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About the Refuser Solidarity Network

Who We Are

The Refuser Solidarity Network (RSN) was formed in April of 2002 to provide support for the growing Refuser Movement in Israel. The initial impetus for the establishment of the RSN was the RSN members at Gaza checkpoint
Courage to Refuse members speak to soldiers at a Gaza checkpoint.
publication in January 2002 of the Combatants Letter by a group of 52 reserve officers, which later became Ometz Le'sarev or Courage to Refuse. RSN also supports Combatants for Peace, Yesh G'vul, the Shiministim, New Profile and other Israeli organizations advocating peaceful conflict resolution in Israel/Palestine and working to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories seized in 1967. A 501(c)3 charitable organization, RSN makes grants to refuser groups to support their work financially. RSN is funded entirely by contributions from individuals in the U.S. and around the world. Our mission is as follows:

RSN builds support for, seeks to increase the visibility of, and educates the public about the Israeli refuser movements, with the objective of working together with refusers to end Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

We encourage you to spend time looking through the RSN website. We offer many resources, giving you background about the Refuser Movement, and also materials you can download and use to educate others in your community.

We also help organize tours of Refusers all over the world. You can find out about tours in your area. You can also invite a Refuser to come to your city, town, community group or synagogue.

We also make it very easy for you to take action to support the Refusers.

Our deepest thanks in advance for your support!

—The Refuser Solidarity Network

April, 2002: Our Original Call to Action

Dear friend of peace in the Middle East,

The time has come. After months of intensifying violence, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Israelis and Palestinians, Israeli soldiers in increasing numbers are stepping forward to publicly announce their refusal to serve in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

With their own eyes, they have seen the reality of occupation. They have been confronted by "commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people." And now these soldiers have declared that they will no longer help to "dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people."

Their courage, their willingness to speak out publicly at great risk to themselves and their families, has breathed new life into the Israeli peace movement. Suddenly, there is hope that a broader, deeper conflagration can be avoided, to break the cycle of violence and find a way to a secure peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. But they cannot do it by themselves. They need the help of Jews from around the world, and especially American Jews. They need our voices of support and our material assistance.

Yes, the time has come. The time has come for us to listen closely to our consciences, to gather up our courage, and to publicly declare our support for the growing ranks of military resisters in Israel. Yet even that is not enough. It is time for us to publicly declare, with those resisters, that if there is ever to be security and peace, there must be an Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories.

We believe that this is a crucial moment, a potential turning point. What we say now, what we do now, could help transform a "window of opportunity" (in an otherwise very grim moment) into an unstoppable momentum towards peaceful co-existence. We choose to stand with those Israelis and Palestinians who follow a path of peace, and we believe that it is necessary to stand with them publicly and proudly. We hope you feel the same way.

Our first step was to publish a full page ad in the Chicago Reader on March 14 announcing our campaign, and listing Chicago-area Jews who have joined the campaign. We will now embark on a series of ads, tours of Refusers (in May, in Chicago, the Midwest, San Francisco and New York City), and direct support for the Refusers. While this campaign has been initiated from Chicago, we fully plan to support activities around the country by providing high quality ads and other resources, and by acting as a "portal" for support of the Refuser Movement in Israel.

For a secure and lasting peace,

- The members of Refuser Solidarity Network