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I refuse: A young Israeli resists

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I refuse: A young Israeli resists

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: July 30, 2014
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Note: Udi Segal, a 19 year old Israeli, refused his mandatory military service last Monday (July 28) and was sentenced to 20 days in prison. Especially now, as Israel's ongoing attack on Gaza has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people, Udi's refusal to serve in an occupying force is an important act of resistance. I met Udi in May in Tel Aviv at a dinner with two other refusers. He told us that his position was not entirely supported by his family, but that he was clear about what he needed to do. In a context in which participation in the military is how one gains status in society, his action is especially brave. His testimony here, on the eve of his imprisonment, is very moving. - Mike

 

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.