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Conscientious Objector Omer Shoshan Imprisoned

Conscientious Objector Omer Shoshan Imprisoned

- Please distribute widely -

Dear Friends,

CO Omer ShoshanCO Omer Shoshan, 19, from the town of Yehud, near Tel Aviv, was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment. Omer Shoshan enlisted in the Israeli military eight months ago. It was already as a soldier that he decided to refuse to continue his military service.

In his statement of refusal Omer wrote:I refuse to be part of the Israel Defence Forces, an army that occupies and oppresses a Palestinian population on a daily basis, which undermines the chances to achieve peace, and thus also Israel's security, and which corrupts the moral and democratic character of the state.

For more than 40 years the IDF has been daily oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories and denying them their most basic rights to live normally. This includes hampering their freedom of movement, undermining their economy, hurting their bodies, illegally arresting them and committing many other severe crimes that usually fail to make it to the mainstream media. The very fact that any simple soldier serving beyond the Green Line has power over the lives of local residents and can force them to do as he pleases is illegal and undemocratic, and obtains the exact opposite of what it is supposed to - it produces more terrorists, increases hatred towards us and undermines any realistic chances for peace. So what purpose does this oppression really serve? Only one - perpetuating the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal in their own right and which are the obstacle to reaching a compromise between the two peoples.

Even before enlisting I had my doubts about whether or not to join the army, whether to support the army that represents my country or to refuse. I eventually decided to enlist, because I felt that I could refuse from within, to do things otherwise, to effect change. Today I understand that the army's actions in the occupied territories themselves, its very presence there, are what constitutes the occupation, and no action I could make, not even if I offer a more positive treatment to Palestinian civilians, could make any difference.

I believe that in a country that claims to be a democracy, it is good and even necessary for each of us to voice criticism and indignation when the country is wrong. The IDF is an organisation that fights for interests that I don't believe in, performs anti-democratic and immoral actions and seriously undermines the chances to achieve piece. I am no longer willing to be part of it.Omer Shoshan left his post on 6 Sep., and on 14 Sep. has returned to his military unit to be sent to prison. He was sentenced to 20 days in prison, but at first was held in confinement to base instead. On 19 Sep. he was transferred to a military police detention facility in Jerusalem, where his prison sentence officially went into force (so the term of confinement to base was actually added on top of his prison sentence).

Omer is due to be released on 6 October, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterward. As Omer is held in a small detention centre, rather than in a military prison, we do not have his prison address, however, letters of support and encouragement can still be sent to him via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting "reply all" to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits. 

Recommended Action 

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Omer Shoshan letters of support to messages2prison@newprofile.org.

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors' behalf, preferably by fax, to:


    Mr. Ehud Barak,Minister of Defence,Ministry of Defence,Hakirya,Tel-Aviv 64743,Israel.E-mail:  or Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423Fax: ++972-3-6976711

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General (note updated fax number):

    Avichai Mandelblit,Chief Military AttorneyMilitary postal code 9605, IDFIsraelFax: ++972-3-569-45-26

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

    Gadi Agmon,Commander of Induction Base,Meitav, Tel-HaShomerMilitary Postal Code 02718, IDFIsrael.Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners' behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:

    Dear Sir/Madam,It has come to my attention that Omer Shoshan (Military ID 5767594), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in a military police detention facility in Jerusalem.The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Omer Shoshan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals.I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Omer Shoshan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.Sincerely,

3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:


    Ma'ariv:2 Karlibach st.Tel-Aviv 67132IsraelFax: +972-3-561-06-14e-mail: 

    Yedioth Aharonoth:2 Moses st.Tel-AvivIsraelFax: +972-3-608-25-46

    Ha'aretz (Hebrew):21 Schocken st.Tel-Aviv, 61001IsraelFax: +972-3-681-00-12


    Ha'aretz (English edition):21 Schocken st.Tel-Aviv, 61001IsraelFax: +972-3-512-11-56e-mail: 


    Israel Hayom:2 Hashlosha st.The B1 BuildingTel-AvivIsraele-mail: 


    Jerusalem Post:P.O. Box 81Jerusalem 91000IsraelFax: +972-2-538-95-27e-mail:  or 

    Radio (fax numbers):Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15          and +972-3-694-47-09Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20

    Television (fax numbers):Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09Channel 10 +972-3-733-16-66

We will continue updating on further developments.

Thank you for your attention and action,

    Sergeiy Sandler – New Profile.



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