Israel's first conscientious objector

Sergeant Itzik Shabbat is a courageous and moral person:

"I know people will attack me and ask how could I not take part in this war when Qassams are falling on my hometown and Katyushas on the towns in the north," he told Haaretz. "In my opinion, only this type of opposition that I've chosen will put an end to the madness that is going on now and will shatter the false feeling that the entire home front supports this unnecessary war that is based on deceptive considerations."

He added: "Someone has to be the first to break the silence and it will be me. It is a shame that my order was signed by another Sderot resident, Defense Minister Amir Peretz."
Hopefully more will follow.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.