Exactly ten years ago I was imprisoned for my refusal to enlist in the Israeli military. This marked the end of a three-year losing legal battle in Israeli court to have conscientious objection recognized as an option for military service.
It was the beginning of an ongoing struggle to save my country from its inevitable demise. Like a drug-addict, Israel needs an intervention. It is addicted to the military; blind support does it no good.
Growing up in Jerusalem I was exposed to the widest possible spectrum of beliefs, religions and political views. With ancestry dating back nine generations in the region, I really felt like I was a part of it all. But as I grew older I discovered more and more people who were being pushed out. More and more people who were being put behind walls. In particular: Palestinians. Some of them were friends whom I could no longer see. I found it unsatisfactory to blame the occupation for all of this.
I see the occupation as no more than a symptom. The underlying disease that caused it was the military, the militarization of Israel. The Israeli national motto should be “if you can’t do it forcefully, apply more force” is, unfortunately, a way of life. The only problem is that, with enough pressure, all things eventually break. And this is why I am a pacifist.