Vredesduif met olijftak in snavel.

Vluchtelingen in IsraŽl

5-12-2022 OekraÔense vluchtelingen in IsraŽl worden daar direct verplicht om in het IsraŽlische leger te gaan. New Profile's Counseling Network bied aan hen die dat niet willen rechtsbijstand. Inna, zelf afkomstig uit Rusland, bericht over haar werk voor het Counseling Network en haar ervaringen als vredeswerker in een gemilitariseerd land.

 

Het bericht van Inna:

My name is Inna. I am New Profile's Counseling Network legal aid coordinator. I am writing to you with an urgent request to support our work of providing legal consultation and representation to Ukrainian refugees who are forcibly drafted to the Israeli military. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are the only organization in Israel assisting Ukrainian refugees, fleeing the horrors of war, in obtaining an exemption from the compulsory military service in Israel.

New Profile is a feminist and de-militarist movement founded in 1998. We believe that militarism, which is deeply rooted in Israeli society, makes society more violent, sexist, and racist. Furthermore, it blocks the path to peace and to ending the Israeli occupation of territories captured in 1967, and perpetuates human and women rights' violations in Israel and Palestine. A substantial part of our work is the Counseling Network, which since the establishment of New Profile to date has supported over 22,000 youths who independently chose not to serve in the Israeli Military.

Most of the updates you get from Refuser Solidarity Network are about the handful of Israeli youth who refuse military draft publicly, publish a public statement, talk to the press about their refusal, and get imprisoned. The work of our counseling network is complementary to that, by supporting the dozens of thousands of youth who refuse "under the radar," in a non- public way. Typically, the youth we support come from marginalized backgrounds. We help them go about obtaining a military exemption via ongoing support, free legal aid, and additional resources and information.

I am an immigrant from Russia. I came to Israel at the age of 21. Because of this, I was able to experience first-hand the layers of discrimination of Jewish society in Israel, which is still trying to melt--into a single mass--the Jewish people living on "their own land." I quickly found out that every citizen who does not meet the ideas of the occupation regime, about how a "real Jew" and "real Israeli" should be, instantly becomes demonized. A good citizen, in the eyes of the state and most of Israeli society, is one that takes part in the occupation of Palestine and serves in the Israeli military. The "real Jew" and "real Israeli," according to the system, must be a loyal soldier of the occupation.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, countless of refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Israel. A short period of time after arriving in Israel, those of the appropriate age are required to enlist in the Israeli Military. These are people who fled war, lost relatives, and experienced severe traumas from the brutal war taking place around their home--bombs, shootings, rape, and political prosecution. These are not people who are supposed to enlist in any army, but refugees who deserve healing and rest.

We can't handle the flow of immigrants. There are only two members in our Counseling Network who speak Russian, including me, and a volunteer. I work in a part time position - fifteen weekly hours. As part of my work, besides the direct legal and emotional support of the counselees, I protect their interests by directly contacting the internal military systems to take care of their needs and regularly visit our counselees imprisoned in military jails. We are struggling to fundraise in the current socio-political environment. We need your help to raise funds in order to hire an additional legal aid coordinator and, in doing so, help immigrants who choose not to serve in the Israeli army receive an exemption.

New Profile, following the decisions of the UN European and International Commissions on Freedom of Conscience and the Right to Conscientious Objection, believes that anyone who declares that they are unwilling or unable to perform military service has the right not to serve.

We believe and know that the demilitarization of our society can end the long years of injustice and occupation, and change the country into a more equal, free, and democratic place.

Since our mission is perceived as radical, both in Israel and abroad, it is hard for us to find new funds to support our work. With your help, we will be able to continue to support young refugees struggling with an extremely rigorous, bureaucratic, and violent system.

In solidarity,

Inna

Bron: Refuser Solidarity Network