[saymaListserv] Please send a letter of support to .....

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at mindspring.com
Thu Oct 25 20:57:48 JEST 2001

Hi Friends,

Someone who walks the talk!    A real HERO!  Let's send our support to him, 
as way opens!



>From: Kathy Bergen <KBergen at afsc.org>
>To: Kathy Bergen <KBergen at afsc.org>
>Subject: Please send a letter of support to .....
>Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 20:44:46 -0400
>X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
>......Yair Halper.  Yair is one of the growing number of Israelis who have
>chosen to take a CO (Conscientious Objector) stand by refusing to serve in
>the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  He and others are a glimmer of hope and
>inspiration for me as I see what is happening today, both in Israel and
>Palestine, as well as in Afghanistan.
>One of the things we can all do is support these young people who have taken
>this courageous stand.  It is not an easy thing for them to do anywhere,
>including in Israel, where there is no 'legal' room for taking a CO
>I was so moved by the Yair's statement below.  Many of you will know Jeff
>Halper.  Jeff and Salim Shawamreh were in the US for a month-long home
>demolitions speaking tour I organized in January, 2001.
>I talked to Shoshana (Yair's mother yesterday), who told me that Yair is
>holding up well so far, but would really appreciate letters of support.
>Yair was moved to Israeli Military Prison # 6 a few days ago.  You may write
>Yair at the address given below or send your letter by e-mail to Shoshana's
>address:  shoshanahal at hotmail.com
>In addition, please write letters to Israeli officials, as suggested below.
>You can go to the home page of New Profile www.newprofile.org to get more
>information about them (there is a link to the English description) or you
>can click on the active link below.
>Kathy Bergen
>Kathy Bergen
>National Coordinator
>Middle East Peace Education
>AFSC, 1501 Cherry St.
>Philadelphia, PA, USA  19102-1479
>tel: (215) 241-7019
>fax: (215) 241-7177
>e-mail:  kbergen at afsc.org
>17 Oct. 2001
>Dear Friends,
>CO Yair Halper, 18, has been sentenced today (17 Oct.) to 28 days of
>imprisonment and is now being transferred to Military Prison No. 4 in
>Tzrifin after refusing to enlist in the Israeli army. It is likely that he
>will refuse to wear military uniform in prison and will be held in the
>isolation ward of the prison (which is not solitary confinement, but where
>there is a history of mistreatment of prisoners by wardens).
>Following is a statement Yair has made before going to prison, describing
>his conscientious stand:
>My name is Yair Halper and I am a conscientious objector to military
>service. On Wednesday the 17 October 2001, I will be incarcerated for my
>I consider myself a pacifist, and I am using that word only for the lack of
>a better one. I am only 18, still a child (at least in my eyes). I keep
>asking myself what the hell do I know about pacifism? My beliefs were never
>really tested. But still, "pacifist" is the closest word I could find to
>describe and define what I am.
>As a pacifist I object to any army universally, no matter where it is, who
>operates it or what purposes it serves. Furthermore, I object to service in
>the Israel Defence Forces in particular for political reasons. I will never
>carry a weapon and I refuse to wear a uniform or any symbol that
>represents, or that will in any way label me, as part of the army.
>I see the Israeli army as a mechanism that hosts everything I oppose in its
>ranks. Every soldier contributes in his/her way to the perpetuation of not
>only the complete disregard for Palestinian human rights, but also the
>continuing fortification and confirmation of Military Israel.
>The army brainwashes its soldiers to receive a brutal and inhumane
>mentality and makes the single soldier lose his/her individuality. I will
>not join a system that does not value human rights and that continues to
>rape, control and occupy the Palestinian territories.
>As naive and cliched as it sounds, I know of only one way to live my life
>and that is by being true to myself, holding fast to my beliefs and
>principles and living by what they dictate to me.
>Yes, I am willing and will be proud to sit in jail for what I see right.
>As Dostoevsky said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged
>by entering its
>I would appreciate any support, be it by letters, phone calls or any way
>you see fit.
>Yair Halper.
>Please send appeals on Yair Halper's behalf (a sample letter appears at the
>end of this message) to Israel's Minister of Defence, with copies to the
>commander of the prison where he is held and to other authorities. Such
>letters are especially effective in preventing mistreatment in prison, but
>they need to reach their destination as soon as possible. This is why it is
>recommended to send your letters by fax.
>In your letters mention also Leonid Kressner (military ID 7156547), an
>18-year-old pacifist CO, is now expecting trial by military tribunal (or,
>if you are willing, send another letter on his behalf). Leonid is held in
>the isolation ward of Military Prison No. 4 in Tzrifin, due to his refusal
>to wear military uniform in prison. There is real danger that Leonid
>Kressner will be mistreated by military authorities in the isolation ward
>of Military Prison No. 4. In addition, a tribunal may give Leonid a
>relatively long prison sentence.
>Here are the relevant addresses and fax numbers:
>Mr. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer,
>Minister of Defence
>Ministry of Defence
>37 Kaplan St.
>Tel-Aviv 61909
>e-mail: sar at mod.gov.il
>Fax: ++972-3-696-27-57 / ++972-3-691-69-40 / ++972-3-691-79-15
>Commander of Military Prison No. 6
>Military Prison No. 6
>Military postal number 02507, IDF
>Fax: ++972-3-957-52-76
>Addresses of additional military and government officials, as well as those
>of some Israeli media, to which you can send copies of your appeals, can be
>found at this web address:
>         http://www.newprofile.org/english/news.html#addresses
>In addition, you can send letters of support to Yair himself at the
>following address:
>Yair Halper
>Military ID 7237405
>Military Prison No. 6
>Military postal number 02507, IDF
>Finally, please circulate this message and subsequent follow-ups widely
>through e-mail, websites and in other ways.
>Below is a sample of a letter protesting the imprisonment of CO Yair
>Halper. You can use this letter as is, but it is always better to use your
>own formulation.
>Dear Sir/Madam,
>It has been brought to my knowledge that Yair Halper (military ID 7237405),
>a conscientious objector to military service, is being held in Military
>Prison No. 6.
>The imprisonment of conscientious objectors like Yair Halper is a violation
>of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. I
>therefore call for his immediate and unconditional  release from prison
>without threat of repeated imprisonment.
>You can also call Yair's parents at ++972-2-6248252.
>Finally, I would like to point out that, together with many other people
>around the world, I will continue to follow the case of Yair Halper and
>cases of other conscientious objectors closely in the future.
>Thank you for your attention and action,
>Sergeiy Sandler - New Profile.

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