August 8th, 2005

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.
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