FREE THE SHMINISTIM: Israeli Teens Imprisoned For Refusing Military Service

By | June 3, 2011

by Brian A. Wilkins
6/3/2011 (links and videos updated July 1, 2023)

Israeli Shministim (L-R) Tamar Katz, Yuval Ophir-Auron, and Raz Bar-David Varon.

The term Shministim literally translates to “12th grader” in Hebrew. Though exact numbers are not known because of Israeli suppression and media control, a good number of young people in the country are refusing to serve in the Israeli military. Israel has mandatory, statutory military service for all men and women. They are automatically enlisted in the military at age 18 or at the conclusion of 12th grade; whichever comes first. Yes, this is similar to the draft the United States had during the Vietnam “War,” except in the USA, you had a small chance of not getting drafted, and only men had to make themselves available.

Israeli Shministims (L-R) Omer Goldman, Sahar Vardi, and Netta Mishly.

“I believe in service to the society I am a part of, and that is precisely why I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country,” Omer Goldman said, pictured above. “I want all those Palestinian youths who have lost hope to see that there are Israelis who care and who make a different choice,” Or Ben-David Katz said. All of the above pictured individuals are either in prison now or have served prison time for refusing to murder and colonize Palestinians.

All Shministims have views similar or exactly the same sentiments as expressed above.

I wrote on Twitter the other day that my discovery of these young people helped temporarily restore my dying faith in humanity (though that euphoria was doused pretty quickly when reality kicked back in and I realized I still live in a country that arrests people for providing food to the homeless.).

The Shministim need to know that solidarity against tyranny is global and what they are doing is not only brave, but admirable beyond description. It’s no secret that my feelings towards “Israel” are not positive, but now it’s apparent there are a few human beings living in that colony as well. The Shministim are critical thinkers, like Americans who refuse to lap up all the B.S. this government feeds us regarding 9/11, the mass murder of millions of Iraqis, and worldwide occupation of several countries.

Please send a pre-written letter to the Israeli Defense Minister here and demand they stop imprisoning their own citizens who refuse to take part in mass murder and colonization. Much love to you all.

Watch an interview on GritTV with two Shministim

We’ll all prevail by any means necessary, my Shministim brothers and sisters in Israel.

One thought on “FREE THE SHMINISTIM: Israeli Teens Imprisoned For Refusing Military Service

  1. Kittii Doherty

    I ran across an interesting blog:




    I’m also on a Messianic Blog that wants equal rights, but they seem a little one sided when itcomes criticizing Israel.



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