Members of the extreme right-wing Knesset bloc, the “Democratic Zionist Guard” (DZG), which has taken upon itself to investigate the activities of leftist Knesset MKs, have filed a complaint with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that he revoke the parliamentary immunity of the Chairman of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), and prosecute him for allegedly “inciting against military service.”
The DZG’s complaint was formally submitted following a solidarity visit made by MK Odeh with Tair Kaminer, an objector to Israel’s occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and who was sentenced last Sunday, January 10, to 20 days incarceration in a military prison after refusing to be inducted into the IDF.
Kaminer, 19, who lives in Tel Aviv recently completed a year of voluntary service with the Scouts in the town of Sderot, not far from the Gaza Strip, but refuses to be inducted into the military. “My refusal stems from my desire to contribute to society and make it a better place, and is part of an ongoing struggle for peace and equality,” she explained in an article published on the Websites of the Hadash (The Left Bank) as well as that of the CPI.
Kaminar announced that she is prepared to serve alternative civilian national service. On the day she received orders to report to the army’s recruitment base near Tel Aviv, she was accompanied by dozens of activists chanting, among other things: “Neither a secretary nor a gunner, but rather a feminist and an objector” and “Tair is as courageous as they come — Get out of Ramallah immediately.” The demonstration was organized by a group calling itself “Women Objectors,” and was joined by activists against the occupation, the Druze Initiative Committee , the Communist Youth Brigade, as well as members of Tair’s family.
A few days before Kaminar’s scheduled reporting at the military induction base, MK Odeh paid a solidarity visit with her and her family at their home and wrote afterwards: “Tair Kaminer will enter prison next Sunday for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. When the occupation will end and peace will come, everyone will admit that yours, Tair, is the voice of conscience. I came here today to visit you and tell you face to face these exact words. I’m proud of you.”
In their letter to Attorney General Weinstein the members of the DZG bloc wrote in that MK Odeh’s remarks constitute incitement under Section 109 (a) of the Penal Code, which states that “anyone who incites or solicits a person obliged to perform military service not to do so is to be sentenced to five years imprisonment.”
In response, MK Odeh has said: “On Thursday (January 7), I visited Tair Kaminer and her family to strengthen her and to thank her for her courage. Ending the occupation is first and foremost in the interest of the Palestinians, but it is also in the interest of Israeli society. Young men and women who choose, like Tair, to resist the occupation by refusing to serve in the army are a moral beacon which I believe can have a decisive influence on our future here. We will continue to strengthen the Arab-Jewish partnership in the struggle against the occupation and in favor of equality, to the chagrin of all of our opponents.
From the “Women Objectors” group supporting Kaminar and other objectors the following response was released: “Tair Kaminer is a woman of strong convictions who opposes the occupation of a civilian population; a sovereign and courageous woman who came to a significant and independent decision. MK Ayman Odeh came to visit her, like many others, to express appreciation and support for her decision. It doesn’t astound us at all that an extreme right-wing organization speaks in terms of “incitement,” which both reflects it and its fear of ending the occupation and achieving the alternative two-state solution and peace.”