A young druze man sent out a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak, explaining why he refuses to be part of the Israeli army. Young secular Druze men are required to conscript into the Israeli military the same as their Jewish peer group, however some of them refuse to do so.
Below is an English translation of the letter.
To the Israeli Prime Minister,
To the “Defense Minister”,
Subject: refusal to appear for compulsory military recruitment.
I’m the undersigned, Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad from the village of Mughar – Galilee, have received a notice to appear in the military recruitment offices on 31.10.2012 to conduct tests according to the conscription law imposed on the Druze community. I would like to make the following points:
I refuse to appear for tests, because I oppose the law of conscription imposed on my Druze community. I refuse because I am a man of peace and I hate all forms of violence, and the military institution represents for me the peak of physical and psychological violence. Since I received the notice to appear for tests, my life has changed, I became more nervous, my thoughts were distracted, I remembered thousands of cruel images, and I couldn’t imagine myself wearing military uniform and participating in the suppression of my Palestinian people or fighting my Arab brothers. I oppose the recruitment to the Israeli military and any other military for conscience and nationalistic reasons. I hate the injustice and oppose the occupation; I hate intolerance and restriction of freedoms. I hate those who detain children, the elderly and women.
I am a musician, I play the Viola , I have played in many places, I have musician friends from Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Shfa’amr, Eilabun, Rome, Athens, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Oslo, and we all play for freedom, humanity and peace, our weapon is the music and we shall not have any other weapon.
I am from a community that was unjustly treated by an unjust law, how can we fight our relatives in Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon? How can I hold arms against my brothers and people in Palestine? How can I be a soldier standing at Qalandia checkpoint or any other checkpoint, after I experienced the injustices at these checkpoints? How can I prevent someone from Ramallah to visit his city, Jerusalem? How can I guard the apartheid wall? How can I be a jailer to my own people while I know that the majority of prisoners are freedom prisoners and seekers of rights and freedom?
I play for joy, for freedom, for a just peace based on halting settlements, the end of the occupation in Palestine, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital, the release of all prisoners in prisons and the return of displaced refugees to their homes.
Many of the youth from my community have done the compulsory service in the army, what have we received? Discrimination in all areas, our villages are the poorest, our lands were confiscated, there are no master plans, and no industrial zones. Percentages of university graduates in our villages of the lowest in the region, the unemployment rates in our villages are the highest. This mandatory law has kept us away from our Arab connection.
This year, I will finish high school, and I seek to complete my university education. I’m sure you will try to make me concede my human ambition, but I announce it loudly:
I’m Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad will not be the fuel to the fire of your war, and will not be a soldier in your army .
Signed: Omar Sa’ad
- Soldiers told to bar non-Jews from settlement (alethonews.wordpress.com)
NABLUS – Israeli forces detained the secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament Mahmoud al-Ramahi on Saturday afternoon as he passed through a northern West Bank checkpoint.
Al-Ramahi was driving south from Nablus when he was seized at the Huwwara checkpoint. His car was also confiscated.
The MP was last released from Israeli jail less than four months ago.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the detention and said he is “suspected of involvement in illegal activity,” without elaborating.
Months after al-Ramahi was appointed to the leadership the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, he was seized by Israeli forces in his hometown of al-Bireh, near Ramallah, as part of a sweep of arrests after Hamas won elections.
Al-Ramahi, a medical doctor, was elected on the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform list.
He was jailed from August 2006 until March 2009. The MP was again arrested in November 2010, and held in administrative detention until July 4 this year.
Al-Ramahi has brokered talks between Hamas and Fatah, and Hamas officials said his last detention was an Israeli attempt to disrupt reconciliation talks.
According to latest statistics, 13 Palestinian MPs are being held in Israeli jails.
- Al-Ramahi: PA has to protect citizens or let the resistance do so (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- PA arrests eight Hamas members and summons teachers who returned to their work (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
The chief counterterrorism adviser to the US President Barack Obama is putting pressure on the European Union to label the Lebanon resistance movement Hezbollah as a “terror group”.
John O. Brennan on Friday criticized the European for its failure to join the United States in designating the Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Brennan also said that Iran and Syria should be punished for supporting Hezbollah.
On July 24, The European Union flatly rejected an Israeli call to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group, despite being under pressure from the US.
The EU regards Hezbollah as an active political party in Lebanon. It says there is not enough evidence to warrant listing the Lebanese group as a “terror group” like the United States.
Led by France, Europeans countries argue that their relations with Lebanon, where Hezbollah provides extensive social services and its political wing holds government power, would be damaged by the designation.
Currently, among the 27-EU member states, only the UK and Netherlands are in favor of adding Hezbollah to the EU list of terror which would freeze the group’s Europe-held financial assets.
The renewed pressure from the US comes only weeks after Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that the Lebanese resistance movement had sent a drone into the Israeli airspace.
The aircraft crossed hundreds of kilometers above the sea and entered the occupied territories from southern Palestine and flew over several Israeli strategic sites without being detected by Israeli Air Force’s radars, he said.
Security analysts say the incident indicates that the Israeli military is incapable of handling a surprise attack despite the numerous military maneuvers regularly conducted by the regime.
- Will EU do Israel’s Bidding on Hezbollah? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UK Calls to Add Hezbollah’s Resistance to EU’s Terror Watch List (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Hezbollah confirms sending drone into Israeli airspace (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin has expressed support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and its integration into NATO.
The parliamentary elections in Georgia were one of the main issues in Rubin’s speech at the U.S. Centre for National Interests on Friday.
Rubin spoke about the reforms carried out in Georgia, and stressed the importance of cooperation between the old and the new government.
“I would like to make note of what I saw in Tbilisi last week. After a heated election campaign both sides began to work for a peaceful transfer of power. This has started well and the parties are working constructively,” the Deputy Secretary of State stated.
Subscribers can access the full version of the news and analytical articles available at www.Trend.Az
- US Probes South Caucasus’ Attitude to Iran (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Meeting between U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Bidzina Ivanishvili (en.trend.az)
- An attack on Iran and the role of Georgia? (pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com)
- Georgia Passed Test, Now NATO Should Take Practical Steps, Says Ivanishvili (eurasiareview.com)
The US government is expanding its drone base in the East African nation of Djibouti to escalate its assassination strikes in Somalia and Yemen.
The US military has been flying armed drones over both countries from a base in Djibouti and is planning to build a second base in Ethiopia, a report by the Washington Post says.
The report added that the drones on missions over Somalia and Yemen take off or land at the base an average of 16 times per day.
The Lemonnier base has also become home to a squadron of US F-15 fighter jets, which it reports are flying combat missions over Yemen.
The US is also known to operate drones from two other East African countries — Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands.
The base in the Seychelles that was previously used to fly surveillance drones will now host armed drones capable of flying their lethal payloads the more than 1,500 kms that separate the Indian Ocean island chain from Somalia and the African mainland and back.
However, drone operations from Ethiopia and Seychelles are nothing compared to the one at Camp Lemonnier. According to the report Lemonnier is the centerpiece of an expanding US network of drone and surveillance bases in Africa.
Washington has also been carrying out assassination attacks using the unmanned aircraft in other countries including Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan.
The United States claims the CIA-run strikes are aimed at militants. But witness reports and figures offered by local authorities indicate the attacks have led to massive civilian deaths.