The conference encourages young Israelis to shirk their duty to serve in the Jewish state’s military.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is hosting on Thursday in Tel Aviv an event for the Mesarvot organization which promotes and supports refusing to serve in the IDF.
The conference will feature a number of individuals who were refused to serve in the IDF and were punished for breaking the law that requires national service.
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is one of six political foundations in the Federal Republic of Germany associated with political parties. It is closely connected to Germany’s left-wing Die Linke Party. The Foundation’s declared main task is “to provide political education.”
“Through its work, the Foundation promotes a critical social analysis and fosters networks of emancipatory, political, social and cultural initiatives,” its site states.
The Foundation “is committed to a radical perspective of enlightenment and social criticism. It situates itself within the tradition of the workers’ and women’s movements, and operates within anti-fascist and anti-racist principles.”
Mesarvot describes itself as “a [IDF recruitment] refuser support network connecting different initiatives and refusal groups of recent years for joint action against the Israeli occupation.”
The organization has held several anti-IDF events.
For instance, in an event it held in July to mark the anniversary of the IDF’s counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Mesarvot focused solely on the Arab fatalities, without distinguishing between terrorists and civilians.
Mesarvot activist Noa Levy wrote a post in which she stated that “when we refuse to serve the Occupation, we also refuse to serve the fighting, cruelty and siege.”
Another post featured blood-stained clothing with the caption: “Over 200 dead in Gaza. Enough of murder. Refuse.”
In the past, the Be’Tsalmo legal rights organization has attempted to take the organization to court but was rejected on the grounds that the legal policy on encouraging refusal to join the IDF is extremely limited.
The Israeli law on the encouragement and solicitation of refusal to join the IDF calls for a sentence of up to five years in prison for anyone who encourages or supports or solicits people to refuse to serve in the IDF.
Be’Tsalmo says the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation “cross[ed] a red line” and accused Germany, a foreign government, of intervening in an internal issue and promoting criminal activity in Israel.
Be’Tsalmo approached the German Embassy in Israel and the Foundation on the issue but received no reply.