The Bigger Picture: The City in the Global Village


Israel's Military Refuseniks (Jan 2002)

Behind the action of the refusniks is a wider disillusion with the image of Israel as a ’warrior democracy’. Around 40% of those eligible for call-up to Israel’s conscript army are evading service on grounds of mental health, religious conscience or are declared unfit for other reasons. And while after the fall of communism, Israel has seen a wave of immigration to swell the ranks of the Jewish population, a recent opinion poll indicated that many younger Jews would like to emigrate. On the other hand, the Palestinian population in the region - in its poverty - will far outgrow the Jewish.

Unlike, for example, Northern Ireland, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of real strategic interest, an open wound in relations between the West and the Arab world. Last weekend’s meeting of EU foreign ministers let vent to Europe’s increasing concern at the direction of American policy in the Middle East. Colin Powell, who seems to be the voice of reason and diplomacy in the Whitehouse, needs all the help he can get.


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The above article was written in Feb 2002. More information about the campaign to refuse to serve in an army of occupation can be found as follows:

The original refusnik statement

Refuser Solidarity Network

Info on Wikipedia