Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Israeli Conscientious Objectors

Shministim means “twelfth-graders” in Hebrew. Military service is mandatory after high school for young Jewish Israelis. The Shministim are Israeli youth who refuse to serve in the army because it enforces Israel’s 40-year occupation of the Palestinians.

Such a refusal means jail terms in Israeli military prisons. Terms range from 21 to 28 days; those who refuse to wear a military uniform while in jail are sent to solitary confinement for the duration of their term.

After completing their sentence, they are then drafted again and if they refuse a second time, as most do, they face the same sentence. This can be a repeated process in which Shministim return home for a few days or longer and are then drafted and then imprisoned. Even through they refuse to serve, they still in a sense ‘belong’ to the military until they receive their discharge papers. A Shministi may never receive these papers, and although the Israeli military may tire of re-calling objectors into prison regularly, without these papers, an objector’s fate is always uncertain. There is literally no end to the number of times youth might be sent back to jail.

The Shministim have asked Jewish Voice for Peace to reach out to ask people like us to let the Israeli government know we are watching, and that we support their courage. They're hoping to receive hundreds of thousands of letters to be delivered to the Israeli Minister of Defense on December 18th, when they will hold a massive rally and press conference.

Read some of their testimonials here.

Then, please, sign the letter.

later man, jan

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Live aid 1985 ...

We have such a history of all the help for people at Christmas going into some big black hole (or some corrupt politician pockets) - try and see what it's like to lend someone your money again and again and again...

later man, jan

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Band Aid 1984

Ok - time to get in the Christmas spirit - I can't believe how old this is now... where did the years go?

later man, jan

Friday, December 05, 2008

Help Send a Student to School

Education Generation (the new online non-profit to help kids in developing countries get educated) has a few students that need funding by Dec 20th. Just click here or on 'view students' from the home page...

John and I decided we could afford $20 each payday. Today we helped fund Josephine who "is 18 years old and is a student at Humwend Secondary School, Ukwala, Kenya. She lives at home with her parents and her two brothers and three sisters. Her favourite subjects in school are biology and chemistry."

"At home she is responsible for fetching water from the river, gardening, as well as taking care of his siblings. At school Josphine's responsibilities are the drama club, the debate club as well as working hard towards her studies. After high school she would like to continue her studies to become a doctor. Josephine is inspired by her teachers at Humwend, and her role model is her uncle. If she could improve her community, she would change the state of poverty in which people live in."

These are all promising students from Kenya. You can help them for $20. And helping a student ends up helping the family which helps the village and the towns and ultimately, the entire country. You would be supporting the brightest and most ambitious students in a country where education is only for those with the money.

later man, jan

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kiva has added the Philippines...

Kiva has just added 4 new partners in the Philippines
And one of my Kiva friends just came across this video of one that Kiva has rated as 4 star… and says
"It’s interesting to actually see how many of Kiva’s Field Partners offer community development services that go beyond microfinance."

later man, jan