A young Israeli human rights activist refuses to join the IDF “on moral grounds”. Amir Tibon writes:
Omri Evron, a 19-year-old from Tel-Aviv, is weeks away from earning his B.A. in ethical philosophy from the Tel-Aviv University (TAU). He started studying for this degree when he was still a high-school student.
Omri is known around the campus of TAU as a leading social activist. Last month, for example, he started a petition of university and high-school students from around the country, protesting the exploitation of maintenance and cleaning workers in educational institutions.
At least once a week, Omri visits the Palestinian village of Bili’in, showing his support for the local Palestinian farmers who are campaigning against the Israeli separation wall that separates them from about 50 percent of their lands. In Bili’in, just like in Tel-Aviv, Omri has earned the reputation of a respected human rights activist.
However, Omri is considered a criminal by Israeli authorities because he refuses to enlist to the Israeli military, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). National military service is compulsory for all Jewish citizens of Israel, which means every Jewish Israeli must enlist in the IDF at the age of 18.
But Omri Evron decided early on at the age of 16 that he would not become “a soldier in the forces of the occupation”. He reached this decision after many visits to the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
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