Members of Courage to Refuse visited the Knesset during a day designated ‘reserve duty day’ at the Israeli parliament. The refuseniks met with several members of the Knesset, and were greeted with sympathy and interest. The delegation was invited to attend the central meeting of the day, which was held in the Knesset’s auditorium.
During the meeting the deputy minister of defense, Ze’ev Boym, read out a quote from Ze’ev Zhabotinsky’s “The Iron Wall”. “The Arabs are a people,” quoted Boym, “a backward people, but a people nonetheless.” Reserve captain David Zonshein, a platoon commander in an elite unit and chairman of Courage to Refuse, who was in the delegation, voiced his disapproval: “It is in the name of such views that the defense minister and chief of staff send reserve soldiers to die in the territories.” Zonshein was taken out of the auditorium by force, and as a result was followed out by all the other members of the movement.
The racist quotation led other guests to leave the auditorium. These included two participants of the panel Boym was part of when he read out the quotation. Among the dozens who left were members of the Knesset, academics and high ranking reserve officers.