We wrote that we are true Zionists and that we are joining the army happily and voluntarily. We also wrote that we cannot continue to live with the Tal Law, which grants the haredim an exemption from military service. We added that while everyone talks about a red line, we are drawing it.
Today, following one student strike, four weeks of intensive activity, dozens of meetings with public figures and Knesset members, hundreds of hours of work and thousands of supporters and activists, I look with amazement at what we have done – a group of 12th graders who came together almost spontaneously and reported for duty.
I learned many things during this crazy month. I learned that the Tal Law is only part of the problem. I discovered that if one listens closely, one can hear the sounds of collapse of the place we live in.
This is not only about social gaps and politicians who laugh in our faces. This is not only about discrimination, racism and division. It is a continuous line, a nuanced yet prominent theme that connects everything. Yet more than anything, I learned that this can be changed.
I heard many questions in recent weeks. I was asked why I’m wasting my time (because there is no other place I wish to live in.) I was asked if I’m scared (yes, I’m scared to death of what will be done to my country if I fail to speak up.) I was asked if I’m not exaggerating a little (I’m not) and whether I’m not too young to do this (aren’t you too old to do this?) I was also asked why I’m even joining the army (because I love this country more than I’m angry at its leaders.)
Where are we headed?Yet I wasn’t allowed to ask one question of my own. It is a very simple question, usually directed at bus drivers, yet someone must also direct it to the Prime Minister’s Office. Tell us, where exactly are we headed?
This Thursday we’ll be hitting the streets to say “no more.” We’ll aim to find out exactly where we’re headed. We shall march from the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv to the Beit Ariella library, to protest and hold a short rally – without politicians, only with real ideologues, the common people, from the streets and schools, high school students and reserve soldiers, mothers and friends.
We all wish to ask questions, and for a change not to be told that “this is a highly complex issue” or that “this is better left for decision makers.” Rather, we wish to get an answer.
After all, you too have no idea where our State is being led to right under our noses. You too have no clue as to who you’re being sold to. You too have no idea where’s exactly the last stop or where exactly we’re headed. Hence, you too must feel the obligation to join us.
The writer initiated and leads the “12th graders letter of 2012” campaign against the Tal Law