Conscientious objector sentenced to 10 days behind bars

Hadas Tal refuses to serve in the Israeli army due to her opposition to the occupation.

By +972 Magazine Staff

Conscientious objector Hadas Tal.
Conscientious objector Hadas Tal.

An IDF disciplinary body sentenced conscientious objector Hadas Tal to 10 days in military prison for her refusal to be conscripted. When she completes this latest sentence, Tal, 18, from Kibbutz Yifat, will have served a total of 60 days behind bars.

Military conscription is mandatory for most Jewish Israelis.

Before heading to prison for the first time, Tal said she knows her refusal will not end the occupation, but that she believes “it is important not to let this system continue existing without resistance. The refusers who sat in prison before me did not end the occupation, but there is great significance to our acts — in raising awareness and creating public conversation.”

In a written statement brought before the army’s conscientious objectors committee, Tal wrote: “No role — even if the specific role is nonviolent and can be viewed as a ‘moral’ one, can justify [military] service whose main activity is violent.”

“I refuse to take part in the IDF, a violent military framework, which I vehemently oppose,” she wrote. “I refuse to take part in any organization that represents violence and acts violently, which is why it is important for me to note that just as I refuse to enlist in the IDF, I would not enlist any other army; not the Swiss army, not the American army, not the Swedish army, etc.”

Tal joins conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan, who has served 87 days in prison, and who was recently sentenced to another 30 days, as well as Ofir Averbuch, who has spent 130 total days in prison. In his declaration, Averbuch wrote that his choice to refuse is not a way to evade responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of those who live in this country:

It is clear to me, just as it is to my fellow conscientious objectors, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not solve itself … We conscientious objectors understand that for the sake of our security and that of the next generations, we will need to cease feeding the circle of violence that we were born into, which we have learned to take for granted. In order to stop the violence we need to start by saying no: no to violence, no to bloodletting, no to the circle of violence that controls our life.