BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 7, 2003 – Major (Reserves) Stav Adivi, one of the highest-ranking Israeli officers to sign a letter which calls for the refusal to obey any orders requiring soldiers to take part in Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, will give a public talk on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:00 p.m., in 2150 Torgersen Hall, on the Virginia Tech campus. An open forum will follow the talk.
Adivi, an Israeli native, will present the case for refusal in terms of his personal experience.
The letter, originally released in January 2002 with only 51 signers, affirms the signers' commitment as soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to continue to serve their country's defense. But the signers insist that the 36-year-old occupation does not serve Israel's security needs, and has led to the corruption of the IDF and the entire Israeli society. The letter states, "We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people." Today, 559 soldiers have signed the letter.
Adivi joined the Israeli army at 18, served 5 years as full time member in the IDF, then spent 23 years as a reserve officer and was decorated for service. He has a bachelor's degree from Tel Aviv University, a master's degree in Peace and Development Research from the Goteborgs University, Sweden, with an emphasis in conflict resolution and international relations, and a post-graduate diploma in marketing from Haifa University. Recently, he gave up his position as the head of a business and industry school to relocate temporarily with his family to North Carolina while his wife works in computer science for an Israeli firm. He is a board member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and active in Jews for a Just Peace North Carolina.
Adivi believes in the existence of Israel as the national homeland for the Jewish people, and he has and will continue to work for the safety and security of Israel. He believes, however, that the Occupation of the West Bank does not serve this goal and he refuses to be a part of it.
Adivi's visit was organized by Daniel Breslau, assistant professor in the department of science and technology in society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, along with a group of campus and local organizations: Amnesty International at Virginia Tech; The Peace and Justice Committee of Cooper House; The Department of Political Science; and the Outreach Committee of the Christ Episcopal Church.
More information on the refusal movement may be found at the website of the Refuser Solidarity Network: http://www.refusersolidarity.net/
For more information, contact Daniel Breslau at (540) 231-8472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.