Four hundred teenagers from around the country, members of “Youth against Annexation,” have signed a letter demanding that the far-right government halt its plans to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. “Youth against Annexation” demonstrated near the home of the Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, in Rosh HaAyin last Thursday, June 25. Among the protestors were activists from the Young Communist League and Hadash MK Ofer Cassif (Joint List).
Bearing the title “Teens against Annexation,” the letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as to each and every governmental minister, outlines the devastating consequences that annexation will have on both Palestinians and Israelis. It further notes that the signatories who are currently planning to be conscripted into the Israeli military will be the same ones forced to carry out the policies of annexation.
“The decision to begin annexation will turn the reality of apartheid in the occupied territories into official law and make it even more extreme,” states the petition. “Today, as we reach the age in which the State of Israel requires us to take an active part in racist and violent policies, we are committed to actively and firmly resisting annexation.”
The anti-annexation letter was signed both by young Israelis who plan to do their compulsory military service as well as by those who intend to refuse to to be conscripted. “In the coming year, many of us will be enlisting in the army. We will be required to carry out the policies of annexation, which threaten to seriously harm the Palestinian population and a vision of peace. It is for this reason that we, young people, appeal to the Israeli public and decision-makers unequivocally: Annexation must be stopped as soon as possible.” The signatories further warn, “This move will undoubtedly resume the violent clashes in our region, whose victims will be both Palestinians and Israelis. It means deepening the conflict, maintaining the cycle of blood and death, all while entrenching occupation, violence and racism.”
“Youth against Annexation” succeeded in adding 150 signatures to the petition during a large demonstration against annexation and occupation that took place in Tel Aviv on June 6.