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From US war resisters, a letter of solidarity to students who refuse to serve in the Israeli military.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: About 100 Israeli high school students have declared their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and participate in the occupation of Palestine.AaWe are US military service members and veterans who have refused or are currently refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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About 100 Israeli high school students have declared their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and participate in the occupation of Palestine.AaWe are US military service members and veterans who have refused or are currently refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We stand in solidarity with the Israeli Shministim (Hebrew for 12th graders) who are also resisting military service. About 100 Israeli high school students have signed an open letter declaring their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and their opposition to "Israeli occupation and oppression policy in the occupied territories and the territories of Israel." In Israel, military service is mandatory for all graduating high school seniors, and resisters face the possibility of years in prison.

We have also refused to participate in unjust acts of military aggression, and many of us have gone to prison or currently live with that possibility as a result. We believe that resistance to unjust war is a bold assertion of humanity in the face of overwhelming violence.

The "Global War on Terror," like the Israeli occupation, is propped up by racism and dehumanization and sets the stage for never-ending war and occupation.

We are inspired by the brave refusal of our brothers and sisters in Israel to take part in these destructive policies, and we want to let them know today, December 18th - the day of international solidarity with the Shministim - that they have our deepest respect and support.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Atkinson

Specialist, US Army Reserve. Went AWOL (absent without leave) to resist October 1990 deployment to Iraq. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Chris Capps-Schubert

Specialist, US Army, communications. Went AWOL March 2007 to resist Iraq redeployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Eugene Cherry

Specialist, US Army, medic. Went AWOL June 2005 to resist Iraq redeployment, later won honorable discharge.

Matthis Chiroux

Sergeant, US Army, journalist. Currently refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

James Circello

Sergeant, US Army, airborne infantry. Went AWOL April 2007 following Iraq deployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Carl Davison

US Army, security. Refused Iraq deployment in 2008. Served one month in the brig (military prison).

Matthew Edwards

US Army, Resisted Iraq deployment in March 2003.

Stephen Funk

Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps, logistic support. Went AWOL February 2003 to resist Iraq deployment. Served six months in the brig.

Andrew Gorby

Second Lieutenant, US Army, infantry. Discharged May 2007 as a conscientious objector.

Patrick Hart

Sergeant, US Army. Went AWOL in 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Ryan Johnson

Private First Class, US Army. Went AWOL June 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Dale Landry

Airman, US Air Force. Went AWOL in 2004 following Afghanistan deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Benjamin Lewis

US Marine Corps, mortar man. After two Iraq deployments, now refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

Christopher Magaoay

Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps. Went AWOL in 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Camilo Mejia

Staff Sergeant, Army National Guard. Refused to redeploy to Iraq in 2004. Served nine months in the stockade (military prison).

Geoff Millard

Sergeant, Army National Guard. Went AWOL after a deployment to Iraq 2004-2005.

Brandon Neely

US Army, military police. Refused recall from the Inactive Ready Reserve in 2007.

Perry O'Brien

US Army, medic. Discharged as a conscientious objector November 2004 following Afghanistan deployment.

Jeff Paterson

Corporal, US Marine Corps, artillery control. Refused Desert Storm deployment August 1990. Served two months pre-trial confinement. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Chanan Suarezdiaz

Hospital Corpsman, Third Class, US Navy. Discharged following 2004 Iraq deployment.

Hart Viges

US Army, airborne mortar man. Discharged as a conscientious objector following 2003 Iraq deployment.

Dean Walcott

US Marine Corps, military police. Went AWOL in 2007 following Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

David Wiggins MD

Captain, US Army, doctor. Resigned commission near the Iraq border during Desert Storm 1991.

Steve Yoczik

Private, US Army. Went AWOL November 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Dec 22, 2008
Words:741
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