Report: Israeli teens tell PM they 'refuse to be cannon fodder'

12:00 Mar 8 2014 Israel

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli teens on Saturday sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing their moral objection to the Israeli army's actions and their intention to refuse enlistment, Israeli media reported.

The Israeli news site Ynet reported that in the letter the teens condemned the army's "war crimes according to international law," citing "executions without trial ... administrative arrests, torture, (and) collective punishments."

"Following our conscience, we cannot take part in a system that commits the aforementioned acts," the letter said.

The teens saw the army's actions as an obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, according to the report.

Mandy Kretner, one of the authors of the letter, said in a statement that "the army's actions distance us from finding a solution and reaching peace, justice and security."

"The army serves the powerful people in society and not the citizens, who are only a tool," said another of the letter's signatories, Shaked Harari.

"Me and my friends refuse to be cannon fodder," Harari added.

Additionally, the teens decried the army's problematic impact on Israeli society, according to the Ynet report.

Mandatory army service leads "to racism and violence within society and to discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality and gender," the teens noted.

Although the majority of Israeli Jews enlist in the armed forces, every year a small number refuse to serve.
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