Yesh Gvul (Hebrew: יש גבול, can be translated as "there is a limit", as "the border exists", or as "enough is enough") is a movement founded in 1982, by combat veterans, at the outbreak of the Lebanon War, who refused to serve in Lebanon and has expanded its opposition to the war in Lebanon to the negation of service in the occupied territories, reflected in the current Yesh Gvul slogan:
"We don't shoot, we don't cry, and we don't serve in the occupied territories !"
Yesh Gvul's members performance of military duty is selective and dependent upon the nature and location of service. As "Selective refusal" is a form of "civil disobedience" (modelled on methods pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi) the combat veterans are open to military and civil charges. Yesh Gvul's campaign of selective refusal played a part in the Israeli governments decision to withdraw from south Lebanon.
1 Adam Keller,
2 Methods of support,
3 See also,
6 External links,
In the Adam Keller Court Martial which drew considerable public attention in April-May 1988, Reserve Corporal Adam Keller was charged with "Insubordination" and "Spreading of Propaganda Harmful to Military Discipline" in that while on active military duty he had written on 117 tanks and other military vehicles graffiti with the text: "Soldiers of the IDF, refuse to be occupiers and oppressors, refuse to serve in the occupied territories!" as well as placing on electricity pylons in the military camp where he was serving - and on inside doors of the stalls in the officers' toilet - stickers with the slogans "Down with the occupation!". Keller was convicted and sentenced to three months imprisonment - considered a relatively mild sentence, as the maximum penalty could have been six years, three for each of the charges. Keller was an active member of Yesh Gvul, but declared that he had done his act on his own without consulting anybody else. For its part, the movement did not take responsibility for his act, but did provide his wife with the financial support given to the families of refusers.
Methods of support:
Yesh Gvul operates in three main areas: personal support for each "refusenik"; activities for an end to the occupation; and a broad campaign of public education for social change within Israeli society.
Currently it sees its main role as "backing soldiers who refuse duties of a repressive or aggressive nature" with both moral and financial assistance. Yesh Gvul have found over the years that an effective support mechanism for jailed refuseniks is by having support groups from outside Israel adopt the "refusenik". Support groups are alerted, triggering a range of activities. Emails, letters and phone calls go out to the refusenik's family and to the jail where he is held; the adoption group exerts political pressure with protests to the nearest Israeli diplomatic mission, while conducting extensive actions within its own community. The adoption group also offers material assistance, raising funds to help the refusenik's dependants.
Yesh Gvul also engages in human rights activities, such as petitioning British courts to issue arrest warrants for IDF officers accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.
A petition, delivered to Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was signed by 3,000 reservists, some of whom were court martialed and served time in military prison for refusing to obey orders.
From the second Intifada, Yesh Gvul has joined a broad coalition of groups supporting the right of conscripts to demand alternative humanitarian service.