Some 200 high school seniors studying at yeshivas, who are months away from being drafted into the IDF upon their graduation, signed a letter this weekend addressed to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saying that if they get the order to evacuate settlements in the Gaza Strip – they will refuse.
The letter, which is one of the first protest activities against Olmert’s convergence plan, was written Thursday morning and sent to yeshivas serving all religious sectors throughout the country. Over the weekend, the letter garnered much support and already roughly 200 students have signed it.
“With your entry into your high position, and on the eve of your departure for the United States, we feel the need to inform you of the storm of emotions the Convergence plan you are advancing has caused us,” the students wrote to Olmert.
“Next year we are supposed to be conscripted to the IDF. Like our parents, in their day, we want to serve with all that is in us and to defend our country intrepidly. We have no doubt that the IDF is Israel’s protective shield.
“However we appeal to you no to charge the army a second time with the task that, in our opinion, endangers the nation’s security and tears a terrible rift among the people. If such a mission in assigned to us anyway, we cannot in any way participate in it. We will not uproot men, women and children from their homes and lands. We will also not aid the mission indirectly. Please rethink the idea of the eviction.”
One of the organizers of the protest, who asked to remain anonymous so as not to affect his IDF service, explained what motivated them to write the letter.
“We really want to join the army, but we can’t carry out tasks that damage the IDF’s and its soldiers’ morals. A commander cannot find integrity in this order. It is a defeatist order. I would prefer to sit in jail and not perform a task that goes against my principles,” he said.