Amidst a wave of refusal, during which thousands of Israeli soldiers and officers issue statements of public refusal in protest of the far-right Israeli government’s race to promote a cluster of anti-democratic laws, the conscientious objector Nave Shabtay Levin (19) received last week an exemption from military service.
Nave Shabtay Levin and MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) during a meeting at the Communist Party of Israel headquarters in Tel-Aviv (Photo: Zo Haderech)
He received an exemption from the occupation army after 7 months and 115 days of imprisonment. Shabtay Levin first declared his refusal to enlist to the Israeli military last September, along with Einat Gerlitz, Shahar Schwartz and Evyatar Rubin, in protest of the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the apartheid regime enforced by Israel over the Palestinians
All four were tried multiple times for their refusal to enlist and were sentenced to prison for months. The group received ongoing support from the Mesarvot network (Israeli support network for occupation refusers) and the Communist Party of Israel since last summer and Nave is the last of the group to receive an exemption.
Once released Shabtay Levin stated: “As exciting as this refusal wave is, we need to remember that the fight against the occupation and capitalism is far from over. We have to continue our struggle, to fight to bring about the end of the occupation, the fall of capitalism and the liberation of Palestine.”