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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Israel wages war on army of refuseniks

WHEN Arik Diamant's mother discovered her son was to refuse to do reserve duty for the Israeli army she pleaded with him to reconsider his decision, even offering to resign her job and work in a charity of his choice.

But the former paratrooper and now software engineer was determined. "My parents were terrified that the ramifications of such a decision would destroy my life and endanger my career opportunities," said the 34-year-old co-founder of the Courage to Refuse movement. While Diamant and 600 fellow reservist refuseniks are making headlines over their choice, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is becoming increasingly worried that the numbers of Jewish men evading army service is on the rise. The trend is particularly noticeable among those aged 18 to 21, who under Israeli law must serve three years in the military. Scotsman