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The Occupied Territories Summon Again - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
August 8th, 2005
04:50 pm


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The Occupied Territories Summon Again
Some time ago, the IDF had sent me a summons for reserve duty, ordering me to arrive at some military base in the south of Israel (within the green line) for training, immediately followed by "operational employment", meaning, in this case, guard duty.

I was busy with exams and moving out, so I've only found time to call them up today. I asked where the "employment" would take place. They said it would be in the Arava, and were quick to confirm (this time, for a change) that it would definitely be beyond the green line, i.e. in the Occupied Territories.

Accordingly, I announced in advance (as I did last time) that I intend to refuse that mission, but that I'm willing to serve at any post whatsoever within the borders of the State of Israel. The soldier I was talking to said that they do have record on the personnel computer that I am a conscientious objector, but had no comment to make on why they summoned me anyway.

I reminded her that I had shown up for last year's three-day training, and had participated, refusing only to mount the buses that took the reservists to the OT. I was tried and sentenced to 21 days' incarceration. So now I reiterated my request to save me and the IDF the trouble and waste of trying me and imprisoning me, and to be sent to guard or do anything else (not to mention actually make use of my civilian skills...) with our national borders. The soldier said she understands and would communicate her understanding to her commanding officer. I am to await their response.

Should the response be negative, I shall attempt speaking to the officer in question, and should that, too, fail, I guess I shall once again train with my unit for three days, and then be imprisoned for a few weeks, depending on the trial officer's decision.

Too bad our military is so bureaucratically encumbered; it doesn't take a genius to see the waste the IDF is incurring1, quite apart from any moral concerns.

1 I'm a professional software designer, instructor, translator, and (admittedly less usefully for the military...) a trained classicist.

Current Mood: pessimistic

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:August 8th, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
I here simply reïterate my admiration of you.
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
Same here. Good luck.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
Oy,not again :S.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC)
That must be why there's no peace in the Middle East! The army doesn't realize the vast and diverse uses of a trained classicist! I mean, stand back, baby -- I got a gerundive of obligation right here!

...ok, admittedly, I am not clear on what those uses might be either. But I concur that they are being big dorks and I hope you have a better situation this time around.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
I scanned that as "gerundive objection" at first.

Well, Asaf, you know I'll come visit you again. What dates are you? With some kind of kinky luck I might come visit you every day.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
Your final remark (being a classicist, a designer etc.) sounds like a pardoy. What's your point? The HITNATKUT is on its way, and due to your proffesional ego it just became a little-bitsy more difficult.
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 09:07 am (UTC)

Any chance you'll explain that?

Which is to say - what has his professional ego got to do with the HINATKUT being difficult?
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 09:13 am (UTC)

Re: Any chance you'll explain that?

כן, אבל בעברית. צבא לא צריך חוקרים, הוא זקוק לחיילים ומדינה זקוקה לצבא. בזה אין חדש. הויכוח הזה סביב השאלה "למה הצבא לא מנצל את כישורי" נעשה כמה שנים מאוחר מדי, והיה צריך להיערך בבסיס הקליטה והמיון. יחד עם זאת, לקראת ביצוע ההתנתקות התכנית היא לאייש עמדות של סדירניקים במילואימניקים, כדי לאפשר לסדירניקים לבצע את ההתנתקות, ובכך למנוע מחיילים שגיבשו השקפת עולם פוליטית מלבצע את הפעולה המסובכת הזו.

סירוב מצפוני אינו בגדר דילמה. הוא חייב להיות נוכח כל הזמן. כל חייל חייב להיות מוכן לסרב בכל רגע נתון, ולעשות את זה מתוך ערכים מהותיים, ולא מתוך תחושת פראייריות או מחשבה-גדולה-מדי כמו "הצבא לא עובד חכם, אני עובד חכם, לכן אני לא עובד עם הצבא".
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 10:21 am (UTC)

Read more carefully

הטענה של אסף היא כזו: "אינני משרת בשטחים הכבושים". כעת הוא מעלה מקרה מהעבר: "בפעם הקודמת שסרבתי, הייתי בכלא צבאי 21 יום." מסקנתו העגומה היא שהצבא מבזבז אותו: "בשטחים לא אשרת בכל מקרה, חבל ששמים אותי בכלא במקום לתת לי לשמור בגבולות הקו הירוק, או אפילו מנצלים את כישורי". זה לא אגו מקצועי, זה צער על בזבוז חייל שאינו סרבן מלא אלא סרבן שטחים כבושים.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yay! The IDF showing their usual routine of bureaucratic incompetence? Surprise, surprise. And guard duty! You can be one of those cool guards who open foreign passports in the back (for us...) and pretend to look at the picture that isn't there (such fond memories).

No, really, I hope it works out better than last time. You are being cooperative for heaven's sake, why can't they use your skills? Or don't they want to? Am I too naive when I don't understand why they can't comply with your wish not serving in the OT? (Are they afraid everybody would do that?) And what on earth would make them think you'd change your mind since last time?

And don't say there isn't room for classisists in the army, I am still employed - and paid - by the high command as the translator of Latin luckily for me it's only paperwork, and inside my national borders.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 06:44 am (UTC)


Isn't this draft part of the retreat plan from Gaza? If so, wouldn't you be interested in serving in the territories to help get us out of there?

(If this is not part of the Gaza retreat plan, I am crossing my fingers in hope you run by an intelligent and reasonable officer).

[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)

I know I promised to come and see you last time, but didn't make it. This time I won't miss it for the world. You're a stubborn sun of a gun, my friend :)
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)

בהצלחה ובגאון. אם מדובר בעוד כמה שבועות, אולי אפילו נפגש בכלא.

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