The pullout from Gaza may be largely behind us, but the crisis of faith between anti-disengagement activists and the IDF engendered by the controversial move continues unabated.
Monday, organizers of an internet petition calling on right-wing youths to refuse induction into the army revealed that hundreds of youths have already signed the declaration against being drafted, and said they expected as many as 5,000 kids to sign in coming weeks.
"I studied at a Gush Katif yeshiva," said one resident of southern Israel scheduled to enlist at the end of October. "I saw with my own eyes how the army expelled Jews from their homes. I was sure that the security forces would refuse orders en masse but it didn’t happen. Now, forget it. There is no way, after what I saw, that I would serve in the IDF.”
The future draft dodger, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that he knows of four friends from yeshiva who have also declared their intention to refuse induction. will refuse to be drafted in the near future. The group has even signed a statement declaring their unwillingness to join the army.
The youths have mainly used the internet to organize themselves, and their new anti-draft movement. The organizers of the movement say they are very pleased with the rate of signatures being collected, and are confident that they will have 5000 signatories by the end of the month.
Yoni Kahana, of Netanya, is one of the new movement’s organizers. “According to the IDF’s rules, a lack of motivation to serve is a good enough reason to receive a release form,” he told Ynet.
'I won't wear green'
“That’s how I got a release from the army. We are not being drafted into an army that expelled our people, we will not wear the green uniform. The ones wearing green uniform that we saw expelled Jews. The proof for this will be the thousands of youths from around the country who will sign the declaration,” said Kahana.
In the coming weeks, the youths are planning to present the signed declaration to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, as well as to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.
“We already saw from the huge controversy we have caused that the declaration will cause major reverberations,” said an organizer.
'M', a resident of central Israel, is supposed to join the army in less than month. He told Ynet that he signed the declaration “because I had to. I couldn’t be part of an army that expelled Jews. The army burned one of the greatest institutions it had. It needs to be outside of politics, and deal only with security issues.”
The IDF Spokesman's Unit said in response, “the IDF has not seen the letter in question. The IDF condemns every attempt to insert political arguments into the military, and fully rejects all calls for refusing orders. The Law of the Security Services applies to all Israeli citizens and permanent residents.”
“We see army service as a duty and a right, and pardons from service are given on personal basis by experts. Several insubordinate soldiers have asked to return to their units, and the army has refused their requests.”