Yesh Gvul (“There is a limit !”) is an Israeli peace group campaigning against the occupation by backing soldiers who refuse duties of a repressive or aggressive nature. The brutal role of the Israeli army in subjugating the Palestinian population places numerous servicemen in a grave moral and political dilemma, as they are required to enforce policies they deem illegal, immoral and ultimately harmful to Israeli interests. The army hierarchy demands compliance, but many soldiers, whether conscripts or reservists, find that they cannot in good conscience obey the orders of their superiors.

Yesh Gvul arose in response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, as growing numbers of soldiers grasped that the campaign, with its bloodshed and havoc, was an act of naked and futile aggression in which they wanted no part. Yesh Gvul is a small group with limited resources, human and financial. But the unique thrust of its campaign has galvanized the broader peace movement, inspiring it with the moral example set by individuals prepared to suffer for their convictions. Some peace movements confine themselves to verbal protest, balking at refusal and its direct challenge to authority. But Yesh Gvul rejects the “shoot-and-cry” syndrome; its own slogan advocates action: “We don’t shoot, we don’t cry, and we don’t serve in the occupied territories !” - setting the group in the vanguard of the Israeli peace movement.

With members drawn from a range of political views, Yesh Gvul is not bound to any specific peace program. Its overall aim is to combat the misuse of the IDF (Israel Defense Force !) for unworthy ends, and terminate the occupation. The group is united on the “two-state” solution, as the key to peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the interests of both peoples.

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