Right-wing Group Slams Tent Protest Leader for Criticizing Military Draft

A group called Yisrael Sheli ("My Israel") attacks Daphni Leef initiator of the protest movemnet for signing a letter together with dozens of other high-school seniors, declaring their refusal to serve in "the army of occupation," back in 2002.

A right-wing organization calling itself Yisrael Sheli ("My Israel" ) launched an Internet campaign Thursday against the initiator of the tent protest, Daphni Leef, who about a decade ago signed a letter by high-school students against the military draft.

In the letter, signed by Leef and dozens of other high-school seniors in 2002, the teens declared their refusal to serve in "the army of occupation" and denounced the actions of the army and the state in the territories.

"The State of Israel commits war crimes and tramples human rights while sowing destruction in Palestinian villages: land expropriations; arrests and executions without the benefit of trials; the mass demolition of homes, businesses and public buildings; looting; closures; curfews; torture; preventing access to medical care; and the construction and expansion of the settlements - all actions that violate human morality and international conventions that Israel has ratified," the 2002 letter stated.

Leef did not serve in the Israel Defense Forces. She has been quoted as saying she was issued a medical exemption because of the epilepsy she is known to suffer from.

My Israel is an Internet-based organization with 60,000 registered members on Facebook. It is headed by Ayelet Shaked, a Tel Aviv resident who previously worked for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The organization maintains close strategic cooperation with the Yesha Council of settlements and in effect operates as the social-media arm of the council.

Leef could not be reached for comment prior to press time.