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Not A Pacifist - Just A Disobedient Soldier?

"Not A Pacifist - Just A Disobedient Soldier?" Yoni Ben Artzi's Bagatz

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The army says: Yoni Ben Artzi is not a pacifist, but just a soldier refusing orders.
Ben Artzi appeals to the Supreme Court:
Not up to army to judge a civilian who refuses to be a soldier.

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Tuesday, April 8, at 8 a.m. high profile Supreme Court hearing in the Jonathan Ben-Artzi case; representatives of international human rights organizations to be present. Israelis VERY much invited to be there too.

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From:
Matania Ben-Artzi mbartzi@yahoo.com

Dear Friends,

The Israeli Supreme Court (3 Justices, presided by Aharon Barak, President of the Court) will hear Yoni's appeal on Tuesday, April 8, at 8 a.m. Yoni is represented by Adv. Avigdor Feldmann and Adv, Michael Sfard.

Reminder: The appeal asked for the case to be commuted to a civilian court, since Yoni, as the other young conscientious objectors, has never enlisted as a soldier. Thus, the fundamental question is the PERSONAL STATUS (civilian? soldier?) of these objectors, a question too heavy and too basic to be considered by a military court (in a democratic country...). Furthermore, the refusal to enlist is based on moral and conscientios convictions. These are issues of faith, naturally outside the narrow mandate of a military court.

The reply by the State (in the name of the Attorney General Rubinstein) was brief : Yoni is a "soldier" from the very minute (August 8, 2002) he showed up at the Induction Center. Since then he has constantly refused to "obey orders", hence only the Military Court is empowered to deal with him (it is added , in the reply by the AG, that "refusal to obey orders" doesn't exist as a crime in the civil code, hence is not prosecutable in a civilian court...).

The Media (Israeli and foreign press, radio and TV ) will be heavily represented, due to the high interest in the fundamental issues involved in the case. In addition, many foreign observers, representing Human Rights organizations, have already confirmed their arrival. Among them we mention Mr. Andreas Speck of WRI (London) , Mr. Nicolas Brahy (FIDH, Paris) and representatives of Amnesty International.

Let us hope that, this time, the Supreme Court will not succumb to the Military Administration, as it has unfortunately done so many times in recent years.

With best regards

Ofra and Matania Ben-Artzi.

ENDS

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