IDF Refusenik speaks to PSC


By richmillett
November 16, 2010
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Israeli army refusenik Rotem Mor, 29, spoke to Merton Palestine Solidarity Campaign last night at the Irish Centre in Wimbledon and, unwittingly, exposed the hypocrisy of his audience.

Rotem is only a half-refusenik. He had served one and a half years in the Israeli Army as a teacher and subsequently served a one month prison sentence for not completing the three years.

Last night Rotem detailed his political activitism which included fighting the wall that divides Israelis and Palestinians, helping to rebuild demolished Palestinian homes, holding seminars where Israeli youngsters could talk freely about being conscripted into the army and creating a summer camp where Israelis and Palestinians could meet.

He said that many young Israelis who had been to his seminars had gone on to refuse army service and in Beit Surik he was instrumental in having the wall re-routed on to the Green Line after a Supreme Court judgment.

Rotem went on to show us photos and newspaper cuttings of his travels throughout the world with other Israeli refusniks.

He showed us pictures of him meeting Palestinians and felt that Israelis and Palestinians should meet more. Then, he said, during war Israelis might think twice before attacking Palestinian friends and Palestinians might think the same about their Israeli friends.

He also showed us pictures of his friend Yehuda who lives on a settlement. Yehuda, although religious, moved to the settlement because it was cheap. Rotem said that is was only a minority of settlers that burn Palestinian olive trees.

All this talk of cross communal dialogue was very nice but during the Q&A the audience was determined to hear more criticism of Israel.

Rotem was asked why refused. Was it due to the illegality of the occupation? Rotem told the audience that international law was complex and his refusal was based merely on seeing how soldiers suffer.

He was also asked whether people should boycott Israeli goods. He said Palestinians should as they were the ones suffering but that the English had no moral grounds for doing so due to the occupation of Afghanistan. He said he could easily boycott 99% of British rock groups if he wished to.

The audience tried to persuade Rotem that they hadn’t themselves voted for the war in Afghanistan and that Israel was on a par with apartheid South Africa.

But Rotem told them that they had responsibility for their own government’s choices and whereas in boycotting South Africa the reasonable objective had been one man one vote in boycotting Israel there was no objective.

By now the audience was not happy that a young Israeli was preaching to them about their hypocrisy.

Finally, he was asked about the difficulty of living in Israel (Rotem lives just outside Jerusalem) after refusing. He said it wasn’t difficult.

Socially things are fine for him and being a refusenik has allowed him to travel the world, give talks and meet people. He now owns Jerusalem Reality Tours and is currently writing a book about his experiences.

Obviously refusing to serve in the IDF can be a potentially lucrative business idea.

http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/israeli-army-refusenik-sp...

COMMENTS

Avraham Reiss

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 19:06

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Quite frankly, I think the guy is a loser. I wouldn't have missed my many IDF experiences for all the world.

The most outstanding, was probably a month 40km inside Lebanon, on a clear morning we could see Beirut.

And what was so outstanding? Nothing military at all. It was the view! We were based on the top of the tallest mountain range in the region (Jabal Barukh). Clouds 500 meter below us slowly climbed and emveloped us in a great mist. As they cleared, you could see the mountainside slowly re-appearing, as if you were witnessing its very creation.

Ever since then (1984!) every Shabat morning when I say the verses in Tehilim (psalms) Chapter 90:
1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the
earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art
God.

- I always recall that vision of the clouds disappearing, and the mountainside slowly re-appearing.

I never had an experience like that as a civilian. And that was just one experience.

Poor loser!


jose (not verified)

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 19:55

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As usual, Avraham misses the point, despite the efforts Richard made to explain.
The point is that the British supporters of Palestinians are hypocrits who invited someone they believed would be as full of hate as they are against Israel. And they were not happy to see that although Rotem was obviously an opponent of present Israeli government and a peace supporter (who isn't, in Israel?), he did not support at all their hateful views and irrelevant comparison with apartheid.

Hypocrits they were, hypocrits they remain.


Avraham Reiss

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 20:15

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Anthony,
first if you say "as usual", cite additional cases.

Secondly, I didn't miss any point. Richard explained it so well and thoroughly that no further comment was neccessary - but that point YOU missed, Anthony, and started explaining all over again what every other reader understood perfectly from Richard.

You post adds NOTHING to what Richard explained.

Physician - heal thyself! (and what about the burkas?)


jose (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 04:58

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telegramsam, your miss the point every single time you post on the JC website, whether with your real name or with that ridiculous pseudo of Avraham Reiss.
Remember that adding something IRRELEVANT is not adding, but just an attempt to change a subject or a proof that you do not understand the subject. And your split personality disorder is not an excuse.


Stanley Walinets

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 11:57

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Avraham Reiss 16 November, 2010 - 18:06 wrote re IDF
refusenik Rotem:

" Quite frankly, I think the guy is a loser. I wouldn't have missed my many IDF experiences for all the world.

The most outstanding, was probably a month 40km inside Lebanon, on a clear morning we could see Beirut."

It's extremely depressing to think that someone who's been an Israeli soldier sees the whole purpose and value of his service as being to delight in the wonderful views across the land he's invaded. No thought whatever as to why he's been commanded to invade, or the harm he might be doing to the people whose land he's invading.... Or, no -- he does give the morality of what armies do SOME thought: he puts down a soldier who does think about such things, like Rotem, as 'a loser'.

Really, Avraham, is the IDF's main job simply to provide holiday travel for its troops? Imagine some army invading where YOU live -- would you be saying "Cheers mate, enjoy!" to some soldier blissfully enjoying your local beauty spots?

If your brain power is so limited, Avraham, I do question whether you really are a Jew....


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:05

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Stanley, I think it is unfair of you to question whether Avraham is a Jew. We have to accept him as he is and what he says he is. Also, it is a bit antisemitic to suggest that Jews have superior brain power.


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:38

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walinets, truth-twister.
"It's extremely depressing to think that someone who's been an Israeli soldier sees the whole purpose and value of his service as being to delight in the wonderful views across the land he's invaded."

I did NOT write what you have written in the above quoted sentence; you twisted my words. Because the period was a quiet and eventless one, I was free to enjoy the views - which I did wholeheartedly. But this in no way deterred me from my mission as an IDF soldier.

Another sad quote:
" No thought whatever as to why he's been commanded to invade, or the harm he might be doing to the people whose land he's invading"

Another walinets lie. You can't possibly move around in Lebanon without being totally aware of the situation in which you as an IDF soldier are part of a large military force inside an enemy country.

I could have told of the time during that period when a soldier was killed in an episode involving tanks and half-tracks, where I was part of the force operating that mission. It just wasn't to the point, which was the cowardice of those you laud.

Another walinets distortion:
"the harm he might be doing to the people whose land he's invading"

- Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 because Arafat had massed on Israel's borders 60,000 terrorists - the largest terrorist camp in the world. Israel's mission was to move them out of Lebanon - which it did at that time. Photos of Arafat and his henchmen leaving Beirut by boat are still extant.

Since I was some stationed some 40KM behind enemy lines,
I perforce drove thru 40KM of Lebanese territory, from south to north (and the other war round on the one leave I had during that month). I saw NO evidence of harm to local villages, and indeed our instructions were not to harm them. If villages harboured terrorists then they may have gotten clobbered at the time. This is in full accordance with Jewish law, walinets' law here being as relevant as walinets himself.

"Really, Avraham, is the IDF's main job simply to provide holiday travel for its troops? Imagine some army invading where YOU live -- would you be saying "Cheers mate, enjoy!" to some soldier blissfully enjoying your local beauty spots?"

That just shows how removed from reality are those cowards who run from IDF service. NOBODY volunteered to serve in Lebanon. I served in a reserve combat unit, leaving a wife and three kids at home at that time, and only enlisted when called to the flag. But while I was there, I didn't pass the time trembling in my boots, and having been put in that situation managed to look around and enjoy the view.

And as I have said, the time I was there - August-September 1984 - Lebanon was so quiet that there was plenty of freedom of mind to enjoy the view.

Incidentally, I wasn't alone in this. Those I was with all really enjoyed seeing genuine Cedars of Lebanon. And cruising past Lake Karoun, which lies at the foot of Jabal Barukh, everyone in the transport in which I was travelling took time to marvel at the really beautiful villas surrounding the lake.

"If your brain power is so limited, Avraham, I do question whether you really are a Jew.... "

Such slurs from gutless, leftist scum, who are afraid of serving in the IDF but hypocritically try to cover the quaking in their boots with "ideology", don't influence me in the slightest.

You are scum for twisting my words and claiming things I have never said or thought, but that is par for the course for all IDF deserters and refusers. Scum of the earth.

And if you don't live in Israel, you are no different from telegramsam in your hypocricy and hatred.

Simmer and stew in them!


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:43

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"Also, it is a bit antisemitic to suggest that Jews have superior brain power."

------------------

Nobel Prize Winners

ARAB NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS :
ARAB/ISLAMIC: 1,200,000,000 Muslims (or about 20% of the world's population)

Literature:
1988 - Najib Mahfooz.

Peace:
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yaser Arafat

Chemistry:
1990 - Elias James Corey
1999 - Ahmed Zewail

Medicine:
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
JEWISH NOBEL WINNERS:

JEWS 14,000,000 (or about 0.02% of the world's population, or about the population of Nepal or Morocco)

Literature:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

Chemistry:
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1972 - William Howard Stein
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1989 - Sidney Altman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Rober Fogel

Medicine:
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - David Baltimore
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis

Physics:
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1995 - Martin Perl

(Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago, Ill., Britannica Book of the Year, 1999)

Admittedly, though, the Muslim world dwarfs the Jewish world in the number of terrorists, suicide bombers, slave traders and religious leaders calling for "holy wars." They should spend a little more time on education, and less time on blaming the Jews for all
their problems.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:46

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Avraham, while you have every right to express your views brusquely, do you think that it is proper and correct to refer to a brother Jew as "scum"?


amber

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:51

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Stanley, you did indeed twist Avraham's words. And I would add that Israel went into Lebanon because they were attacked from Lebanon. You present it simplistically as if Israel went in just on a whim for a holiday.

That's just silly, isn't it?


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:53

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"do you think that it is proper and correct to refer to a brother Jew as "scum"?"

The height of hypocrisy, from someone who wrote about me just TWO DAYS ago:

"Why on earth would anyone want to go up against a sick and pathetic individual like yourself. I'm surprised with that fevered "mind" of yours that you haven't run of to your stuermer-like website to commune with your antisemitic friends Hagee and Robertson.
You have no "facts" to "tear apart", only hatred, bile and misplaced sense of being superior. You's look good in a black shirt with a death's head badge."

Now you talk about "brother Jews" becuse he's the same type of scum as you?


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 12:54

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Avraham, many thanks for that illustrative list. However, as a scholar, you are no doubt aware that there is a Western bias in the Nobel prize-giving process (and by Western, one has to include the Russians and other "East" Europeans). Therefore, the Jewish laureates were a product of their countries excellent educational and research facilities. These, until the recent past, have been far more economically endowed than their Eastern (Middle Eastern, Far Eastern, African etc) counterparts. Now, with the world's economic power shifting Eastwards, we will possibly see a shift in the centres of research excellence.
I sincerely hope that you are not buying into the antisemitic canard that Jews are cleverer than non-Jews.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:01

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Avraham, dear brother, I wouldn't want to burden you with repetition, but as I wrote elsewhere here

I do not wish to get into a situation whereby it becomes una fabula, scripta iterum iterumque.
And as Peter de Villiers, the South African rugby coach, has said: "If you dwell too much on the past, you forget to move on and everyone will catch up with you." Do you want to keep on recycling old arguments or be left behind? I hope not.

And to Stanley I wrote:

Stanley, I think it is unfair of you to question whether Avraham is a Jew. We have to accept him as he is and what he says he is.


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:04

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"I sincerely hope that you are not buying into the antisemitic canard that Jews are cleverer than non-Jews"

Heavens forbid! The Jews only got so many Nobel Prizes because [quote] there is a Western bias in the Nobel prize-giving process [unquote] in favour of the Jews.

Actually, we are a really stupid people, as is well demonstrated by a Jewish newspaper giving free rein to blatant anti-Semites to express their views and hatred.

Of course, it is well-known that all our superior nuclear and satellite technology (just to name two) we received from Jordan as part of the peace agreement we signed with them.


Avraham Reiss

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:10

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"Do you want to keep on recycling old arguments or be left behind? I hope not."

I didn't see any apology or regret for:

"You's look good in a black shirt with a death's head badge" and what preceded it.

I'm a Jew. I don't forget the past.
Deuteronomy 32,7.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:20

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Avraham, dear brother, I didn't say Jews were stupid. That too would be an antisemitic canard, along with "cunning", "big-nosed", "just look out for each other", "run the banks, media, etc", ad nauseum. I am merely saying, and I am sorry not to have been clearer on this, that as the poet Tchernichovsky wrote, "a person is merely the product of his environment". And by and large the environment in which our Jewish Nobel laureates operated was one of Western academic excellence.
I do indeed regret having lost my rag with you and others. I believe I expressed that regret. However, since we are all old enough and ugly enough to recognise our failings, it would be disingenuous of any of us to apologise.


mattpryor

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:25

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You didn't lose your rag, it was a calculate attack of the most vicious kind, replete with the most horrendous Nazi slurs.

I won't forget it either.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:37

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Matt, with all due respect, I lost my rag. I recognised it and expressed regret. I do not others to understand this or indeed change their ways. I will merely try and be less confrontational. I, too, will not forget it as it will guide me in my posting heretoforth.


mattpryor

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:51

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So either:

When you lose your rag you go around calling Jews Nazis

Or

It was a calculated attack

Neither of these says very much about your character.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 13:58

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Matt, thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this further. I lost my rag, recognised it as such and regretted it. Happens. I'm human, and as Amber and I have agreed, humans have flaws. It was wrong to call anyone a Nazi if they are not Nazis.

Remember to err is human. Now you have two options:
Either: to forgive is divine
Or: to moo is bovine (just a little joke, not suggesting for a second that you are in anyway bovine).


mattpryor

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:08

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Normal people do not go around calling Jews "Nazis" when they "lose their rag". Only Jew haters do that. And there was nothing in Avraham's post that attacked you or warranted such a response.

I will neither forgive you or forget it. I gave you the opportunity to apologise in a separate blog post for the things you have said to people on this website and you refused. Your choice, your consequences.

Therefore I will also not stop reminding others on this website what you wrote. It was disgusting. Your words disgust me. Everything you write disgusts me.


mattpryor

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:09

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And do not call me "Matt". You have no right to address me by my first name.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:12

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Matt, I am truly sorry you feel that way. However, I would with respect suggest that you look at the way others addressed me. Perhaps, then, you will be able to realise that any apology would be disingenuous. We are all human and flawed.


mattpryor

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:15

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I have been paying plenty of attention thanks, to the way YOU have spoken to others and their REACTIONS.

You might fool people who have just started visiting this website, you do not fool anyone else. And all of your hateful comments are here on record.

You are like a small child that bullies others and then cries to their mother when they are hit back. It's pathetic.

And stop calling me Matt. You are not my friend.


telegramsam

Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:18

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Matt, with respect, I have no other name to call you, and in a blog the far too formal Mr or Sir is just out of place. I will endeavour to continue being polite, you can respond in any way you like. But do you not think that by persisting in raking up past expressions of anger, you are perhaps in danger of being seen as baiting? Just a word to the wise.

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