Statement of Yair Khilou

(Yair was imprisoned on December 23, 2001 for refusal to enlist in the Israeli army.)

My name is Yair Khilou and I am 18 years old. I have refused to enlist in
the army, and will soon be sent to military prison for that. I decided to
write this statement before I am imprisoned because I believe that the
reasons motivating me in my refusal to enlist in the army are shared by many

When I am asked to become part of a large and violent body such as the
Israeli army, I should ask in what activities this body is engaged and whom
does it serve. My parents, teachers and peers might answer that the army of
the state is necessary to preserve my own security and the security of the
citizens of the State of Israel. I desire very much that there will be
security for the citizens of Israel and for me. And still, I find this
answer to be unsatisfactory. 

I fail to understand how does that pure Jewish
space, which the State of Israel persistently tries to create by force since
its establishment increases our security. I fail to understand how the
repression of the Palestinian resistance to Israel by means of state
terror - more cruel and of wider scale even than the counter terror which it
provokes - serves the society that I am part of. How does the activity of
the state, implemented through the army, can benefit me and those I care
for? The 'sterile' Jewish space created by the State of Israel is a ghetto
for its Jewish residents as well. It prevents them from integrating into the
Middle East. Nobody is safe in this space - neither Jews nor Arabs.

Still, my opponents might claim, the State of Israel is a democracy and its
army is the people's army. I wonder where these people live. I have no
ability to affect the actions of the army, although my friends and I
definitely try. I am unable to stop war, unemployment, inequalities. The
vast majority of Israeli citizens wish to change this state of affairs. And
still, the state does everything to block peace, welfare and equality.
Mysteriously, everything ends up serving the interests of capitalists and

The Israeli military men and capitalists, together with their Palestinian
peers, do everything they can to remain in power. Their mass media and
educational system spread vicious nationalistic propaganda, hatred and fear.
Thus they divide and rule us. They incite against each other Arabs and Jews,
East and West, while they continue to reign. 

These are our real enemies,
preventing us from attaining physical and economical security. Against them
Arabs and Jews should stand together. I am not willing to accept such a reality.
I am all the more unwilling to contribute to its continuation and fortification by serving
in the Israeli army or in any other terrorist organisation.

For more information about Yair Khilou and others like him visit New Profile