SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
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SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE

June 17, 2001

SON OF MOSHE ARENS, past Defense Minister, was "Draft Dodger"
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/16: Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for. Tragically, none of the misleading and often co-opted "peace groups" -- whether they be Jewish, Arab, or Muslim -- have the leadership, or the conviction, or in most cases the freedom to do what the situation requires. The Muslim Organizations in Washington fiasco at the State Department earlier this month was a perfect example of the gross deception and political chicanery most of these groups engage in; and over time it costs them their credibility and following.

This article detailing the stand of one Israeli soldier, Sergeant Yishai Rosen-Zvi, is interesting and potentially important because of who his father was and because he comes from the very heart of Israel's religious and usually right-wing Zionist establishment. But this is not the first time an individual of conscience in Israel has stood up in this way.

Non other than Moshe Arens' son Yigal -- Arens the past Defense and Foreign Ministers and still a top official in Ariel Sharon's Likud party -- was essentially an Israeli "draft dodger" who refused to serve at all in uniform and left Israel to live in the U.S. For decades, Yigal occassionally has had to very quietly and privately obtain special permission to even return for brief family visits to Israel without being arrested.

And at the height of the 1982 war Israel's youngest tank commander, Eli Geva, under threat of imprisonment refused to follow Sharon's orders and publicly opposed the war, helping lead to the small organization Yesh Gvul ("There Is A Limit"). Like with Yigal Arens, the Israeli government plays with these individual cases very carefully and did not send Geva to prison either, carefully maneuvering to prevent more than a few individuals being involved and to mask as much as possible from the public.

RESERVIST JAILED FOR REFUSAL TO SERVE IN TERRITORIES

By Yair Sheleg

[Ha'aretz - June 15, 2001] Two months ago, when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Sergeant (res.) Yishai Rosen-Zvi received a reserve duty summons for a week-long stint in the Nablus area, he informed his unit that he had no intention of showing up for the assignment.

"I won't take part in a siege enforced against hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children," he wrote to the unit's liaison officer. "I won't starve entire villages and prevent their residents from getting to work each day or to medical check-ups; I won't turn them into hostages of political decisions. A siege against cities, like bombing raids from helicopters, does not stop terror. It is a sop to placate Israel's public, which demands 'Let the IDF win.'"

Last Sunday, Rosen-Zvi's reserve duty began. The first three days of training prior to the unit's field assignment in the Nablus area were undertaken within the Green Line, and so Rosen-Zvi had no qualms about taking part in this brief training period. "He didn't argue with fellow soldiers from the unit who come from the territories and were looking forward to the assignment," his wife Michal says. 0Then, on Wednesday morning, when the unit headed out to Nablus, Rosen-Zvi honored his original announcement and refused to cross into the territories.

Right on the spot, he was sentenced by the platoon commander to 13 days in the unit's jail. Since this prison term is to end before his platoon mates have finished their duty in Nablus, Rozen-Zvi will finish the reserve stint doing various odd jobs on the unit's base.

Though details of this saga resemble trials and tribulations endured by other IDF soldiers who refused to serve in the territories, Rosen-Zvi's story has some distinctive twists, stemming partly from his pedigree. He is the son of the late Prof. Ariel Rosen-Zvi, the former dean of Tel Aviv University's law faculty who was (prior to his premature death at the age of 52, due to cancer) named as a candidate for the "religious seat" on the Supreme Court bench. A highly respected figure in religious and secular communities, Prof. Rosen-Zvi served on the state commission that investigated the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Yishai Rosen-Zvi studied at the Har Etzion Yeshiva, which is located at Alon Shvut, in the territories; and for the first two years of his married life, he took up residence in Alon Shvut. Today, he is doing a doctorate in the humanities at Tel Aviv University and is a research fellow at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Rosen-Zvi's story appears to be the first case of a graduate of the hesder yeshiva program, which combines army service and Torah studies, going to prison due to a refusal to serve in the territories.

Speaking yesterday from the compound where he is incarcerated, Rosen-Zvi noted that he had served in the territories in the past. "But the last time I did so was in Jenin, three years ago, and I vowed that I would never do so again," he said.

His moral objections, he stressed, were not just prompted by the exceptional reprisal actions taken by Israel during the past months of Intifada violence. Instead, he said, he was troubled by what he regarded as the ongoing immorality of the conquest: "The problem is the daily indignities and injustices - the checkpoints and the barriers that impede movement and stop people from going to work."

The 13-day prison sentence, Rosen-Zvi believes, is "fitting," because it "causes me to identify with the occupied Palestinians." The punishment only "strengthens my sense of pride in what I've done," he added.

Asked if he had any reservations about taking his stand against the backdrop of an uprising initiated by the Palestinians after they had refused far-reaching proposals offered by former prime minister Ehud Barak, he replied: "I don't accept that analysis of the events. Peace will come only after the State of Israel comes to terms with the real cost of ending the occupation.

"Barak's approach - either accept immediately what I've offered or you won't get anything - was symptomatic of Israel's aggressive, bullying disposition. I think that the right of return issue will have to be put on the negotiating table. When the mythology surrounding this issue vanishes, plausible arrangements, I believe, could be worked out."

Some members of Rosen-Zvi's family, his wife admitted, would be less than thrilled with his ideological stand. She indicated yesterday that she was planning to forewarn Yishai's grandmother before his reserve duty refusal made the news: "She's very right-wing and it would be wrong were she to find out about this by reading the newspapers," she said. "My side of the family will certainly not take it well, because I have a brother who lives in a caravan on Givat Ha'dagan [near Efrat, Y.S.] and many cousins scattered throughout the various settlements. Yishai's side of the family is more supportive. His mother and brothers all respect his position."

Some of Rosen-Zvi's friends and associates from the Hartman Institute and Tel Aviv University are planning to protest his incarceration in front of the Defense Ministry offices in Tel Aviv next Wednesday.Reservists don't usually go to jail

Yehuda Menuhin, the spokesman for the Yesh Gvul ("There is a Border") movement that supports soldiers who refuse to serve in the territories, said that Rosen-Zvi had turned to the group for advice many weeks before his call up for reserve duties. Yesh Gvul, Menuhin said, advised such objectors to inform their unit commanders in advance about their decision not to serve. Individuals like Rosen-Zvi were also advised to take part in aspects of the reserve duty that took place with the pre-1967 borders of Israel, he added.

Since the Intifada broke out, the Yesh Gvul spokesman said, 200 soldiers had refused to serve in the territories, but only 11 had served time in prison for their refusals (six reservists and five regular soldiers).

The army, Menuhin said, "prefers not to put the reservists on trial. It's unusual for reservists to be sent to jail." The spokesman believes that Rosen-Zvi's platoon commander "apparently regarded the case as a personal affront," and decided to punish the soldier.


June 2001


Magazine



TURKEY HEADING TOWARD "SOCIAL EXPLOSION"...i.e., "REVOLUTION"
(June 30, 2001)
In geostrategic and military terms, the unnamed U.S.-Israel-Turkish military alliance that emerged full-blown during the last decade -- of course with the Turks using the "peace process" as the excuse for such close relations between Turkey and Israel -- was one of the most important developments.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS EMERGING
(June 29, 2001)
In a sense there is an arms race under way at this time of a different kind -- a race for whether weapons of mass destruction will be used in a serious and ongoing way should a new war break out first in the Subcontinent over Kashmir or in the Middle East over Palestine.

LABOR AND LIKUD MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT - MER FLASHBACK
(June 29, 2001)
Long before what was to happen with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (remember him?), MER was informing who he really was and what to really expect. Same with regard to Shimon Peres. Expect the same cutting-edge information and analysis in the months ahead.

Washington Scene: THE HISTORICAL MOMENT
(June 27, 2001)
The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

THREATCON DELTA ORDERED TODAY
(June 22, 2001)
One day they will probably get Osama bin-Laden, former confident of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, former CIA asset against the once mighty Soviet Empire, now arch nemesis of the American Empire.

"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"
(June 22, 2001)
"The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

EGYPT ARMING WHILE REGIME IS SHAKING
(June 21, 2001)
Arab States, including Egypt, are arming at a growing pace. Even combined they are still no match to defeat Israel. But their detterence capabilities are growing, they might be able to seriously bloody Israel in years ahead...

ARAFAT'S FLUNKIES
(June 20, 2001)
There are many reasons the Palestinian people are suffering so terribly, worse by the year in fact, and are now endangered by the possibility of a second "nakba" (disaster).

"THE SECOND HALF OF 1948"
(June 20, 2001)
Official declarations and many reports in the Israeli media indicate that the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'.

TELEGRAPHING WHAT I S TO COME
(June 19, 2001)
Arafat had two roles he had been assigned. That's why none other than former "terrorist" Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993 through 2000.

SHARON'S LONG MARCH: NEXT TO WASHINGTON THEN TO THE ATTACK
(June 19, 2001)
Ariel Sharon is proving what others before him, including Generals Patton and MacArthur of American legend, learned about modern warfare. There's a heavy messure of political theatrics and personal legend involved in making war, more so now than ever in this age of instant TV and the Intenet.

SHARON Coming To US Again To Coordinate War Plans
(June 19, 2001)
Sharon is coming to the States again next week. Only a firm "absolutely not" from the Americans is likely now to prevent much further brutal subjugation of the Palestinians; quite possibly the exiling again of Yasser Arafat.

SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
(June 17, 2001)
Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for.

ARIEL SHARON - WAR CRIMINAL?
(June 15, 2001)
Years ago the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, was brought before a mock international court through a joint effort of Home Box Office (HBO) in the USA and a major British TV network. The question before the court was whether Kurt Waldheim was possibly guilty of war crimes ...

PREPARING FOR DESTRUCTION
(June 15, 2001)
"If a cease-fire does indeed take hold, then all the better... If Arafat rejects the document or professes to accept it, but does not fulfill his part of the bargain, Israel will win more points in the court of world opinion and a more conducive political backdrop will be created for a military response to Palestinian violence."

ALGERIANS FIRE INTO DEMONSTRATING CROWDS TODAY
(June 14, 2001)
The Berbers in Algeria, the brutal civil war in Sudan, the Palestinians in the once Holy Land, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the ongoing Kashmir crisis -- all conflicts exploding throughout the greater Middle East region today in 2001, all conflicts the legacy of Western colonial policies of yesteryear and American imperial policies of today.

MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES: ISRAEL WARNS IRAN AGAIN
(June 14, 2001)
There are major historical and military reasons why Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton (representing of course huge constituencies who at the time pushed them to pursue the policies they did) pressed Yasser Arafat so hard to sign an agreement at Camp David.

THE SO-CALLED "AGREEMENT"
(June 13, 2001)
There is no real "agreement". There is a dictate. Yasser Arafat is in no position anymore to do much other than what his American handlers tell him to do; a day of reckoning he brought on himself by so many mistakes and so much corruption over such a long time.

Another Muslim Rep Foolishly Plays To The Cameras On Behalf of the Regimes
(June 13, 2001)
A week ago outside the State Department one of the latest Muslim organization reps to grab for the cameras -- Khalid Turaani -- declared in loud tones how the time had finally come for "civil disobedience" and how he and the other leaders of the assembled Muslim "client organizations" were going to get arrested in a peaceful protest ...

HASHEMITE KINGDOM CLOSES BORDERS TO PALESTINIANS
(June 13, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime has always, right from the start, been in deep collusion with the Israelis and since World War II with the CIA. This latest step to close off Jordan to Palestinians -- to essentially put a seal on the jar which now contains the Palestinians ...

CIA TELLS ARAFAT WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM
(June 12, 2001)
When the Director of the CIA is himself involved so extensively, goes on site half way around the world for a lengthy stay, and the situation is so critical he has to publicly acknowledge his role ...

CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
(June 11, 2001)
Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now.

CALAMITY AHEAD
(June 10, 2001)
"A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."

WAR POSSIBLE WARNS TOP SAUDI
(June 10, 2001)
Normally one of the last places one would turn for truthfulness, integrity, and information would be the Saudi royal family. Currently headed by a former playboy who drank, gambled, and womanized his life away in Beirut and London -- before assuming the throne -- it is the Saudi "royal family which epitomizes the "client regime" realities that have so fractured, weakened, and prostrated the whole region once known as "the Arab world."

CHRISTIAN LEADERS: WRONG TIME, WRONG ADVICE, WRONG REASONS
(June 8, 2001)
"Be assured of our prayers for you and the President and all others in the Administration as you seek to forge a fair and just policy for the two peoples and three faiths who share a common religious heritage in the land we hold as holy."

THE CRUEL REGIMES OF ARABDOM
(June 7, 2001)
There are huge cultural gulfs between East and West, old world and new world. And of course the West is extraordinarily dominant these days not only it terms of financial and military might, but also in terms of cultural influence and "moral" standards.

SHARON'S RISE
(June 7, 2001)
"In reality the Zionist and Hashemite leaderships continue to plot how to control and repress the Palestinians in ever more crafty and ever more duplicitous ways."

ARAFAT 4 YEARS AGO - MER FLASHBACK
(June 6, 2001)
Last year MER first carried information about the increasingly close CIA, Shinbet, and Mossad connections with Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian Authority".

MUSLIM ORGS EMBARRASS THEMSELVES AT STATE DEPT
(June 5, 2001)
With much press fanfare (they just love to play to the cameras) leaders of half a dozen Muslim American groups held a press conference gathering across from the State Department today.

DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
(June 4, 2001)
Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war.

EGYPTIANS THREATEN WAR!
(June 4, 2001)
When the American Secretary of State cancels long-planned foreign travel and publicly warns of the "abyss" from which "there may no return" you can bet the situation behind-the-scenes is far more dangerous and explosive than is publicly realized.

SHARON'S HAWKS PLAN FOR WAR
(June 3, 2001)
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor, reports on Israel's growing mood for full-scale hostilities in the aftermath of 17 deaths in a nightclub suicide bomb attack

24-HOURS AND COUNTING
(June 2, 2001)
"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

HATED RAJOUB GETS READY
(June 2, 2001)
With the days of Yasser Arafat maybe coming to an end one way or another, with Feisal Husseini passed from the scene, with the other Palestinian tough guys bottled up in Gaza, the frontrunner strong man to "control" the Palestinian people throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem appears to be Jibril Rajoub.

ARAFAT'S LEGACY
(June 2, 2001)
Yasser Arafat was hired, courted, and well-paid to control his own people and lead them, however much they tried to resist, to the Apartheid-style arrangement the Israelis always had in mind with the so-called "Oslo Peace Process".

ISRAELIS PLANNING BLITZKRIEG?
(June 1, 2001)
For a long time now we have been desperately warning about what the true Israeli intentions are. We have also been warning that the Palestinians are not at all prepared for these eventualities, neither with the terrible leadership provided by the "Palestinian Authority" nor for the world-wide information and public relations battle that accompanies all major developments in our world these days.




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