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E. V.A.3.c. Israeli Opposition to Israel's Occupation

Because Israel was created out of a war with the surrounding Arab states and faced the continuing threat of attack, military service was a citizen obligation and conditions were initially hostile to peace activity (although there were some committed pacifists). However, after moves for Egypt to recognise Israel in the later 1970s, desire for a peaceful settlement with Israel’s neighbours and for a negotiated return to the Palestinians of the territories occupied after the 1967 war (as required by UN resolutions) increased. peace activism and resistance to the draft was intensified as a result of Israel’s controversial invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The challenge posed by the First Intifada and the PLO’s 1988 decision to recognize the existence of Israel encouraged some Israeli opposition to the occupation and led to some reservists refusing to serve in the occupied territories. Peace groups committed to working with Palestinians met for joint discussions, and took part in acts of solidarity such as planting olive trees along the frontier between Israel and the West Bank to replace those uprooted by the Israeli government. Cooperation was assisted by the Palestinian Centre for Nonviolence based in East Jerusalem. A joint demonstration between Israelis and Palestinians, supported by an international presence, took place in 1989.

Since the Second Intifada of 2000 public opinion in Israel has tended to swing to the right and be more hostile to the Palestinian cause, but civil society groups have continued to cooperate with Palestinians, for example at checkpoints and defying house demolitions. Israeli groups have also helped to launch legal challenges to the separation wall and its course, both in Israel and at the Hague Court of International Justice. Some serving soldiers have publicly condemned Israeli military action or refused to serve in the occupied territories.

For more references on Israeli conscientious objection to the draft see G.3.b.ii of the first edition of the bibliography.

Deutsch, Yvonne, Israeli women against the Occupation: Political growth and the persistence of ideology, In , Women and the Israeli Occupation: The Politics of Change London, Routledge, , 1994, pp. 88-105

Describes the growing number of organizations engaged in demonstrating solidarity with the Palestinians (e.g. Women in Black), meeting with Palestinian women in the Occupied Territories, helping Palestinian women political prisoners, or proposing peace plans.

Hurwitz, Deena, Walking the Red Line: Israelis in Search of Justice for Palestine, Philadelphia PA, New Society Publishers, 1992, pp. 208

Essays by 20 Israelis – some of them ‘selective objectors’ – who question standard definitions of nationalism, national security and loyalty.

Kaminer, Reuven, The Politics of Protest: The Israeli Peace Movement and the Palestinian Intifada, Brighton, Sussex Academic Press, 1996, pp. 248

Veteran Israeli leftist explores relations between moderates and militants, and gives special emphasis to rise of an autonomous women’s movement, especially Women in Black and their weekly vigils. With glossary of political parties and groups.

Kaufman, Edy ; Salem, Walid ; Verhoeven, Juliette, Bridging the Divide: Peacebuilding in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner, 2006, pp. 230

Includes chapter by Mohammed Abu Nimer, ‘Nonviolent Action is Israel and Palestine: A Growing Force’ (pp. 135-171) and others on the role of civil society and NGOs in both Israel and Palestine. Also profiles of a range of Israeli and Palestinian organizations.

Kidron, Peretz, Refusenik!: Israel’s Soldiers of Conscience, London, Zed Books, 2004, pp. 160

Documents from the soldiers’ resistance to the Lebanon War, the First Intifada and the Second Intifada.

Linn, Ruth, Conscience at War: The Israeli Soldier as a Moral Critic, Albany NY, State University of New York Press, 1996, pp. 245

Sharoni, Simona, Gender and the Israeli-Palestine Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance, Syracuse NJ, Syracuse University Press, 1994, pp. 199

Explores how Intifada strengthened Palestinian women’s movement and stimulated an Israeli women’s peace movement and led to joint movement.