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.