Hallel Rabin was released from military prison two weeks ago after having spent a cumulative 56 days behind bars in four separate terms for refusing to serve in Israel’s army of occupation. On November 20, Rabin’s fourth stint in prison ended; a day later the army officially issued the exemption from service she sought.
In her refusal statement, Rabin had written, “I was raised on the values of freedom, compassion and love. Fighting to keep another nation enslaved contradicts these values. For too long, the good people of Israel have agreed to participate in the atrocities committed by the occupation. While I know my refusal is small and personal, I wish to be the change I want to see in the world, and to show that another way is possible.”
Rabin, 19, from Kibbutz Harduf in northern Israel, was first imprisoned in August after appearing before the committee to appeal for an exemption. She was tried and sentenced to four separate periods of incarceration, including during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Upon her release on November 20, Rabin thought she would be going home for a brief period before yet another sentencing. However, when she turned on her phone, she received a message from her attorney, Adv. Asaf Weitzen, who informed her that the committee had accepted her request and that she was being exempted from military service.