University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

Israeli Refusenik Muli Linder to Speak
About Costs of War and Peace in Israel

 MAILED:  April 6, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — Muli Linder, a physician and an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, was the 67th Refusenik to sign what has become known as “The Combatant’s Letter.” He will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire about the costs of war and peace in Israel at 7 p.m. Monday, April 19, in the Schneider Social Science Auditorium.

In January 2002, in the midst of the second Intifada, a group of 50 Israeli reserve officers and combat soldiers decided that fighting in Gaza and the West Bank was not protecting the lives of their friends and family but oppressing the Palestinian population and jeopardizing the security of the State of Israel through colonial expansion. Their belief that the occupation is inflicting pain and suffering upon millions of innocent civilians led them to draft a letter that became known as “The Combatant’s Letter.” The soldiers became known as Refuseniks and established an organization called Courage to Refuse.

In the interest of peace, Israel’s security and moral character, and the human rights of millions of Palestinians, Refuseniks refuse to perform military service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There is a personal cost — approximately half of the Refuseniks have been court martialed and jailed for periods of up to 35 days as a result of their refusal to serve in what they view as an unjust occupation. Membership in Courage to Refuse has grown to nearly 600 combatants from all units of the Israeli military (the Israel Defense Forces).

The presentation will be free and is open to students, faculty and the public. Voluntary donations will be accepted and peace-related materials will be sold to support the efforts of Courage to Refuse.

The event is sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Geography Club and the Refuser Solidarity Network, with support from the UW-Eau Claire Center for International Education.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
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Updated: April 6, 2004