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A letter from ijon: 20.3.04 תם שבוע לישיבתי בכלא 4 בעוון סירובי… - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
March 21st, 2004
11:24 am

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A letter from ijon:
20.3.04
תם שבוע לישיבתי בכלא 4 בעוון סירובי לשרת בשטחים. בפלוגת המילואים של הכלא, שבה אני כלוא, רעש מהומה: המשטרה הצבאית עורכת מזה שבוע מבצע לכידת עריקים, והללו זורמים לכאן בקבוצות קטנות מידי יום. יושבים כאן כרגע פחות מעשרה אנשים על עבירות סמים, אלימות, וכו',למעלה משבעים עריקים ומשתמטים ממילואים, ואנוכי הקטן, שהגעתי לכאן לאחר אימון עם יחידתי בשבוע שעבר, שנערך בתחום מדינת ישראל, לפני שנשלחה היחידה לשמור על התנחלויות בבקעה.

האסירים מבלים את זמנם בכתיבת בקשות וערעורים שונים – ערער, מחילה, "מוצמדת"... ותיקים מייעצים לחדשים אילו שטיקים כדאי לשלב בבקשה – הגישה ספרותית, ואין שמים לב למידת ההתאמה לאמת. החבר'ה מאיצים בי לבקש מחילה, ואני מסביר שוב ושוב שאין משמעות לסירוב אם מבקשים עליו מחילה; אנשים נדים לי בראשם כלמשוגע. איש מהאסירים לא הביע תמיכה בסירובי, ורוב רובם מחזיקים בדעות שממקמות אותי על הציר שבין עוכר ישראל לבוגד נאלח – זאת מהאנשים שלא מגיעים לשירות מילואים כלל... אין טעם להתווכח, והשתדלתי להעלות את נושא הסירוב כמה שפחות. קשה להסביר סירוב על סמך אמנת ז'נבה והפרת זכויות האדם לאנשים שלא מקבלים, אכסיומטית, שהפלסטינים הם בני אדם, או שמאמינים שהטרור הפלסטיני המנוול נותן למדינת ישראל קארט-בלאנש לעשות כרצונם.

התנאים כאן סבירים: לא מטרטרים את המילואימניקים, והמשמעת בסיסית ולא מעיקה. האוכל כלל צה"לי, אם כי בצד הנמוך של הסקאלה, והאכילה בכף בלבד מציקה מעט. היום (שבת) ארוחת הצהריים הוגשה קרה, אך זה חריג. יש מים חמים בכל שעות היום. ארבעה גליונות עיתונים מגיעים עבור כל הפלוגה ( שניים "מעריב" שניים "וסטי "– עבור דוברי הרוסית הרבים כאן, כמחצית מהאסירים)
פרט ליום שישי, שאז לא מגיעים עיתונים כלל. איש סגל טען באוזני שמגיע לאסירים עיתון בכל יום פרט ליום שישי, ולי זה נשמע מפוקפק. כללית, יחס הסגל מתון וסלחני, במיוחד לנוכח הקרקס שעורכים ליצנים שעברו את הגיל מזמן אך עדיין מצחיק אותם להשמיע קולות של בע"ח מעימקי השורה השלישית בעת מסדר, ומעשים דומים.

רמת הארגון ירודה. המד"כים לא תמיד מתואמים זה עם זה ואלו עם בעלי תפקידים אחרים, כגון המרפאה או חדר האוכל. פעמים רבות נשלח חייל למקום זה או אחר, ומוצא עצמו עומד בחוסר מעש באיזה מסדרון, בין שער נעול אחד למשנהו, כשאין מי שיפתח לו את השער השני, מפני שסגל פלוגת המילואים לא תיאם דברים עד הסוף. כאדם ששימש בתפקידי מ"כ, סמל מחלקה ורס"פ בשרותו הסדיר, אני יודע שזה קשה, אבל אני יודע גם שאפשר לעשות זאת הרבה יותר טוב.

בתחילת השבוע, בהמלצת סמל המחלקה, הגשתי בקשה לעבור לכלא 6, והבקשה אושרה. ככל הנראה, ביום שלישי אעבור לשם.

אסף ברטוב. כלא 4.

Notes from arnulf:
1) In the previous entry I might have given the impression that ijon enjoys special treatment from the prison staff. This is not so, ijon is not given any privileges not available to other prisoners, but they are more polite and understanding in private talks.

2) I'll be visiting ijon tomorrow morning. Contact me if you want to send him anything.

J.

Update: Translation courtesy of gaal

My first week of imprisonment in Jail 4 on account of my refusal has ended. There is quite a fuss in the jail's reserve company, where I am kept: the Military Police has been engaging in an operation to catch deserters, and the ones they net trickle here daily. There are less than ten people here on charges of drug abuse, violence, etc., and over seventy deserting and evaders of reserve duty, as well as little me, who arrived here after training with my unit last week, performed within the borders of the State of Israel, before the unit was sent to guard settlements in the Jordan valley.

The prisoners kill their time by writing all sorts of requests and appeals. The old-timers advise the newcomers which shticks to try to pull in their writing, literary and bearing no regard for the truth. The folks here urge me to ask for pardon, and I explain time and again that there's no meaning to an act of refusal if pardon is asked for it; people dismiss me as mad. None of the prisoners has expressed support for my refusal, and the vast majority of them hold views placing me somewhere between the Enemy of Israel and a rotten traitor -- and that, coming from people who do not bother to come to reserve duty at all... there is no use in arguing with them, and I have been trying to raise the subject of my refusal as little as possible. It's hard to explain conscientious objection on grounds of the Geneva convention and human rights abuse to people who reject axiomatically the possibility that Palestinians are human beings, or who believe that the depraved Palestinian terror licenses the State of Israel, carte blanche, to do as it pleases.

Conditions here are reasonable: the reservists are not being harassed, and discipline is is basic and not troublesome. The food is standard IDF, if on the low end the scale, and it's a little annoying to use only a spoon. Today's lunch (Saturday) was served cold, but that is the exception. There's hot water in all parts of the day. Four newspapers arrive daily for all the company (two Maariv and two Vestiy—for the Russian speakers, nearly half of the people here) except on Friday, when newspapers don't arrive at all. Someone from the staff claimed that's what the prisoners get, a newspaper on each day but Friday, but that sounds fishy to me. All in all, the staff's attitude is moderate, forgiving even, especially in light of the circus overage clowns take part in, amusing themselves with various animal noises in the depths of the third row in roll calls, and similar acts.

Organization is bad. The staffers are not very coordinated among themselves and other prison functionaries, such as the medics or mess hall. Soldiers are often sent here or there, only to find themselves waiting uselessly in some hallway between two locked gates, with no one to open one of them, because the staff his company didn't coordinate things all the way. As a person who has served as a squad commander, platoon sergeant and company sergeant major, I know this is hard, but I also know it can be done much better.

Early this week, at the advice of the platoon sergeant, I submitted a transfer request to Jail 6, and the request was approved. I am likely to be transfered on Tuesday.

Asaf Bartov, Jail 4.

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:mux2000
Date:March 21st, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
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The following is a quick translation of the first two paragraphs:

---------

The first week of my incarceration in Prison Four for refusal to serve in the OC is now over. In the Jail's reserve platoon, where I am, all hell has broken loose. Military police has been having a defector capture operation for a week now, and those flow in in small groops every day. There are less than ten people in here now for drugs, violence and such, and above seventy deserters and defectors, and I, who came here after training with my unit last week, which was performed within the borders of Israel, before the unit was transferred to guard settlements in the Jordan Valley.

The prisoners spend their time writing all sorts of requests and appeals, seniors consult the new arrivals on what tricks to insert into the request - the attitude is literary, and the correlation to truth goes unnoticed. The guys push me to request for forgiveness, and explain repeatedly that conciencious refusal means nothing if you apologize for it; People nod their head as if I were crazy. No one of the prisoners has expressed any support in my refusal, and the most of them hold to opinions that place me somewhere between an enemy of the people and a filthy traitor - and that's from the people who didn't come to serve in the first place... No point in arguing, and I tried to bring the subject of refusal up as little as possible. It's hard to explain refusal based on the Geneva treatise and violation of human rights to people that refuse to acknowledge, axiomatically, that Palastenians are human beings, and that believe that the bastardous Palastenian terrorism has given Israel a cart blanche to do what they want.

-------------------------

Someone else continue, I've got to run.
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From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Here's a translation of Ijon's letter:

My first week of imprisonment in Jail 4 on account of my refusal has ended. There is quite a fuss in the jail's reserve company, where I am kept: the Military Police has been engaging in an operation to catch deserters, and the ones they net trickle here daily. There are less than ten people here on charges of drug abuse, violence, etc., and over seventy deserting and evaders of reserve duty, as well as little me, who arrived here after training with my unit last week, performed within the borders of the State of Israel, before the unit was sent to guard settlements in the Jordan valley.

The prisoners kill their time by writing all sorts of requests and appeals. The old-timers advise the newcomers which shticks to try to pull in their writing, which literary and bears no regard for the truth. The folks here urge me to ask for pardon, and I explain time and again that there's no meaning to an act of refusal if pardon is asked for it; people dismiss me as mad. None of the prisoners has expressed support for my refusal, and the vast majority of them hold views placing me somewhere between the Enemy of Israel and a rotten traitor -- and that, coming from people who do not bother to come to reserve duty at all... there is no use in arguing with them, and I have been trying to raise the subject of my refusal as little as possible. It's hard to explain conscientious objection on grounds of the Geneva convention and human rights abuse to people who reject axiomatically the possibility that Palestinians are human beings, or who believe that the depraved Palestinian terror licenses the State of Israel, carte blanche, to do as it pleases.

Conditions here are reasonable: the reservists are not being harassed, and discipline is is basic and not troublesome. The food is standard IDF, if on the low end the scale, and it's a little annoying to use only a spoon. Today's lunch (Saturday) was served cold, but that is the exception. There's hot water in all parts of the day. Four newspapers arrive daily for all the company (two Maariv and one Vestiy—for the Russian speakers, nearly half of the people here) except on Friday, when newspapers don't arrive at all. Someone from the staff claimed that's what the prisoners get, a newspaper on each day but Friday, but that sounds fishy to me. All in all, the staff's attitude is moderate, forgiving even, especially in light of the circus overage clowns take part in, amusing themselves with various animal noises in the depths of the third row in roll calls, and similar acts.

Organization is bad. The staffers are not very coordinated among themselves and other prison functionaries, such as the medics or mess hall. Soldiers are often sent here or there, only to find himself waiting uselessly in some hallway between two locked gates, with no one to open one of them, because the staff his company didn't coordinate things all the way. As a person who has served as a squad commander, platoon sergeant and company sergeant major, I know this is hard, but I also know it can be done much better.

Early this week, at the advice of the platoon sergeant, I submitted a transfer request to Jail 6, and the request was approved. I am likely to be transfered on Tuesday.

Asaf Bartov, Jail 4.

[User Picture]
From:declaude
Date:March 21st, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC)
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thanks for the translation!!!!
[User Picture]
From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:19 pm (UTC)
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Sure!
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From:declaude
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:10 pm (UTC)
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Not directly related to Ijon, but what is the difference between
עציר and אסיר?

According to what I have they both mean "prisoner"
[User Picture]
From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)
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The root אסר is for imprisonment, thus the former is strictly for a prisoner. עצר is for arrest (לעצור means both "to stop" and "to arrest", compare French) and מעצר is used for both arrest and short-term jailings. עציר is thus either a detainee or someone serving jail time and not full prison.
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From:arnulf
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
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AFAIK, at least in military prison lingo (it might apply to civilian ones as well) the deciding factor is whether the person has been sentenced. If the term of imprisonment has been set, the former applies, if it hasn't yet (or if the person is held indefinitely), the latter is to be used.

J.
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From:declaude
Date:March 21st, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh, ok. I knew the word for an arrest but I didn't connect it with עציר. Silly me!

Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Also, עצירות, constipation; עוצר, curfew, עיצור, consonant; and עצרת, which is some sort of convention but I can't think of the precise gloss and I don't have a dictionary around me. Also, I can't imagine its relation to the root except perhaps that people who go to conventions get a chance for a rest. :-p
From:freedomrider
Date:March 22nd, 2004 07:29 am (UTC)
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I thought that עצרת meand factorial.
[User Picture]
From:veryty
Date:March 22nd, 2004 07:29 am (UTC)

עצרת

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[Note: the following is a Translator's Note, and not directly related to ijon's present incarceration.]

עצרת: an assembly, usually public, often solemn, generally commemorating something of shared value. The invitees are asked to take time out of their lives; they gather together and pay a sort of tribute, stand up and be counted, listen to some words of wisdom (often with musical accompaniment). Decorations are in order, often including slogans.

Events of this sort figure notably in my mainline work (captioning archival photos), for the pre-WWII and postwar periods during which such assemblies weren't outlawed. They're among the photos I like best, mainly because I'm encouraged by the idea of people getting together en masse for something they care about.
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From:ukelele
Date:March 21st, 2004 04:48 pm (UTC)
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It's fascinating comparing the two translations. They're obviously the same meaning, but such different styles. I think ijon would approve.
[User Picture]
From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:25 pm (UTC)
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gahh, my translation isn't very polished. :)

Though Ijon's style is hard to get right, because he keeps shifting registers. (Of course everybody does that when you try to translate them.)
[User Picture]
From:gaal
Date:March 21st, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
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Shifting registers!? Ijon the assembly hax0r, yo.
[User Picture]
From:mux2000
Date:March 21st, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)

Yours is SO much better than mine.

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I did mine in about ten minutes before I had to run to catch the train, and it shows.
[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:March 21st, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Actually, shifting registers was precisely what I was thinking about. My first thought when I noticed the different translations was "maybe one person is using a consistently higher level of diction than the other?" But that's not true. "incarceration" vs. "imprisonment," but "all hell breaking loose" vs., uh, whatever you used there. You two kept shifting registers past one another ;). Very amusing.
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