World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Yoni Ben Artzi & Uri Ya'acobi Made Into Scapegoats

Gush Shalom
Press Release


Yoni Ben Artzi and Uri Ya'acobi made into scapegoats

Yoni Ben Artzi and Uri Ya'acobi, who both already served five consecutive prison terms for refusing to serve in the army, were today imprisoned for the sixth time and received respectively 35 and 28 days in Military Prison-4. Ben Artzi will at the end of this period come close to half a year in prison. No community service for these conscientious objectors, but military prison with its short nights and its long days of forced labor.

The struggle for the release of these two - officially adopted by Amnesty International ( - is not so much a struggle on behalf of refusal to serve in the army but in the first place a struggle for fair behavior towards principled youngsters. In this country the religious succeeded to get exemption from army service for every "Yeshiva Student" - without in the least objecting to the use of violence, only to themselves having to do the dirty work. It is inacceptable that at the same time non- religious students are again and again imprisoned for the fact that they happen to have a conscience which forbids them to take part in an army which all their life (and much longer) has been an occupation army.

The two re-jailed today have both been behind bars for more than 100 days already (Ben-Artzi 126, and Ya'acobi 106). The fact that there is no sign of allowing them to see the army's "Incompatibility Commission" (the only way out of the vicious circle) is proof that a policy of years has been changed. There was for years an unwritten rule that such repeated imprisonments of COs would never exceed 90 to 100 days. There can be no more doubt: the army embarked on a new policy of harsh treatment of refusers. The new policy of "breaking the conscientious objectors" is meant to crash also another phenomenon: the increasing and widespread unwillingness to serve in the army. The steep rise in the number of pacifist and political refusers is only the tip of the iceberg. According to military correspondents the number of soldiers who "vote with their feet" by just not coming when they are called up seems to have risen even more dramatically.

Yoni Ben Artzi en Uri Ya'acobi are the first to suffer from this new policy; several other young COs are right now in prison for not yet as many days (Yoni Yechezkel, Dror Boimel, Haggai Matar - to mention some) and at least four others are due to enter this week (among them Matan Kaminer, whose letter circulates these days on the net) and these four will be accompanied by a crowd of future refusers - tomorrow at 7.30 up to the gates of the Tel- Hashomer recruitment center. But right now we advise to focus the struggle on the two who entered their sixth term. Ben Artzi en Ya'acobi now need all the support they can get.

Letters of support (which will be passed on by their family) to:



Letters of protest to: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Spokesperson of the Prime Minister
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz
Spokesperson Defense Ministry
Foreign Minister Benyamin Netanyahu

+ COPIES to:

Amnesty International,

We very much urge you also to send your protest by fax or regular post to:

Minister of Defence Mr. Sha'ul Mofaz,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan st.,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Fax:+972-(0)3-696-27-57 / +972-(0)3-691-69-40 / +972-(0)3-691-79-15

Commander of Military Prison No. 4,
Military Postal Code 02507
IDF, Israel
Fax: +972-(0)3-957-52-76

And, last but not least: speak to the commander (or his helper) of Military Prison-4: +972-(0)3-9577555 / +972-(0)3-9577559 / +972-(0)3-9577560


On our site: (English)

\\photo's - of action or otherwise informative \\the weekly Gush Shalom ad - in Hebrew and English \\the columns of Uri Avnery - in Hebrew, Arab and English \\and an archive full of interesting documents

N.B.: There are now on the site links for: French and German translations (selected documents in Spanish at request, but not yet in a linkable format)

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news