Gaza march leader to conscientious objectors: ’Turn your words into weapons’
+972 Magazine - By Edo Konrad and Oren Ziv - Published January 2, 2019
(...) That stark reality was on display two weeks ago when dozens of Israeli activists, including past and soon-to-be conscientious objectors held a rare conversation with Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the main organizers behind Gaza’s Great Return March. For many of the younger conscientious objectors, the Great Return March served as an inspiration for their personal reasons to refuse enlistment in the Israeli army.
“It is very nice to meet people who decided to take a stand, listen to their conscience and refuse to be part of the oppression of others,” Abu Artema began, his often-flowery Arabic translated by Israeli activist Neta Golan, one of the leaders of recent solidarity protests on the Israel-Gaza fence. “Those who refuse to take part in the attacks on the demonstrators in Gaza, who express their natural right to protest against the siege, those who refuse to take part in the attacks on Gaza’s citizens — they stand on the right side of history,” Abu Artema told the crowd.
It was the first time that Artema had ever spoken in front of a crowd of Israelis. For many of the younger activists, it was their first time speaking to someone from Gaza. (...)