israeli conscientious objector natan blanc jailed for the tenth time in six months

by Tim Phillips

An Israeli military court jailed conscientious objector Natan Blanc for the tenth time on Sunday. He has refused to be inducted into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Ten consecutive jail sentences for being a conscientious objector is apparently a record in Israel. According to Monday’s Guardian article,

Natan Blanc was sent on Sunday to a military prison for 28 days, the longest sentence the 19-year-old has received since he was called up last November. His refusal to serve in the army was in part prompted by what he called the “wave of aggression that swept the country” during Israel’s 2008-9 war in Gaza and “a moral duty to refuse to participate” in a cycle of violence.

It was an IDF bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie on March 16, 2003. Also in 2003, an IDF soldier shot and killed British activist Tom Hurndall, and was later found guilty of manslaughter. On May 31, 2010, the IDF raided one of six ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, killed nine Turkish activists, and wounded approximately 55 others. Yesterday the International Criminal Court stated that it will launch a preliminary inquiry into the May 2010 raid, to decide whether to open a full investigation.