Skip to main content

These Israelis chose jail over serving in the Israeli army

Eighteen-year-old Sofia Orr and Tal Mitnick have publicly refused to serve in the Israeli army after the 7 October attack on southern Israel. Both have moral objections to Israel's occupation and bombing campaign on Gaza. In a nation where refusing to serve in the military is punishable by jail, this can be a lonely road.

In a country where military service is not only mandatory, it is seen as honourable, very few Israelis dare to refuse to serve.

Aina J Khan looks into the history of the Israeli army, the nationalism entwined with military service, and the heavy social penalty young Israelis face for refusing to serve because of conscientious objection.
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.