This story was first published at refusers.org on February 24, 2023
As reported by Mesarvot and the Refuser Solidarity Network, in mid-February, Shahar Schwartz and Evyatar Moshe Rubin were released after 120 days in prison and received an exception to military service.
This is what Shahar and Evyatar said:
Shahar Schwartz after 130 days in military prison:
"I'm glad that the long months in prison are over, where I learned up close what it is like to lose your freedom. This experience only strengthened my opposition to the predatory regime enforced by the Israeli army in the Palestinian Territories, and I continue to believe that oppression should be resisted even at personal cost.”
Evyatar Moshe Rubin after 122 days in military prison:
"In an age where access to information is so widespread, refusal becomes an increasingly powerful tool. To me, the great battle regarding Israel is a battle for information - if only everyone knew the truth about the history of this country, about the terrible crimes that are committed here every day to maintain the racial dominance, the apartheid regime in the occupied territories would not last until the end of the year. As a result of my incarceration, I saw not only many of my friends in Israel being exposed to new content and information but also people abroad, an equally important arena for this struggle, who are more and more aware of the situation in Israel due to the publications and widespread support for refusers, especially on social media."
You can send a congratulation message to them here.
We are happy to know Shahar and Evyatar were released and exempted. However, the refuser Nave Shabtay Levin (19 y/o) is still incarcerated, after being sentenced to an additional 45 days in prison.
WRI continues supporting conscientious objectors in Israel and around the world.