Second generation conscientious objector: “I refuse to serve”

In two days, 18-year-old Tamar Alon will arrive at the army induction center but rather than putting on a uniform she will be headed to jail. Alon declared that she is unable to serve in the Israel Defense Forces for conscientious reasons. Alon’s father, Chen Alon was also a conscientious objector unwilling to serve during the Second Intifada and now his daughter follows in his footsteps. “I have been waiting a long time for the day I’ll go to jail,” she said.
Tamar Alon awaits her jail sentence for refusing to serve Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Like every girl her age, Alon will arrive at the Army Induction Center for her conscription to the IDF. However, unlike everyone else, she will immediately be sentenced to jail as she plans to declare her refusal to serve for conscientious reasons.

Alon explains that the inspiration came from her father: “My father was an officer in the tank unit and during the Second Intifada, he refused to serve in the territories, so he sat in jail.” As of now, she intends to follow her father in this path for the same reasons.

According to Alon, she “is unwilling to accept the claim that the oppression and denial of human rights of another people is necessary for the State of Israel to exist.” Alon says she is not afraid to go to military jail and as such has prepared herself for her arrest. “I’ve prepared myself,” she said. “For a long time, I have been preparing myself for the moment I will go to jail.”

“She will arrive at the Army Recruitment Office and they will immediately tell her to soldier up,” Sahar Vardi from the movement Objectors explained. “She will object to do so and at the end, she will face charges as a soldier refusing to follow orders. She will be tried and will be sentenced for a week up to a month.”

Alon explains that it is important for her to raise awareness for this issue even at the personal cost of publicity. “It is so important that others hear my story and start a discussion about it,” she said. “So yes, I am ready to take on the heavy personal cost of sitting in jail.”

This past week in a post on Facebook, Alon confessed that she made the decision after hearing two grieving brothers, an Israeli and a Palestinian, speak at a memorial ceremony for Combatants for Peace.  When she met the two, she told them, “I had not yet told anyone about it but when you finished speaking and everyone gave you a standing ovation, it was then that I decided, ‘that’s it, I am not drafting.’”

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