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Terrible decisions & action news

Terrible decisions & action news

Gush Shalom emergency ads protesting terrible decisions Peace Now protest march Saturday night in Tel-Aviv SAVE THE COUNTRY ! DOWN WITH THE OCCUPATION ! Report on the Sept. 18 court martial session of "The Five" Lily Galili in Haaretz: Reserve pilots to refuse liquidations

Gush Shalom emergency ads protesting terrible decisions

“Haaretz” and “Jerusalem Post” - emergency ad:

HALT! The decision of the Bush administration to veto the Security Council resolution forbidding the assassination of Yasser Arafat is a scandal of historic dimensions.

The assassination of the Palestinian president, who was elected by a massive majority under the supervision of former president Jimmy Carter, will cause a catastrophe for Israel and the United States..

Arafat is the only Palestinian leader who has the moral authority and the political power to make peace with Israel and convince his people to accept it.

After his assassination, the Palestinian Authority will collapse.

The Palestinian liberation movement will splinter into hundreds of violent groups, each of them intent on killing Israelis and Americans.

The most extreme Islamic fundamentalists will take over the leadership of the Palestinian nation.

The name of Arafat, the martyr, will become the battle-cry of militants throughout the Arab and Muslim world, creating thousands of new Bin Ladens. No place on earth will be safe.

An unbridgeable abyss will open between Israelis and Palestinians, making peace and reconciliation impossible for generations to come.

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It will create an existential danger for Israel.


Help us with donations to P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, Israel

September 19, 2003

(Haaretz - weekly ad on page 2)

The Palestinians Offer a general And comprehensive Cease-fire.

Those who Rejected this offer Will be responsible For the death Of hundreds of Human beings, Israelis and Palestinians.

Who gave Sharon and his generals The right To take this Terrible decision?

Help us with donations to P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, Phone 972-3-5221732. www.gush-shalom.org Requests for information: info@gush-shalom.org

Published in “Haaretz” September 19, 2003

Peace Now protest march Saturday night in Tel-Aviv SAVE THE COUNTRY ! DOWN WITH THE OCCUPATION !

----- Forwarded message ----- From: Sylvia Piterman Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 18:09:52 +0200

Saturday night, 2September, at 19:30, PROTEST MARCH, From the Rabin Memorial at Rabin Square to the Ministry of Defense, Tel Aviv, Calling: SAVE THE COUNTRY ! ENOUGH OF BLOODSHED - ENOUGH OF SETTLEMENTS - ENOUGH OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE - ENOUGH OF MORAL DEGRADATION - ENOUGH OF SHARON ! DOWN WITH THE OCCUPATION ! Transportation from Jerusalem will leave GAN HAPA'AMON parking lot at 18:15. JOIN US !

Report on the Sept. 18 court martial session of "The Five"

--- Anat Matar wrote: From: "Anat Matar" Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 00:44:25 +0300

The trial of the five conscientious objectors refusing to be drafted into an occupation army resumed today at the military court in Jaffa. For long hours, the prosecutor, Captain Yaron Kostelitz, cross-examined the defendants Haggai Matar and Matan Kaminer. Both defendants rejected the prosecutor’s claim that conscience is nothing but a nice word meant to enable anyone to do whatever he or she wishes. They repeated their explanations of why their objection to be drafted is motivated by deep conscientious considerations.

Haggai Matar noted that he did not agree with the conceptual characterizations offered by the prosecutor, regarding such notions as pacifism, political refusal and conscientious objection. The prosecutor presented him with a list of hypothetical situations, in order to find out under what conditions he would agree to be drafted into the Israeli army. In his answer, Matar described the complexity of his conscientious decision and the way it is anchored in current circumstances. “I cannot sum up my opposition in one short sentence. At the moment, I see evil and inhumane acts committed by the Israeli army, and since its actions are inhumane, immoral and in my opinion also illegal, I conscientiously refuse to take any part in this army under present circumstances.” Fantastic hypothetical scenarios are irrelevant to the present situation, Matar said, and it’s impossible to answer such abstract questions or refer to descriptions of situations devoid of any context. Replying to the prosecutor’s claim, that what was described by him as evil was confirmed as legal by the Israeli High Court of Justice, Matar noted that some of the HCJ’s decisions are indeed illegal according to international law. When the prosecutor attempted to characterize his refusal as political rather than conscientious, Matar replied that his position is both political and conscientious, and that it is impossible to break these two spheres apart – yet a distinction must be made between a political stand and a position taken by a political party. “Conscience isn’t a party platform,” said Matar, “and its dictates are much clearer regarding disapproval and refusal than regarding obligations to commit certain acts.”

The questions posed to Matan Kaminer were almost identical to those posed to Haggai Matar. Kaminer repeated and emphasized the principles he enumerated in his original testimony- those principles which led him to refuse the draft. “I oppose violence in general,” he said; “only extreme conditions could make the use of violence legitimate, and such extreme conditions are far from existing here and now. If we leave the Occupied Territories completely, if we allow the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state, and if we live in peace and equality alongside this state, cooperating with it economically and culturally , then the existential situation in the region will be drastically different. There will be no suicide bombs and no violent actions committed by Palestinians against Israeli citizens. The mandatory draft will be irrelevant, but if there is still need of an army under these conditions, then I’ll be ready to take part in it.” Kaminer emphasized that in his opinion the state should – as far as possible – treat any consciences with respect and tolerance, but that his own conscientious motivations for refusal, ensuing from a humanist, rationalist and democratic conception, are essentially different than other motivations for refusal, such as those based on religious and nationalistic grounds. “I love this country and the people living in it, and I want to keep living in it and change it, so that it is a better place to live in. My refusal is part of this change.”

Both Matar and Kaminer, replying to the prosecutor’s questions regarding the duty to obey the law in a democratic state, said that Israel is not fully democratic. A state ruling over 3.5 million people denied the right to vote, cannot presume to be a state whose decisions are all reached in a democratic procedure. South Africa during Apartheid wasn’t a democratic state, they said, and the classical Greek democracy was faulty since only men of certain status enjoyed the right to be represented, whereas the rest of the Polis inhabitants did not. “Either let the inhabitants in the occupied territories the right to vote or stop ruling them,” said Kaminer.

The next court session, with the cross-examination of the three other defendants, Shimri Tzameret, Adam Maor and Noam Bahat, will be held on October 20th, 2003 . Lily Galili in today's Haaretz: Reserve pilots to refuse liquidations


Reserve pilots to refuse liquidations

By Lily Galili

A group of reserve pilots in the Israel Air Force is planning to publicly announce their refusal to participate in attempts to assassinate senior wanted men in the Palestinian Authority.

The group has been discussing the initiative for more than three months and members say that they have been badly torn. According to sources in the movement of soldiers who refuse to serve in the territories, the group is in the process of collecting the last signatures and is waiting for "the right

moment" to issue its announcement.

The various refusal movements view the pilots' planned declaration as a big boost for their cause, due to the special status enjoyed by pilots in Israeli society, and hope that it will shake up Israelis in a way that "ordinary" refusals have not. Though one pilot joined the refusal movement at the start of the intifada, and though there were a few incidents during the Lebanon War of pilots refusing to bomb specific targets, a declaration by an organized group of pilots would be something new.

The pilots initially considered joining one of the existing refusal movements, such as Courage to Refuse - the group of soldiers and officers who signed a declaration of refusal to serve in the territories more than 18 months ago. However, they eventually decided to form an independent group.

Since Courage to Refuse was founded, with 5members, more than 50soldiers have signed its letter of refusal. However, the group has failed in its goal of provoking a public discourse over the continued occupation of the territories and Israel Defense Forces actions there. It is now hoping that the pilots' declaration will succeed where it has failed.

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