Israeli Family Torn by Gaza Conflict: One Son Fights, One Son Jailed

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Israel can present some tough choices, as Hedva and David Segal know only too well. One of their sons is fighting in Gaza, another is in jail for refusing to go.

"I’m proud of both of them," Hedva says, "they are both doing what they believe in." And David, a former combat officer, adds, "me too. But what Udi is doing is harder, going against the mainstream."

Udi, 19, is a conscientious objecter who has rejected army conscription. He’s been sentenced to 20 days in jail, and that can be reimposed numerous times if he continues to refuse to serve. It seems he will. In a YouTube video explaining himself he calls on Israel’s soldiers: "In light of the current operation in Gaza, I call on people to disobey orders and not to take part in the massacre."

Hedva and David’s love and respect for their children means they cannot choose who is right and who is wrong. "They are both right," Hedva says, "for they are both following their heart."


— Martin Fletcher