CO Ben Kogan sentenced to 21 days in military prison

By: New Profile, 08/01/2008

- Please distribute widely -

Dear Friends,

Ben Kogan, a pacifist conscientious objector, was sentenced to 21 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. Ben appeared before the military Conscience Committee in December, but was rejected.

The rejection was based on a distorted version of things said at the Committee. Upon his arrival at the prison, Ben had to undergo a humiliating ritual by other soldiers. Ben refused to wear a uniform in prison and to refer to the prison commanders by their ranks. He was therefore sent to solitary confinement and denied telephone calls.

Ben has declared:


"I was very honest and direct in my approach to the army, I told the truth all along about what I believe and what I feel. I was sent to prison because I told the truth, because I believe in something that they don't… I refused on grounds of pacifism, because I believe that violence undermines democracy… at the moment, the prison reinforces my ideology, but it is tearing my soul apart."


Recommended Action
First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Ben letters of support (preferably postcards or by fax) to his prison address:

Ben Kogan
Military ID 5376779
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Fax: ++972-4-8692884


2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on Ben's behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan St.,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
E-mail: or
Fax: ++972-3-6976218 / ++972-3-696-27-57 / ++972-3-691-69-40 / ++972-3-691-79-15

Copies can be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6,
Military postal number 01860, IDF
Fax: ++972-4-8692884

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:

Avichai Mandelblit,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-569-43-70

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Amir Rogowski,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a sample letter, which you can use, or better adapt, in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners' behalf:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Ben Kogan, Military ID 5376779, a conscientious objector, has been imprisoned for his refusal to perform military service, and is held in Military Prison No. 6.

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ben Kogan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Ben Kogan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future.



3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:

2 Karlibach st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14

Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46

Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12

Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56

Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: or

Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15

and +972-3-694-47-09

Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20

Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09



We will continue updating on further developments in the case.

Thank you for your attention and action,

New Profile.