two, Tamar Alon of Tel Aviv and Tamar Ze’evi of Jerusalem, were both sentenced to two days imprisonment by a military tribunal. They are likely to then be brought back to court and sentenced to longer prison terms if they again refuse to be inducted.

Some 80 supporters from the conscientious objectors organization Mesarvot (Hebrew for “refusers”) accompanied Alon and Ze’evi to the Tel Hashomer induction base, outside Tel Aviv, where they announced their “unwillingness to contribute to the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Tair Kaminer, who spent five months in military prison for conscientious objection earlier this year, told Alon and Ze’evi that their action was breaking the silence around the occupation and that they would draw support from all over the world.

Police at the induction base had to protect the protesters from other draftees and their families, some of whom cursed and spat at the two young women and accused them of treason.

“I can’t accept the claim that the oppression of another people, the denial of basic human rights, and racism and hate are necessary for the existence of State of Israel,” Alon wrote in a statement earlier Wednesday.