About 100 Arab and Jewish protestors gathered on the hilltop overlooking ‘Military Prison 6’ last Saturday afternoon, calling for the release of Omar Sa’ad, and all other conscientious objectors: Muhammad Sa’ad from Shfam’r (Shfaram) and Wassif Abu-Sa’if from Yanuh. Sa’ad, a young communist activist and a viola player from the village of Maghar who has thus far been given two 20-day prison sentences for refusing the draft, has become a symbol of Arab-Druze resistance to conscription. Two other Druze objectors are now in prison and another one is expected to be sentenced later this month.
, siblings and friends, among them Young Communist League members, preformed several songs on string instruments at the protest, organized by the Sa’ad family, Yesh Gvul and Druze campaigners against conscription. The tunes were carried through loud speakers to Sa’ad himself, who was watching the protest above the prison walls. Other demonstrators sang songs and chanted slogans in Arabic and in Hebrew against the mandatory draft and against the occupation. Also present was Natan Blanc who was recently released from prison after serving 10 sentences adding up to just under half a year for his refusal to enlist. Blanc told Sa’ad he hopes he will have to endure much less of prison than he himself did. Corresponding demonstrations in support of objectors took place in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and London – where Sa’ad’s younger brother attended.