Meet Rawan Eghbariah.
Rawan works with New Profile, a volunteer grassroots organization committed to reforming Israel from a soldier state to an active peacemaking society.
In particular, Rawan provides support to young Israeli men and women who resist military conscription. Rawan advocates for the legal rights of conscientious objectors – so that they are able to refuse conscription without fear of legal retribution.
Rawan is a Palestinian who holds an Israeli identity card, which grants her legal permanent residence status and freedom of movement within the state of Israel. She stands in strong opposition to all aspects of the Israeli occupation – especially the abuse of the educational system as a tool to train and enlist Israeli youth in the conflict. To combat this pervasive militarization, Rawan coordinates youth groups across the region. The youth groups are a safe space to reflect and openly talk about current social and political events, while promoting the concept of peace in younger generations.
Rawan also works to raise awareness of Israeli youth that are currently in prison for refusing to enlist in the military. New Profile spotlights each imprisoned objector and encourages the public to write letters of protest to government and army officials on their behalf. New Profile also encourages the public to write letters of support to each objector. These letter writing campaigns have brought together Israelis and Palestinians in solidarity with conscientious objectors.
In 2008, Rawan successfully defended New Profile against accusations that the organization encouraged individuals to abandon military service. Her legal background enabled her to prove that New Profile only assists individuals who independently decide to oppose military conscription. As a result of this victory, Rawan and New Profile continue to move forward in the pursuit of a peaceful, anti-militaristic Israel.