A demonstration in support of Omar Sa’ad, a young communist and musician, who has been sentenced to a second term of 20 days in prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli Army, will take place this coming Saturday, January 4 at 12:30 opposite the Military Prison No. 6 in Atlit near Haifa.
Sa’ad, 18 years old from Maghar, a village in the Galil, arrived, Sunday December 22, to the Induction Base in Tal Hashomer, where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. Last week, Sa’ad was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment for his refusal, for the second time, in the military prison No. 6 near Atlit.
Omar Sa’ad is a young guy belonging to the Palestinian Arab Druze community. This community, in contrast to Arab society in large, was the target of a decision by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in 1956 that forced them to serve in the Israeli army. Following this decision, mobilization orders were sent to all Druze citizens in deployment age. That decision was faced with serious resistance from the Druze community for many reasons. The main reasons were: refusing to fight against their own people and demanding to be treated just like the rest of the Palestinian Arab society in Israel.
In his refusal deceleration Omar wrote:
“I am Omar Zahreddeen Mohammad Sa’ad from Maghar village-Galilee.
I received a summons to present myself at the recruitment offices on October 31, 2012 so as to go through the regular tests needed for the army service which is compulsory for the Druze community. But I wish to make the following statement:
“I refuse to go through those tests because I completely oppose the compulsory army service for my people of the Druze community.
“I refuse because I am a man of peace, and abhor violence in all its forms and believe that the military establishment is the optimum of physical and psychological violence. Ever since I received the summons I feel my life has been toppled upside down. I feel nervous and unable to focus. I remembered the thousands of harsh images and could not see myself in the military uniform and taking part in oppressing my own people, the Palestinians, or fighting my Arab brothers. In fact I declare myself as a conscientious objector and refuse to serve in any army.
“I abhor oppression and oppose occupation, I detest any form of fanaticism or suppression of freedom, and I hate whoever arrests children, women and elderly men.
“I am a musician and play viola and I have friends, musicians from Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Shafa’amr, Eilaboun, Rome, Athens, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Oslo, and we all play for humanity and peace. Our only weapon is our musical instruments, and we shall not carry any other weapon.
“I belong to a community that has been subjected to a grave injustice by an oppressive law. How can we fight against our own relatives in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt? How can I carry arms against my brothers and my own people in Palestine? How can I be soldier at the Qalandia check point or at any other barrier when I have experienced the oppression of barriers?
“How can I prevent people from Ramallah visiting their city, Jerusalem? How can I guard the separation wall?
“How can I be the jailer of my own people when I know that most of them are prisoners of war and seekers of justice and freedom?
“I play for joy, freedom, and a just peace, with an end to the settlements and the military occupation, and the release of all prisoners, and the return of the refugees. I play for the establishment of a Palestinian State with Al-Quds as its capital.
“Many of our Druze men served in the Israeli army according to the compulsory law of service. But what did we get out of this? We are discriminated against on all levels. Our villages are the poorest, our land has been confiscated, there is no urban planning or industrial areas. The ratio of university graduates from our villages is the lowest in the area, and the unemployment ratio is the highest. That compulsory law has distanced and isolated us from our Arab community.
“This year I will graduate from high school and I am hoping to be able to resume my university education. I am sure the military will try to bar me from realizing my humane ambition but I declare it loud and clear: I am Omar Zahreddeen Mohammad Saad and will not be fuel for your arms or a soldier in your army.”
His prison address is:
Military ID 08143090
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.
Please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.
Other recommendations for action:
Sending Letters of Support
Please send Omar letters of support to the prison address above and via e-mail to: email@example.com
Letters to Authorities
It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:
Mr. Moshe Ya’alon,
Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:
Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-Hashomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:
Gil Ben Shaul,
Commander of Induction Base,
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.
Omar Sa’ad support website (English and Arabic): http://supportomar.weebly.com/