Dozens of Israeli teenagers soon to be eligible for conscription into the Israel Defense Forces signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday declaring their intention to refuse military service on the basis of conscientious objection.
"Their refusal is designed to protest the continuing occupation [in Judea and Samaria] and the intrusion of the military into civilian life, something which further entrenches chauvinism, militarism, violence, inequality, and racism," the organizers of the letter said in a press release on Saturday.
"The military's operations move us further away from finding a [diplomatic] solution and reaching peace, justice, and security," said Mandy Kartner, a Tel Aviv native and one of the letter's signatories. "My refusal is a way to express opposition to injustices committed by us and in our name every day."
"The army is an instrument of society's powerful and not of its citizens, who are just tools," said another signatory, Shaked Harari of Bat Yam. "My friends and me refuse to be cannon fodder."
The youths said the letter was written in solidarity with ultra-Orthodox and Arab youngsters who refuse to perform military service "and have no wish to take part in the cycle of killing and violence."
"We call on all Israeli youths to carefully examine the significance of serving in the IDF," the letter read.