The Shministim speak: Israeli student jailed for refusing to serve in army tours Britain, 5-14 March 2009
Following massive demonstrations and a wave of student occupations against Israel’s war in Gaza, British activists will be hosting a speaker tour with Tamar Katz, one of the Shministim, Israeli high school students jailed for refusing to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories. She is being brought over by Workers’ Liberty students, but the meetings are being hosted by a variety of organisations.
Tamar, 19, was jailed three times, for a total of 51 days at the end of 2008, for refusing to take part in military service. She explained why:
“I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military on conscientious grounds. I am not willing to become part of an occupying army, that has been an invader of foreign lands for decades, which perpetuates a racist regime of robbery in these lands, tyrannizes civilians and makes life difficult for millions under a false pretext of security.
“I oppose the anti-Palestinian policy of attrition and the oppression, not because I prefer the Palestinian society to the Israeli one, but out of an understanding that this policy has led us down a dead-end road politically and to immorality, forced especially on soldiers stationed in the Occupied Territories. I am not willing to become one of those holding the gun pointed indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians, and I do not believe that such actions could bring any change except ever more antagonism and violence in our region.”
This is an excellent opportunity for student and trade union activists who opposed the war in Gaza to learn more about the ‘other Israel’ – Israeli anti-war activists, students and workers who desperately need our support and solidarity.
Tamar will be speaking at universities across the UK, as well as to some trade union meetings, including the rail union RMT’s London Transport Region, which is sponsoring the tour.
More information as and when:
7pm, Thursday 5 March – LONDON
Meeting and reception hosted by RMT London Transport Region and Finsbury Park RMT
The Twelve Pins pub, 263 Seven Sisters Rd, London N4 2DE (next to Finsbury Park tube)
For more information email email@example.com
7pm, Friday 6 March - LONDON
“International Solidarity for Women’s Liberation” – meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day hosted by Feminist Fightback, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and others
Room 3a, University of London Union, Malet Street
Facebook event here
2.30pm, Saturday 6 March - NEWCASTLE
RMT Women's Conference, Grand Station Hotel Email firstname.lastname@example.org
For debate on the Shministim, see here.