Voices & Stories From a Warm, Wet Planet
Israeli Refuseniks & A Living Lab For Climate Action
In most countries, being a soldier is something you do willingly — if not gladly – if your country is under attack, or if following orders, carrying a gun and shooting people on command turn your crank. By and large, young people opt not to join the military.
Not so in Israel.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are Israel’s most beloved national institution. Obligatory conscription, at the age of eighteen, is a ‘rite of passage’, a ‘sacred duty’ Israeli youth look forward to and embrace with pride.
But there are exceptions.
Horrified by the “Jewish” state’s permanent military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and its apartheid-style subjugation of five million Palestinians, a small but increasing number of young Israelis are refusing to serve.
This past summer, the GPM spoke with two young Israeli resisters. Both are members of the anti-occupation network Mesarvot.
Noam Aharony is eighteen, and has just been granted conscientious objector status. Ayelet is sixteen, but has started gearing up to say no.
Last May, on Pride Day, Ayelet got detained for carrying a sign that read “No Pride in the Occupation” – and a Palestinian flag.
The GPM spoke with Noam and Ayelet in a park in Tel Aviv. Lots of birds over our heads. They do quiet down.
This coming November, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the international community will take yet another crack at addressing the climate crisis.
If the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention is anything like COP-26, in Glasgow, it will be a bust. The fossil fuel industry will be out in force, as it always is, furiously lobbying for oil, gas and coal exploration and exploitation.
As industry and world leaders cop out once again, others dig for solutions – where solutions count the most. Cities consume almost eighty percent of global energy resources, and generate sixty percent of earth-warming emissions.
Urban buildings account for a third of energy consumption and forty percent of emissions.
Here’s a story from the Swedish city of Goteborg, about a Living Lab for carbon neutrality.