Ofir Averbukh has served more than 150 days in Israeli military prison for his refusal to be conscripted into the army. In the following interview, Ofir explains why he is only going public about his refusal now, and why Israeli youth should view choosing to be conscripted, not just refusing, as a decision of significant moral weight.
We are in an unprecedented and dangerous era in Israel-Palestine. The Israeli extreme right government has made its plans crystal clear. It wants carte blanche to shoot-to-kill Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line, legalize every settlement outpost, dismantle the independence of the judicial system, deport African asylum seekers, delegitimize human rights activists, and silence the free press.
This is an escalation we all should resist. But it is not an aberration or a bug. For the past 12 years, we at +972 have been warning against the poisonous outcomes of Israeli society’s growing racism, the entrenched occupation, and an increasingly normalized siege on Gaza.
Our work has never been more crucial. And as dark as it seems, there are still glimmers of hope. The popularity of outright fascism has woken people up, both in Israel-Palestine and across the world, to the dangerous repercussions of what may soon come. Palestinians and Israelis who believe in a just future are already organizing and strategizing to put up the fight of their lives.
Can we count on your support? +972 Magazine is the leading media voice of this movement, a place where Palestinian and Israeli journalists and activists can tell their stories without censorship. Our journalism disrupts the skewed mainstream coverage and aims to promote justice and equality for everyone between the river and the sea.