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Daily Israel Report

Labor's #5 Called for Refusal to Serve in Military

Merav Michaeli called on mothers not to send their sons to serve in the IDF. She also sees danger in double beds.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/1/2012, 8:10 PM

Merav Michaeli
Merav Michaeli
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Ever since the Labor Party's primaries last week, there has been much talk in Israel about the woman selected for the Number Five slot on the party's ticket, an extremely radical television and radio personality, Merav Michaeli.

Making the rounds on Facebook is a recording in which Michaeli openly called on soldiers to refuse to serve in the IDF. More accurately, the call was to women not to send their sons to the military – in line with the blend of pacifism and feminism that has exemplified many women's organizations in Israel in the past 25 years.

Speaking on IDF Radio in October of 2010, Michaeli referred to the "Four Mothers" campaign which pressured then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak to carry out a hasty pullout from Lebanon in 2000.

"I think that women should not send their children to the army," she said, "I think that when there is an ongoing Occupation for over 40 years, when the government in Israel does not make efforts to solve this in other ways, they should stop being willing to send their children to the army without asking questions."

She called upon women "to place their motherhood above their nationalism."

Labor head Shelly Yechimovich did not assist Michaeli's bid for a spot on the Knesset list, and reportedly feared that Michaeli's outspokenness would make the list less popular. However, many suspect that Yechimovich is simply hiding her own views, which may be no less radical than Michaeli's. It was Yechimovich who engineered the Four Mothers campaign from the Voice of Israel public radio studios, where she was a prominent presenter and editor. 

While addressing mothers, Michaeli was never married and has no children. 

She has recently come out against double beds, explaining that heterosexuality, which encourages men and women to sleep together in the same bed, is a political institution through which men control and exploit women.