Dozens of people gathered outside the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv Thursday evening to support conscientious objectors who refuse to join the IDF.
The demonstrators sought to present Defense Minister Ehud Barak with letters written by about 20,000 supportive Jews from around the world. The rally coincided with the international day of solidarity with conscientious objectors. Meanwhile, Amnesty International again declared that jailing individuals who act on their conscience violates the United Nations' human rights convention.
Roughly 20,000 Jews residing worldwide relayed letters through Jewish groups in an effort to secure the release of the objectors. One of the protest organizers, Shimri Tzameret, said that "three occupation objectors are currently jailed in Israel."
One of the objectors, Raz Bar-David Baron, who is currently on vacation from prison, told Ynet that during her time in jail she could personally feel the "lack of freedom and helplessness of the Palestinians, who have no freedom when it comes to the smallest issues."
"The imprisonment merely served to reinforce my objection," she said.
Turning her attention to Israeli residents hit by Qassam rockets from Gaza, Bar-David Baron said she feels great empathy for Sderot residents and is fully familiar with their plight.
"We need to understand that they are suffering just like the Palestinian people are suffering," she said. "We need to understand that Sderot residents pay the price because we are unwilling to compromise and adopt the path of peace, and so the easy way is to adopt the path of war."