Monday, March 02, 2009

Meet Tamar Katz, Israeli Army Refuser

One of the things that has kept me away from blogging over the last couple of weeks has been my involvement in the forthcoming visit to Britain by Tamar Katz, a young woman who has refused to serve in Israel's army.

Don't miss this if you can possibly help it.

The Shministim speak: Israeli student jailed for refusing to serve in army tours Britain, 5-14 March 2009

British activists are hosting a speaker tour with Tamar Katz, one of the Shministim, Israeli high school students jailed for refusing to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories. She is being brought over by Workers’ Liberty students, but the meetings are being hosted by a variety of organisations.

Tamar, 19, was jailed three times, for a total of 51 days at the end of 2008, for refusing to take part in military service. She explained why:

“I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military on conscientious grounds. I am not willing to become part of an occupying army, that has been an invader of foreign lands for decades, which perpetuates a racist regime of robbery in these lands, tyrannizes civilians and makes life difficult for millions under a false pretext of security.

“I oppose the anti-Palestinian policy of attrition and the oppression, not because I prefer the Palestinian society to the Israeli one, but out of an understanding that this policy has led us down a dead-end road politically and to immorality, forced especially on soldiers stationed in the Occupied Territories. I am not willing to become one of those holding the gun pointed indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians, and I do not believe that such actions could bring any change except ever more antagonism and violence in our region.”

This is an excellent opportunity for student and trade union activists who opposed the war in Gaza to learn more about the ‘other Israel’ – Israeli anti-war activists, students and workers who desperately need our support and solidarity.

Tamar will be speaking at universities across the UK, as well as to some trade union meetings, including the rail union RMT’s London Transport Region, which is sponsoring the tour.

More information as and when:

7pm, Thursday 5 March – LONDON
Meeting and reception hosted by RMT London Transport Region and Finsbury Park RMT
The Twelve Pins pub, 263 Seven Sisters Rd, London N4 2DE (next to Finsbury Park tube)
For more information email Janine

Lunchtime, Friday 6 March - BRIGHTON
Sussex University – email Koos

7pm, Friday 6 March - LONDON
“International Solidarity for Women’s Liberation” – meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day hosted by Feminist Fightback, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and others
Room 3a, University of London Union, Malet Street
Email Rebecca
Facebook event here

2.30pm, Saturday 6 March - NEWCASTLE
RMT Women's Conference, Grand Station Hotel Email Janine

1pm, Monday 9 March – MANCHESTER
MR1, University of Manchester Students' Union, Oxford Road - email Hazel Kent
Facebook event here

6pm, Monday 9 March – BRADFORD
Richmond Building, Bradford University, hosted by University of Bradford Union - email Lloyd
Free tickets here

Evening, Tuesday 10 March - CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge University, hosted by Workers’ Liberty – email Patrick

1pm, Wednesday 11 March – NOTTINGHAM
A40 Clive Granger, University Park, Nottingham University, hosted by Nottingham Student Peace Movement - email Adam
Facebook event here

7:30pm, Wednesday 11 March – SHEFFIELD
Arts Tower Lecture Theatre 6, Sheffield University, hosted by Workers’ Liberty – email Daniel
Facebook event here

6.30pm, Thursday 12 March - EDINBURGH
Edinburgh University – email Darcy Leigh.

1pm, Friday 13 March – LONDON
The Underground, East Building, Houghton Street, LSE, hosted by LSESU Palestine Society – email
Facebook event here

For more information about the tour in general, email Heather Shaw or ring 07969 597 251
For more about the Shministim, visit