That was on January 11 and his name is Moriel Rotheman-Zecher
He's in Facebook and looks like this, sometimes:
He's friends with Avner Gevaryahu
with whom I am also acquainted as I was on a panel with him at last year's Limmud UK but here seen with me at the Haaretz Peace Conference last summer:
More of MRZ's output here.
Moriel is "an American-Israeli writer and activist, born in Jerusalem, raised in Ohio, and back in Jerusalem. He expresses himself on issues of militarism, racism, occupation, violence, justice and peace". In short, he's breaking the silence, as it were.
Here he is commenting on Silwan in 2012
It is true that in Silwan Israel is acting "within the bounds of Israeli law," but that law is at it's core a racist one, and thus not something deserving of much credit, especially in the context of prolonged occupation of East Jerusalem, recognized as legitimate by virtually no country in the world excluding parts of Israel. This is what Judge Boaz Okun called, in 2005, “legalism without law."He's a military service refuser.
With that background you can understand why the NYT would highlight his views and provide him the privilege of publishing in its pages.
And now to his current content:
“...Why are you here?”
“I didn’t want to be part of a system whose main task is the violent occupation of millions of people.”
“In other words: You love Arabs, and don’t care about Israeli security.”
“I think the occupation undermines all of our security, Palestinians’ and Israelis’.”
“You’re betraying your people,” he said.
...Refusal to serve is portrayed by politicians and pundits — many of whom began their careers through service in elite units — as treacherous and marginal...Rarely do more than a few hundred Jewish Israelis publicly refuse to serve each year in protest against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The shrill condemnation of refusers is thus an indication of the establishment’s panic.
Panic? Take note of his use of "aggression" here:
Aggression toward refusers is widespread. When I accompanied a refuser named Udi Segal to his draft station during the Gaza war this summer, we were met by a group draped in Israeli flags and chanting, “Udi, you’re a traitor! Go live in Gaza!”If that is "aggression", although I would call that using one's human rights to assemble and protest non-violently, what then can we describe his refusal, that of his friends and his propaganda efforts on its behalf? could it be assistance to the aggressive actions of Israel's enemies?
Then he gets 'cute':
The reality is that a majority of Israeli citizens do not serve in the military, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, or the “fifth column,” as they are often branded, and the ultra-Orthodox, or “leeches,” as they’ve been called.First of all, he would perhaps be among the first to protest enlistment of Arabs (note, too, his use of 'Palestinian citizens', as if there's a country or political entity so-named) as they would be forced to engage in actions against their fellow nationals. As for the Haredim,
MRZ attempts to position himself as a moderate:
The reasons for not serving may differ between a Palestinian youth from Acre and a Haredi from Beit Shemesh, between an 8200 veteran and an Ethiopian immigrant, between me and the deserter in Military Jail No. 6, but there is a deeper consensus: We all refuse to see the government as a moral guide and military service as sacrosanct. As the Israeli government leads us further from peace, and the army faithfully executes its violent orders, this is the kind of treachery we need most.I don't think he would accept my analysis that the ability to make peace or at least, negotiate a peace arrangement, is nigh impossible. that is his prerogative. But to assume that undercutting and subverting Israel's ability to defend itself, to protect its citizens from terror is horrific. He knows that if there is but the smallest chance to save a Jewish life then the IDF is to be elevated not only as a civic duty but a religious one as well.
The article, by the way, was poorly constructed and the sole reason the NYT published it is its unrelenting anti-Jewish state campaign.