The history of Israel's refuser movement

Submitted by Matthew on 19 November, 2013 - 7:26

From the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, service in the military has been a politicised issue. Given the country's small size and population, the state has relied on conscription to maintain its military capacity.

When the policy was first implemented, exceptions were made for Arabs. Then an arrangement was arrived at by which ultra-Orthodox Jews were exempt from service if they were enrolled in religious study. There were also occasional examples of people refusing to serve on pacifist grounds, such as the lawyer Amnon Zichroni in the 1950s.

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Israeli military refuses tourMatthewWed, 06/11/2013 - 14:04

Israeli military refuser Noam Gur is touring Britain from 12-26 November. Solidarity spoke to her about her political activity.

Why did you get active in politics and what has been the personal impact on you?

When I was about 15 years old I started understanding what was really happening in Palestine and Israel, after years of being told scary stories and lies by the educational system, my family, and the Israeli society in general.

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Syria, Egypt, Israel-Palestine: 2013 AWL conference resolution

Submitted by AWL on 31 October, 2013 - 9:28

Resolution passed by AWL conference 26-27 October 2013 on Syria, Egypt, and Israel-Palestine.

Almost three years after the beginning of the 'Arab Spring', much of the scene is dominated by the rise of reactionary Islamist movements. The threat we identified as early as spring 2011, of the democratic upheavals being co-opted by Islamism, has to a large extent been realised.

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Ralph Miliband and Israel-PalestineMatthewWed, 16/10/2013 - 12:52

Ed Miliband’s father Ralph Miliband, a Marxist writer denounced by the Daily Mail as “the man who hated Britain”, left behind him two well-known books, Parliamentary Socialism and The State In Capitalist Society.

Less-known, but also valuable today, is a thin volume of letters in 1967 about Israel-Palestine between Ralph Miliband and his friend Marcel Liebman, who was then a contributor to the semi-Trotskyist Belgian weekly La Gauche.

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The boat people of the 1940's

Submitted by Matthew on 16 October, 2013 - 12:31

What the Somali and other refugees drowned in the Mediterranean are now, Jews were in the 1940s.

A British government White Paper published in May of 1939 restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine to 75,000 for the following five years. It would then cease completely unless the Arabs in the independent Palestine envisaged by the White Paper agreed to further Jewish immigration.

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Debating the Israel-Palestine conflict

Submitted by Matthew on 16 October, 2013 - 12:16

On Sunday 13 October, Independent Jewish Voices held a conference in London on the ongoing impasse in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

IJV was set up in 2007 as an organisation of left-wing British Jews opposed to the occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. It conceives of itself as a “counter-balance” to the official communal leadership of the conservative and staunchly Zionist Board of Deputies.

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Anti-Hamas plan for 11 November

Submitted by Matthew on 9 October, 2013 - 8:47

In recent months, a Facebook page with 25,000 followers has appeared under the title of the Palestinian Tamarod Movement.

Tamarod (“rebellion” in Arabic) in Egypt collected more than 22 million signatures to oust Morsi. The Palestinian reimagining of this movement is creating a stir in the Gaza Strip by calling a day of protests against the Hamas government on 11 November.

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Israeli military refuser Noam Gur speaking in Britain, 12-26 November

Submitted by AWL on 1 October, 2013 - 3:38

Between 12 and 26 November 2013, a young woman jailed by the government of Israel for refusing to serve in its army of occupation is speaking across the UK, on a tour organised by the socialist organisation Workers' Liberty to make solidarity with the Palestinians and the Israeli left.


Submitted by AWL on Tue, 01/10/2013 - 15:54

We ran a speaker tour with another Israeli military refuser, Tamar Katz, in March 2009. For a report of that tour, see here.

For reports, interviews, pictures etc from our November-December 2010 delegation to Palestine and Israel, see here.

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 24/10/2013 - 14:13

More details, contact details and links to Facebook events will appear shortly.

If you'd like to organise a meeting, get in touch and we'll try to squeeze you in:

More details will be added asap.

Wednesday 13 November

1pm: University of London Union-called student demonstration - meet outside ULU, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY. Facebook event
Afternoon: Discussions and interview at Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union HQ
7.30pm: Milton Keynes, meeting sponsored by Workers' Liberty - Wolverton Central Working Mens Club, 6 Western Rd, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5BG. Facebook event

Thursday 14 November

1pm: Kent University - ELT1 University of Kent Campus. Facebook event
7.15pm: Central Line East London Underground RMT branch - social club on Harvey Road, E11 3DB, very close to Leytonstone central line station. Facebook event

Friday 15 November

7pm: Bristol University, sponsored by Bristol University Palestine Society - Bristol University Queens Building, room 1.15. Facebook event

Saturday 16 November

12.30pm: Oxford University, sponsored by Oxford University Palestine Society - Saskatchewan Room, Exeter College, Turl Street Oxford OX1 3DP. Facebook event

Sunday 17 November

6.30pm: Royal Holloway University (Egham, Surrey), sponsored by RHUL Left Forum and RHUL Amnesty Society - Founders Main Lecture Theatre. Facebook event

Monday 18 November

6pm: Liverpool University - McAusland Room, Reilly Building, University Square. Facebook event

Tuesday 19 November

6pm: Manchester - Falafel, 26 Wilmslow Road, M14 5TQ Manchester. Sponsored by Manchester Anti-Capitalist Students. Facebook event

Wednesday 20 November

6pm: Newcastle, sponsored by Northumbria University Friends of Palestine and Newcastle Free Education Network - the History Room, Newcastle University SU. Facebook event

Thursday 21 November

3pm: Glasgow RMT branch meeting, 180 Hope Street Glasgow Lanarkshire G2 2UE
6.30pm: Glasgow University, sponsored by Glasgow University Labour Club. Boyd Orr 407 (Lecture theatre A). Facebook event

Friday 22 November

3pm: University of York - PL005, Physics Building, University of York. Facebook event
7pm: Sheffield, sponsored by Workers' Liberty - Harrisons 1854, 15-29 Regent Terrace, S3 7QA. Facebook event

Saturday 23 November

Evening: Birmingham University (at NCAFC conference)

Monday 25 November

1pm: Sussex University, Building arts a, Room A05, Sponsored by Sussex Left Forum. Facebook event
6.30pm: Goldsmiths University - RHB137, Goldsmiths University, New Cross, London SE14. Facebook event

Tuesday 26 November

3pm: London School of Economics, sponsored by LSE Palestine Society and SOAS Israel Society - Clement House room 3.02.

7pm: University College London, sponsored by UCL Left Forum - Medical Sciences 131 AV Hill Lecture Theatre, UCL. Facebook event

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Support the Palestinians!

Submitted by Matthew on 18 September, 2013 - 11:03

Trade union and student union activists are promoting the following statement on Israel/Palestine. The Palestinians’ struggles have been somewhat sidelined by the international focus on the wider “Arab Spring”. The Israeli government’s policy aims to make Palestinian independence a historical impossibility. This cannot be allowed to happen. Please sign the statement by emailing, and put a motion of support in your trade union branch, student union, or campaign group.

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Defend the Bedouin, stop Prawer Plan

Submitted by Matthew on 18 September, 2013 - 10:08

In the last few months there have been many protests in Israel over government plans to remove tens of thousands of Israeli Bedouins from their ancestral villages and land.

Named after prime ministerial advisor Ehud Prawer, the “Prawer Plan” is the Israeli government’s attempt to “resolve” the disputed ownership of land currently inhabited by Bedouin Arabs, primarily in the Negev desert.

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