I and dozens of other students, on examining our values, International Law, and what we believe is best for Israel, refused to serve in the Occupied Territories and be a part of a mechanism that suppresses millions of Palestinians.
I am Sahar Vardi. I am 18 years old, a senior in high school in Israel. As you probably know, all Israelis must serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, starting right after our last year of high school. I and dozens of other students, on examining our values, International Law, and what we believe is best for Israel, refused to serve in the Occupied Territories and be a part of a mechanism that suppresses millions of Palestinians.
For our refusal, we were sentenced to jail. Some of us were held in solitary confinement. Sometimes we were not allowed even to brush our teeth or change our clothes.
Some of us contacted Jewish Voice for Peace for help, and they rallied so many people! People like you, who are pressuring the Israeli Military to let us out and to cooperate with international law. As a result, several of us were freed from jail, and conditions have greatly improved for all of us.
I am writing to you in this e-mail for three reasons:
1) Please know that if we could, we would write to each of you separately and thank you personally for all you did to help us. Your support produced tangible results, but also gave us the courage and commitment to continue our struggle, even to this day.
2) Please continue your support for our struggle. If you are American, your tax dollars finance our occupation. The United States provides Israel with more military aid than any other country. Given the economic turmoil in the USA, we believe that this money ought to be used for health and well-being.Israel needs to build a more democratic society, and not use the military to solve deep-rooted problems.
3) And, please support Jewish Voice for Peace. They need your financial help, in addition to your activist help, to continue their work. Take a moment right now to become a MEMBER of JVP if you aren’t one already. You can do this easily online – just click this link.
Jewish Voice for Peace is such an important part of our struggle here. We are told that by serving in the Israeli Defense Force we are protecting the security of Israel, but lasting security will only come through peace and negotiations, not weapons. Inside Israel, people like us do all we can to work for peace, and we do so with hands stretched across the water, joined with you.
Become a member of JVP today Thousands of members have a stronger voice than just being on a e-mail list. Lift up your voice – we hear you and we are so thankful!
P.S. – Please join me and New Profile co-founder Ruth Hiller for a live conference call on Monday, Mar 30 at 5:30pm Pacific Standard Time. Slots are limited. Go here for more information and to register. Ruth and I will talk about militarism and Israeli society after Gaza and Sderot, and will give an update on the Shministim and the Israeli refuser movement. You can send questions in advance.