Conscientious objector: ‘I don’t want to wear a uniform that symbolizes violence and pain’

Shahar Perets, who was sentenced to prison for refusing to join the Israeli army, talks about meeting Palestinians for the first time, her visits to the West Bank, and how Israeli society represses the occupation.


Israeli conscientious objector Shahar Perets. (Oren Ziv)

Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine, September 1, 2021

Israeli conscientious objector Shahar Perets was sentenced to 10 days in military prison on Tuesday after announcing her refusal to join the Israeli army over its policies toward Palestinians. 

Perets, 18, from the town of Kfar Yona, is one of the 120 teenagers who signed the “Shministim Letter” (an initiative with the Hebrew nickname given to high school seniors) in January, in which they declared their refusal to serve in the army in protest of its policies of occupation and apartheid. In June 2020, she was one of the 400 Israeli teenagers who signed a letter to the Israeli leadership demanding it halts its erstwhile plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan. 

On Tuesday morning, dozens of supporters, including Joint List MK Ofer Cassif, accompanied both Perets and conscientious objector Eran Aviv — who will enter his fourth stint behind bars — to the Tel Hashomer induction base in central Israel, where they both told the army they would not serve. Aviv has spent a total of 54 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the army, and was sentenced to an additional 10 days behind bars. After they are released, they will have to return to the induction base and repeat the process until the army decides to discharge them. Military conscription is mandatory for most Jewish Israelis. 

Aviv arrived to the induction base in uniform after he began the enlistment process in May, when the army promised him a position that was unrelated to the occupation. When army officials reneged on the promise, he chose to refuse — yet from the IDF’s point of view, he is considered a soldier.

Shahar’s father, Shlomo Perets, who himself sat in prison four times for refusing to serve in Lebanon and the occupied territories, was also there to support his daughter. “These are her choices, she does what she has decided out of awareness, care, and a desire to make a change. I support her and hope that she will succeed in not doing the things that go against her principles and refusing to be what she is not.”

August 16, 2021
Webinar on Ben & Jerry’s recent decision

We’re delighted to invite you to a timely webinar on Monday, August 16th, at 4:00 pm ET.

How did an ice cream company come to dominate the global discourse on Israel-Palestine? On July 19th, beloved ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would end sales of its ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The backlash from the Israeli government, from US elected officials and from right wing organizations was immediate and overwhelming, with calls for US governors to use anti-boycott laws to take legal action against Ben & Jerry’s for their decision.

Join Just Vision, Americans for Peace Now and Jewish Currents along with guests Ben Cohen (Founder, Ben & Jerry’s) and Anuradha Mittal (Board Chair, Ben & Jerry’s) in conversation with our Executive Director, Suhad Babaa; Jewish CurrentsEditor-at-Large, Peter Beinart; and President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, Hadar Susskind, to discuss this recent decision by Ben and Jerry’s and its far-reaching implications.

To register for this event, please click here. We hope to see you there.

With resolve,
Emma Alpert
Deputy Director, Just Vision

Speaker bios:

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August 16, 2021
Webinar: From Bethlehem to Gaza with Laila El-Haddad and Vivien Sansour

Palestinian Culinary Resilience & Liberation!

Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)

Laila El-Haddad and Vivien Sansour cook up a treat as they share stories of Palestinian liberation. Laila & Maggie Schmitt have just published the 3rd edition of Gaza Kitchen, available from Just World Books.

More information and registration

Said Odeh’s Legacy, Months after Israeli Forces Killed Him

Three months ago I wrote to you with the news that Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh in Odala, a village located near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Since then, my team spoke with Said’s family and friends to hear their reflections on his life and the impact of his brutal killing. I’d like to invite you to watch and share this four-minute video where Said’s mother, father, cousin, football teammate, and uncle—who was the paramedic that reached Said’s body after being blocked by Israeli soldiers—grieve the loss of Said.

These four minutes paint a picture of a tight-knit community in a small Palestinian village living under Israeli occupation. When Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child, it affects all of us. Please share this video on Facebook and Twitter to honor Said’s memory and call for accountability for his killing.

In solidarity,
Ayed Abu Eqtaish
Defense for Children International – Palestine

Israeli soldiers killed an 11-year-old Palestinian boy

Then, during his funeral, they killed someone else


YUMNA PATEL, Mondoweiss, JULY 29, 2021

Moayyad al-Alami loved bringing his three children along with him when he would run errands in his hometown of Beit Ummar in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank. 

It was something he enjoyed doing, as it was a chance for him to spend time with his kids when he wasn’t working. So on Wednesday afternoon when his wife asked him to pick up some groceries before lunch, Moayyad took his three children, Mohammed, 11, Anan, 9, and Ahmed, 5, along with him. 

“We arrived at the entrance of our street, and Mohammed asked me to turn around and go back to the store, because he forgot to buy a snack that he really wanted,” al-Alami told Mondoweiss, adding that there were Israeli soldiers in the area — not an uncommon site for the family, who live right next to a permanent Israeli military base at the entrance of the town. 

“So I put the car in reverse and started turning around, and all of a sudden I heard shouting and gunshots,” he recounted. “I just started driving away, and yelled at the kids to put their heads down. I didn’t know what to do”

After driving for about 200 meters, with his head ducked down beneath the steering wheel, al-Alami lifted his head up to turn to the back seat and see if his kids were okay. 

“I saw Ahmed crouched on the floor, and Mohammed was laying in his sister’s lap,” he said. “I started telling Mohammed that he could get up, and that the soldiers were gone, but he wouldn’t get up. And then I saw the blood.”

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Inside The Deadly Fight to Save a Palestinian Village from Illegal Israeli Settlements

YUMNA PATEL AND MARC STEINER, The Real News Network, JULY 29, 2021

In early May, a group of Israeli settlers arrived with caravans and set up an illegal outpost on the top of Jabal Sabih on the outskirts of Beita, which is located in the northern occupied West Bank. Since then, every single day for more than two months, Palestinian protests against the settlements in the village have been nonstop—and the Israeli response to these protests has been severe and deadly.

Yumna Patel, the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss, went to Beita to cover this important story, producing a powerful short documentary, ‘Beita Is Undefeatable’, that details the on-the-ground struggle of Palestinians fighting against the violence of occupation. As part of TRNN’s partnership with Mondoweiss, we are publishing this documentary on our channel, along with an exclusive interview with Yumna Patel conducted by Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show, which premieres every Tuesday on TRNN.

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Israeli forces raid DCIP office, confiscate computers and client files


Israeli soldiers confiscated computer equipment and client files in a dawn raid on Defense for Children International – Palestine’s main office in Al-Bireh on July 29. (Source: DCIP)

Defense for Children Palestine, July 29, 2021

Ramallah, July 29, 2021—Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank, confiscating computers and client files, early Thursday morning.

Israeli paramilitary border police forces raided DCIP’s headquarters located in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, located just south of Ramallah around 5:15 a.m. on July 29. More than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the office’s locked front door and confiscated six desktop computers, two laptops, hard drives, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts. No documents were left in the office to give any indication of the reason for the raid, and they did not leave behind any receipt of materials seized.

“This latest act by Israeli authorities pushes forward an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations like DCIP,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at DCIP. “Israeli authorities must immediately end efforts aimed at delegitimizing and criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, and the international community must hold Israeli authorities accountable.”

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