On the Objection Front

Institute History


On the Objection Front presents the story of Israeli combat soldiers (many of them officers in elite units) who have decided, after years of loyal reserve service, to refuse doing their annual 30 days duty in the occupied territories. The film tells the stories of 6 soldiers, revealing the reasons for their actions, their chilling confessions of being an occupying soldier and the difficult consequences they now encounter because of their objection—collective rejection and imprisonment.

Conscientious objection is not a new phenomenon in Israel. Ever since the Six Day War there have been soldiers who preferred jail to serving in the territories, but these pacifists and radical left-wingers numbered only a handful and their actions had no real influence on public opinion or the political echelon.

The publication of the "Combat Soldiers' letter" in January 2002 currently signed by 614 reserve soldiers caused public turmoil as the new objectors belong to the army's foundations. They come from the heart of Israeli consensus; they are fighters, the salt of the earth. Until recently they themselves perpetuated the occupation, but now they openly object to it and in the film reveal horrific experiences they went through and caused others to endure.

The people who object in Israel these days constitute an important landmark in public discourse. Their objection raises important questions regarding the unconditional support of the public for the governments' (unjustified) military actions and the individual moral price for this support. The reservists stories illustrate the moral corruption caused by the occupation and the militaries use of force on civilians.

Major Tomer Inbar is a fighter pilot. His objection to serving in the territories and being involved in the killing of innocent Palestinian people entailed his being banned from every job in the country as a commercial pilot. He now lives in London and works as a gardener, a total reverse of his status and fortune. In his words, he prefers being "a hero in exile than a traitor at home."

All the protagonists of the film operate from within the army and Israeli society, but their combat experience expresses another voice. Not abstract ideas, but personal often very traumatic experiences prompted them to act. On the Objection Front will tell the story of this process and the refusal of Israeli society to listen to them and acknowledge their act.


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