Release Tal Mitnick! Our letter to the Israeli Defence minister

By Payday

TO: Minister of Defence of Israel, Yoav Gallant

Tal Mitnick has been imprisoned for his refusal to participate in genocide against the Palestinian people.  When he refused to be drafted into the military, Mr Mitnick declared:

 “My refusal is an attempt to influence Israeli society and to avoid taking part in the occupation and the massacre happening in Gaza. I’m trying to say that it’s not in my name. I express solidarity with the innocent in Gaza. I know they want to live; they don’t deserve to be made refugees for the second time in their lives.”

Unlike yourself and other members of your government, he sees the children, babies, women and men of Gaza as human beings and not, as you say with extreme prejudice, “human animals”. You have used this term in order to justify your genocide.  But no animal has ever behaved with the brutality and sadism that Israel has shown towards the Palestinians.

Mr. Mitnick’s courageous stand against war crimes being committed in Gaza is strengthened by the International Court of Justice’ (ICJ) ruling that there is plausible evidence that Israel is committing genocidal acts in its assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In fact, an international movement is calling for immediate ceasefire and an end to the horrendous slaughter of defenceless women, children and men.

Not only does Mr. Mitnick refuse to become criminally culpable by taking part in crimes against humanity (as required by international law), he claims his human right to conscientious objection, as guaranteed by Article 18 of the of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Israel is a signatory.  In a decision from January 2007, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recognised the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as guaranteed by Article 18 of ICCPR.

This is also Mr. Mitnick’s second imprisonment. Repeated imprisonment is a violation of international legal standards. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in opinion 24/2003 on Israel, came to the conclusion that the repeated imprisonment of conscientious objectors and other refuseniks by Israel is arbitrary, and therefore it constitutes a violation of Article 14:7 of the ICCPR.

Mr. Mitnick is the most recent of an international stream of conscientious objectors (COs) and other refuseniks that our organisation has been supporting for many years. We have joined the #Object War Campaign demanding protection and asylum for COs and other war refusers in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In the events we take part in, like the weekly picket hosted by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK (IJAN-UK) in London at the Israeli Ambassador’s residence, we publicly support all refuseniks including Israeli refuseniks such as Mr. Mitnick.

The millions in the streets all over the world expressing their outrage and horror at the genocide – the crime of crimes – being committed at your direction in Gaza will be delighted to hear about Mr. Mitnick’s courageous stand and make him the international hero he deserves to be recognised as.

We therefore urge you to release Mr Mitnick, recognise his conscientious objection and stop punishing him for refusing to join the IDF.

Refusing to Kill Is Not a Crime. Ceasefire NOW.