A peace activist, Udi Segal, a 19-year-old Israeli from Kibbutz Tuval in the Galilee was sent to jail on Monday for refusing to enlist in the Israeli army.
About 100 people – Jews and Arabs – gathered in Haifa on Monday to stand with Segal. Among the crowd were Ruty and Yael Ferera, the mother and sister of the social activist Uriel Ferrera, an Orthodox Jewish refusenik born in Argentina who has been in and out of military prison since April for refusing; Omar Sa’ad, a young Arab-Druze refusenik and Communist activist who was recently released after over six months in prison; and a number of other past refusers and current signatories on the 2014 letter of conscientious objectors against the occupation.
Across the street was a small gathering of flag-draped extreme-right counter-protestors. There had been calls to demonstrate against Segal’s refusal circulating on Facebook. Their chants touched on a number of now-familiar tropes (“Go to Gaza! You’re all traitors! Gaza is a cemetery!)” took on an uglier, more personal element, targeting Segal by name, branding the demonstration as his “gay coming out party,” calling him a “son of a whore” as he stood by his mother. Next Friday will be a demonstration near Military Prison Number 6 in solidarity with Segal and Ferrera.
Also, two Arab-Bedouin IDF doctors indicted for allegedly evading combat duty. The two, serving in Southern Command field units, allegedly absconded on the day Operation Protective Edge began. An indictment was served last Thursday against two medical doctors who serve in the army for the crimes of “evading combat activity” and “improper behavior.”