Canadian Given Clemency for Evading Israeli Service

Yana Gorelik Served Half of Three-Month Sentence

By JTA

Published October 16, 2012.
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Yana Gorelik, the Canadian-Israeli who was imprisoned on charges of evading military service in Israel, was granted clemency and her jail term was reduced.

Gorelik was released from military prison on Monday, the Times of Israel reported.

Gorelik, 30, served about half of her three-month sentence, which was the result of a plea bargain reached with the IDF late last month.

According to the terms of the agreement, the month she spent in jail before sentencing was deducted from her punishment.

She said authorities treated her like a “delinquent,” and “like we were dogs.

“That’s it. I am finished with Israel. I don’t want to be a citizen anymore,” the Times of Israel quotes her as saying.

Gorelik, a dual citizen, moved from Israel to Canada with her family at age 17 and had visited Israel twice before without incident. But upon arriving in Israel from London on Sept. 2, authorities told her to report to an army base the next day to sign paperwork and settle her affairs with the military.

Once she got to the base, she was arrested and imprisoned.

The Israeli army claimed that after she received her draft order at age 17, Gorelik was obliged to report for military duty. The IDF said she did not obtain an exemption or begin the process to get one, and was considered a deserter.

Gorelik countered that Israeli missions in Canada and London had told her that because of her age as displayed on her new passport, she did not need to file for an exemption.

Gorelik reportedly intends to return to Canada soon.


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