A holiday thanks from the Shministim
by MainStreet, Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:10:00 AM EST
In the above video, a group of Shministim express their thanks for world wide efforts to help get them out of jail. The Shministim are young Israeli conscientious objectors who, at a high school age, had the courage to refuse service in the Israeli military because of its occupation and colonialism of Palestinian lands. Many have served repeated stints in jail for their refusal.
Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace wrote this piece about them.
A year ago today, tens of thousands demanded the release of Israel's youngest prisoners of conscience, the Shministim.
These 12th graders courageously chose prison time over serving in the occupying Israeli army, and became heroes to us and the entire world.
Last Chanukah, just one day after Tamar Katz was released from solitary confinement, the young Shministim gathered to celebrate and to decide how to thank the 20,000 (and counting) Jewish Voice for Peace members who wrote letters, attended rallies, and wrote articles on their behalf.
This is the message they carefully wrote together. One year later, as Shministit Or Ben-David sits in prison in Israel, and as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate the last night of Chanukah, it seems appropriate to share it with you again. We can't imagine a more important message during this festival of lights.
Dear friends and supporters,
During Chanukah the festive of lights, we, the Shministim, would like to take a moment to thank you for all you've done for us and for our struggle.
While we sit down with our families and light the first candle of the holiday, symbolizing the rebellion against an occupying army, some of us are still behind bars, denied the freedom to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones, denied the right to freedom of thought and political consciousness.
During this dark period of consecutive jail terms, military trials and attempts to break our beliefs, you were our light.
Each and every one of you who helped with the campaign, who sent a supporting letter, who sent the link of the website to a friend. You've let our struggle be heard around the world, the letters, the postcards and posters, the demonstrations, all of those actions fulfilled our wildest dreams.
We would like to thank you once again and wish you all a happy and free holiday.
The struggle for freedom continues.
Palestinian human rights activists like Abdallah Abu Rahmah and Mohammad Othman now sit in Israeli prisons with you as their most important global advocates.
Thank you to each one of you for being a part of this struggle.
Happy Holidays and Chag Sameach,
Jewish Voice for Peace
P.S. A new class of Shministim are now courageously saying no to the occupation. They need your support.
Click onto the Shministim site for more information.