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Courage to Refuse > Press > The Refusers Escalate their Fight – by Lily Galili
The Refusers Escalate their Fight – by Lily Galili 07/09/2003

Members of “Courage to Refuse” have kicked off a new campaign. Yesterday evening they demonstrated against serving in the territories and the attempted assassination of Ahmed Yassin, calling: “It won’t end if we don’t refuse”

Some 35 “Courage to Refuse” activists and some 15 bereaved parents whose children were killed during service in the territories and in terrorist attacks, demonstrated last night opposite the Ministry of Defense in Tel-Aviv. The reserve duty soldiers among the movements’ members came to the demonstration in uniform, and waved placards bearing the names of soldiers killed recently in the territories, as well as slogans condemning the latest cycle of violence, which began with the attempt on Sheikh Yassin’s life. The demonstrators carried the slogan: “It won’t end if we don’t refuse.”


The demonstration is the first activity in a new campaign initiated by the refusers, in preparation for a series of activities and demonstrations which will also be held in the territories. This is the first time the movement has openly encouraged refusal. The movement’s chairman, Lieutenant (Res.) David Zonshein, told Ha’aretz: “I don’t see this as a call for refusal, but as a factual statement that if we do not refuse – this will not end, although this is certainly an escalation. If it is interpreted as a call for refusal – we’ll deal with it. It is certainly less severe than the call to refuse orders on the part of Yesha [“Judea, Samaria and Gaza”] rabbis.”


Even so, there are those in the movement who fear the slogan may lead to the dismantling of the association by the Non-Profit Association Registrar, who has begun dismantling procedures, claiming that the movement calls for refusing orders. Although the material on which the Registrar is basing its claims belongs to another movement, “Yesh Gevul” [“There is a Limit”], the new “Courage to Refuse” slogan may now accelerate the procedures.

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