Passersby in central Tel Aviv were surprised to see a train of stretchers being carried towards the Kirya government compound Friday morning.
About 50 citizens participated in the event, which was held in protest of the growing phenomenon of draft-dodging.
Initiators of the protest included reserve soldiers, members of the Forum of Parents for Equally Sharing the Military Burden, and members of “Aharai”, a movement that aims at educating and motivating young adults to be involved in society. The protestors explained that the demonstration was the beginning of a moral struggle.
“We don’t want two divided societies. We want people to share the burden, either militarily, or through civil service. We are all in the same society, and there needs to be equal rights and duties,” said Miri Brown, a member of the Forum of Parents for Equally Sharing the Military Burden.
Amongst the marchers was actor Shlomo Vishinski, whose son was killed over a year ago while serving in the IDF. He called on all segments of society to serve, including Arabs and haredim.
“The struggle began on Memorial Day – it angered me that now everyone enlisted. The country boasts something doesn’t really have; saying the draft is mandatory,” he said.
The actor added that restrictions should be imposed on citizens who dodge the draft. “Those who can’t accept orders – isn’t responsible enough to drive a car either. That is a responsibility too. Those who don’t enlist should simply have their license taken away,” he said.
Itai Benhorin, one of the organizers of the struggle, said, “We intend on fighting the disease of lack of morals that has been attacking Israeli society over the past few weeks. The ease in which people dodge the draft will not continue to spread.”
Benhorin added, “We don’t expect every citizen to get on a tank to Damascus, but every citizen can serve in the army or be involved in social activity. The value of solidarity is a societal responsibility, and this value must not disappear because then we will decay.”