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(en) UK, AnarCom: Israel and Anti-Militarism (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 8 Feb 2024 08:14:57 +0200


Murderous conflicts occurring through the system of capital and state continue, intensify and now threaten to engulf entire regions. Both the wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East drag on into another year and become increasingly barbarous. Starvation, mass killings, ethnic cleansing, kidnappings, humiliation and torture are clearly encouraged by the powers that be. The war in the Middle East, as well as in Eastern Europe, increasingly involves power and imperial blocs taking up their battle positions. This, despite the war focused on Gaza supposedly being "over by Christmas" (how many times have we heard that before?)!

As such, effective resistance often demands great bravery on the part of members of our class, their companions, supporters and friends. In this context, a number of us now know the names, Tal Mitnick and Yuval Dag.

Tal Mitnick is an 18-year-old vocal member of 'Mesarvot' ('We Refuse'), which numbers a few hundred. Tal became the first open objector to serving in the IDF since the start of the current conflict and cited his opposition to the attacks upon the collective population of Gaza as a reason. For Tal considers the attacks, a "murderous revenge", that does nothing to address the root cause of the conflict.

Meanwhile, Yuval Dag is a 21-year-old who served 64 days in Neve Tzedek military prison in Tel Aviv last Spring. He was supported as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and has if anything, become increasing vocal in his criticism of the situation throughout the Middle East and in Gaza and the West Bank, in particular, since then.

In Israel, military conscription is mandatory and is seen as, "defining you as a somebody in Israeli society". There is also a saying that, "a nation building an army is a nation building itself". This lays bare the shared roots of nationalism and militarism, as part of the cancerous ethos of state and capital.

Dissent in Israel does have quite a lengthy tradition. However, outside of the ruling class, nationalist religious zealots, and their supporters (who often get a pass on risking their necks), people there trying to avoid military service lately face massive obstacles and are at the least pressurised to keep quiet - or else! For in the wake of the attacks of 7th October last year, the state in Israel and unfortunately among a substantial part of the wider society, has been engaging in a bitter offensive against any who dare to even think about resisting the cry to take up the fight for nation, religion, and the exploitative and oppressive current system. This reflects a call by the master class that increasingly imperils our class and humanity itself.

It is likely then that for such reasons, reports of actual open opposition to the draft in Israel during the Gaza war have not been noted or publicised until very recently. However, in the last month, pieces on Mitnick, Dag, their friends and supporters have appeared. Of note too, these reports describe their increasingly determined stance, where they have made comments strongly alluding to the importance of internationalism among our class. Mitnick has appeared in embracing both radical anti-authoritarian and anti-militarist perspectives.

The bravery of these people in doing this is laid bare by the fact that Mitnick faces at least 30 days (and likely substantially longer) in jail after being sentenced in late December 2023, and will no doubt be bitterly ostracised when is freed. Meanwhile, Dag, though being imprisoned last year and from a nationalist family, has not kept quiet, and vocally supports Mitnick and fellow conscious workers for their anti-militarism. There are others starting to do the same.

The names of those openly resisting is now increasing. Sofia Orr (18 yrs old) and Iddo Elam (17 and also from the 'Mesarvot' group) have gone public in stating their opposition to being drafted (the former in the face of being 'called up' next month). All have described the importance of having a network of friends and supporters around them, now more than ever.

Iddo has stated that "one massacre doesn't justify another" and then gone on to say that they are now steadfast in their "rejection of the entire current system". Iddo and Sofia fear both for their friend Tal in prison and of the same fate whilst receiving death threats awaiting themselves. However, being members of a group showing solidarity with each other has galvanised their collective determination.

Their numbers may appear still relatively few as yet, but they could increase notably further as the murderous battles continue, the reality of the current system perhaps becomes transparent to many more and if the internationalist word spreads. Importantly, as noted above, some appear to be starting to embrace a class struggle, emancipatory position, as opposed to a liberal pacifist one. It is greatly encouraging to see that revolutionary No War But the Class War graffiti has now been spotted in the local urban streets around Tel Aviv.

All is vital to stop the nightmare of war, famine, poverty, nationalism, ethnic cleansing, barbarity, torture, the growing threat of theocrats, as well as the daily dose of oppression, alienation and exploitation. The anti-militarist class war is the only war which will unite us as an international working class to prevent a death spiral, to liberate ourselves and to finally live in harmony with this planet. Total respect to those resisting and to those who share the struggle in solidarity!

https://anarcomuk.uk/2024/01/07/israel-and-anti-militarism/
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