"Until today, I have never refused to obey an order. I always came when called, with my army boots, hat and uniform," [Israeli reserve soldier Dan] Goldenblatt said in a written statement to his superiors obtained by the Star.
"For reasons of conscience, I refuse to take part in acts of occupation. I refuse to give any Palestinian even the slightest additional reason to participate in terrorist acts, to hate my country. I refuse to participate in the policy of revolving and stupid revenge of the current government of Israel, which believes in power and lacks initiative or hope," Goldenblatt said.
"And I refuse to guard the poisonous and extremely costly settlements, which are the foundation of the policy of oppression and occupation.
"I believe with all my heart that in refusing to serve in the occupied territories, I am serving the State of Israel in the most important manner."
In his written statement, Goldenblatt cited the death of his friend, Zvi Bahat, who was killed in Saturday's suicide attack at Maxim Restaurant in Haifa. The bomber, Goldenblatt noted, was revealed to be a woman, a young Palestinian law clerk from Jenin, whose own brother and cousin were killed in earlier IDF operations.
"How is it possible that a young woman can carry out such an awful suicide bombing?" Goldenblatt wrote.
"The only possible answer is that she was driven by an utter lack of hope, that the result of 36 years of occupation is this utter lack of hope for a better life, freedom, self-respect — in short, all of the things that all of us hope for and expect.
"We have turned the lives of women and children into hell, but we are shocked, enraged and demand retribution when the people who are the products of our occupation take action against us.
David Goldenblatt [Dan's father], who has a sister living in Toronto, said he is concerned something will be lost in the translation when the Canadian family learns of his son's incarceration.
"It's a problem. My sense is the overwhelming majority of the Canadian Jewish community gets its views from the Israeli government," he said.
"I would tell them that at this point, it doesn't even matter who is right. We simply have to break the circle of violence."