Israeli Military Resisters Seek International Pressure to End Occupation of Palestinian Lands
Interview with Ofer Neiman, an activist with the Israeli military resisters' group, Yesh Gvul, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Among the many peace and human rights groups operating within Israel, Yesh Gvul focuses on support for military resisters. The name can be translated as "there is a limit." The movement was founded in 1982 when the war between Lebanon and Israel began. At the time 3,000 reservists sent a petition to then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, stating they would not serve in Lebanon. Some of the activists were court-martialed and served time in military prison.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus visited Palestine and Israel in late May and spoke with Ofer Neiman, an activist with Yesh Gvul, at an outdoor cafe just outside the gates of Jerusalem's Old City. The 37-year-old served three years' active duty and nine years as a reservist in an elite intelligence unit of the Israeli Air Force. After observing the role of the Air Force in carrying out operations against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories in violation of international law, Neiman requested and was granted transfer to a non-active unit and later received a standard discharge letter. He was not prosecuted.
Neiman said his group still pursues its original goal of supporting military resisters, but has expanded its efforts to enlist support from people around the world to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands.
For more information, visit Yesh Gvul's website at www.yeshgvul.org
To listen to the full interview click here: