Robin Long is one of 28 U.S. military service members who refused to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan that wrote an open letter of solidarity to Israeli youth who are refusing induction into the military following high school graduation.

By Robin Long, imprisoned Iraq War resister. January 7, 2009

To Shministim,

Hello, my name is Robin Long. I am serving out a 15 month sentence in the brig for refusing to participate in the on-going occupation of Iraq. I have been very vocal over the past few years against human injustices. I have been contacted by and met many others that are doing the same.

We are all tired of hearing about the political cost of war or the economic cost of war. The human cost is what’s important! I couldn’t simply say “yes sir” and be a uniform following orders, even though I had signed a contract. My conscience was telling what was right.

I knew my life would be changed forever and that nothing would be easy. Things have not been easy but I’m still on good terms with my conscience and I can sleep at night. I look back I and would have it no other way. I hope that I can be an inspiration for others. I hope that one day us humans can stop all these needless wars and occupations. I pray we can transcend all this violence.

This war that’s been raised on terrorism is a war on peace! Showing terror prejudice and persecution to another culture and race in this war will just ensure the next generation of terrorists!

No matter the color of our skin, white, brown, black, red, yellow we still bleed red. No matter the religion, Jewish, Muslin, Christian, Buddhist, we all have brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters. No matter our language we all have tears, fears, and smiles. I’m writing to you to say we are the same!

We may be a world away, but I love you! I understand! You are in my thoughts and prayers! I know things are hard. I want to say thank you for your righteous stand! You are amazing! Hang in there. I know things are tough. But many more like you stand by your side.

You can write to me if you would like. I would really like that. You are all brave!

In solidarity. Peace, Love, Light.

About 100 Israeli high school students have signed an open letter declaring their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and their opposition to “Israeli occupation and oppression policy in the occupied territories and the territories of Israel.” In Israel, military service is mandatory for all graduating high school seniors, and resisters face the possibility of years in prison.