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A note from Shministit Omer Goldman

My name is Omer Goldman. I am 19 years old. I am one of the Shministim. Thank you for signing the Shministim letter to support me and my friends.

Tell your friends to send a letter to the Israeli Minister of Defense.

I first went to prison on September 23 and served 35 days. I am lucky, after 2 times in jail, I got a medical discharge, but I'm the only one. By the time you read this, many of my friends will be in prison too: in for three weeks, out for one, and then back in, over and over, until they are 21. The reason? We refuse to do military service for the Israeli army because of the occupation.

I grew up with the army. My father was deputy head of Mossad and I saw my sister, who is eight years older than me, do her military service. As a young girl, I wanted to be a soldier. The military was such a part of my life that I never even questioned it.

Earlier this year, I went to a peace demonstration in Palestine. I had always been told that the Israeli army was there to defend me, but during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side.

When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed. And so, I have joined with a number of other young people who are refusing to serve - they call us the Shministim. On December 18th, we are holding a Day of Action in Israel, and we are determined to show Israelis and the world that there is wide support for stopping a culture of war. Will you join us? Please, tell your loved ones to sign a letter. That's all it takes.

Many have asked me about what it was like for me during this time. Of course I got scared while in prison. But also, it's frightening that my country is the way that it is, locking up young people who are against violence and war. And I worry that what I am doing may damage my future. It's hard to go from being a free girl who can decide things for herself -- what to wear, who to see, what to eat -- and then go back to having every minute of the day time-tabled.

Last time I was out of prison, I went to see my dad. We tried not to talk politics. He cares about me as his daughter, that I am suffering, but he doesn't want to hear my views. He never came to visit me in prison. I think it was too hard for him to see me in there. He is an army man.

I suppose, actually, we have similar characters. We both fight for what we believe in.

I understand from our friends at Jewish Voice for Peace that you are also someone who fights for what you believe in. Believe in me. Believe in Omer Goldman. Believe in the Shministim.

Thank you,

Omer Goldman
Tel-Aviv, Israel

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or is it the one that I just sent you? Just wishing I could be as fast as you are.

I encourage all to sign on to the letter posted above. Have gotten mails from folks in the region who call the Israeli blockade a genocide. Aid being kept from all Palestinians because the bombings of a very few. People are dying of starvation, lack of medication and clean water and fuel, and well, by being killed directly. We need to support the Israeli youth who are refusing to be involved in the actions of their government, just as we need to support our military folks who refuse to engage in our illegal wars. Thank you. Rain


fast as you. Try to keep my praise down, but really have hard time doing it.

Everyone needs to hear this story.

Unfiltered Video Commentary:
Conyers Pretends to Care About Torture

but it wasn't work. I clicked on the forward button:) Now sending to my paper and congress critter.

Thank you and did you send to organizers? If not, I will do.

The Israeli & U.S. govt's have been partners in crime since 1947! Israeli apartheid policies deliberately create endless war & demonize the oil-rich Arab/Muslim countries! This could lead us into WWIII & a one-world gov't dictatorship!

Hello Omer, I just finished watching a telephone interview with you on CTV, the Canadian broadcaster. I would like you to know that i admire you're courage and that of your friends. I have been watching the drama unfold on TV for the past couple weeks. As a Canadian of Jamaican decent, I sit and watch in agony as Israel destroys the lives of countless civilians. I am not a supporter of Hamas, nor was I of Hezbollah in the war of 2006, but I found myself rooting for them and that saddens me. What’s even more disturbing is that my country's government, and other western leaders non so than the U.S., are giving Israel unyielding support as they inflict utter carnage on the Palestinian people.

I am well aware tha t Hamas fired first, but justifying the deaths of civilians in the name of security is mind boggling to me. It seems to me that Israel looks for any excuse to destroy lives. Its quite ironic that a people who have endured so much suffering by the hands of others would inflict so much suffering on another people. And we see the media propaganda blitz my Israeli talking heads such as Mark Regev and the sort is enough to make you sick to your stomach.

In the west, any criticism of Israeli is labelled anti-Semite and I'm sick of it. If the world can sit back and watch as they kill school children as they did in Qana in Lebanon and recently in Palestine, then I don't see any end in sight for unchecked Israeli carnage.

It’s good to see that not all Israelis are supporting their country's destructive behaviour. Good look in your fight sister, and I will do everything in my power to see that Canadians are conscious of this injustice.

Keneve, I feel compelled to correct the mis-information in your post, but I understand why you said "I am well aware that Hamas fired first" - you said that because that's exactly what you've been seeing/hearing on TV, and I don't mean to sound insulting.

As everyone knows that follows the issue closely, it was Israel that broke the truce which began in June of 2008. This was even reported by former president Carter in the Washington Post on January 7th:
He says: "And this fragile truce was partially broken on Nov. 4, when Israel launched an attack in Gaza to destroy a defensive tunnel being dug by Hamas inside the wall that encloses Gaza."

This has also been noted by the well known Israeli peace group Gush Shalom in a press release from December 25: "It is Israel which broke the truce – already a month and a half ago, in early November, the State of Israel broke the truce in a series of military attacks on Gaza, which caused the death of six Palestinians. In this way, the government of Israel, with its own hands, brought a rain of Qassam missiles upon the heads of the inhabitants of Sderot and the other Gaza Border communities."

Please see their website:

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