As parents of a boy destined for enlistment, we decided to take responsibility.


We refuse to let our son to serve in the IDF.

Sivan and Dori Tal

This statement appeared on Facebook January 8 2021:

We, the undersigned – Dori and Sivan Tal – refuse to send our son Yair Tal to serve in the IDF. Our refusal is due to reasons of conscience, as will be detailed below.

It’s commonly argued that the decision to refuse to enlist to the IDF is a political decision. We agree with this statement. Furthermore, the logical conclusion of it is that the decision to enlist to the IDF is also a political decision. It is also commonly argued that 18 is too young an age for a political decision of this importance. Here we intervene as parents and claim responsibility for the political decisions of our young son, and our decision is – NO!

Since the decision to enlist or to refuse enlisting the IDF is a political decision, it is crucial to learn the background, the historical facts, the political reality, and the different views on the topic – in order to formulate a political position for making such a decision. Unfortunately, the formal education that our son receives, like all teenagers in the Israeli education system, does not meet any criteria of responsible civic education. In fact, our son was pushed and encouraged to willingly enlist to the IDF in every step of the way. In schools, the history of the country is not truthfully told, and instead only a distorted narrative of it is built through the years to paint an imaginary reality of a peaceful state persecuted by evil-doers seeking to destroy it. All while the country itself is carrying out ethnic cleansing in order to control the land, and anti-democratically and inhumanely persecutes the opponents to the occupation and seeks to exclude and expel the native people of this country – the Palestinian people.

Our son will not be a part of the conquests of the extreme right government controlling the country. We will not allow him to die for the occupation of land and for causing the suffering of others. It is a despicable purpose to die for.

Yair is not religious, nor does he suffer from mental issues or other things that would have granted him exempt. He is healthy in his body and mind and we wish for him to stay that way. We have raised him with love, protected him, supported and educated him for 18 years to the universal values that we believe in. Serving in the IDF stands in stark contrast to these values. Yair is not the property of the state, and the state does not have a moral right to forcibly recruit him to an organization that consistently violates international human rights conventions. We believe that it is our moral duty to oppose his enlistment to the IDF. It is our responsibility as parents.

Additionally, we do not recognise the “conscience committee” of the IDF as the authority to judge in these questions of conscience and morality regarding enlistment and refusal. Our conscience is clear, and we are not asking for the validation and approval of the IDF.

We are certain in our stance that the IDF operations in Gaza and the West Bank are war crimes and crimes against humanity. They severely harm the local population and are a blatant violation of human rights, and do not meet any moral standards. Moreover, they also harm the chance for future coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. Beyond the severe harm to the Palestinian population, these operations also hurt the soldiers – at least those whose hearts are not sealed to the suffering of other human beings and are being forced to cause suffering and injustice.

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