Militarism begins at conception? An ad for a maternity ward in one of Israel's top hospitals depicts a fetus wearing a military beret and saluting. An advertisement for a maternity ward in one of Israel's top hospitals, published in the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon this past week, has been making the rounds on social media. [tmwinpost] The ad for Lis Maternity Hospital, part of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, shows a fetus wearing a military beret, with a caption reading: "Recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence, 2038." Portraying an unborn child as a soldier is disturbing in its own right, regardless of country. In…Read More... | 21 Comments
The following is a prediction best left unfulfilled. Faced with the drums of war, one must remain resolute, even if there is no certainty that war will break out. Too much is at stake. And if war does not break out now, it will at a later time. It will materialize one way or another. By Idan Landau The writing is already on the wall: Israel will soon launch a military operation in Lebanon. Not a targeted attack on a weapons convoy or factory, but a simultaneous attack on Hezbollah's missile production and launch sites. The operation will take place at the same…Read More... | 1 Comment
Next week, as tourists descend on Tel Aviv for the yearly pride parade, a separate international contingent will touch down in the city for a high-profile arms fair. By Tanya Rubinstein The upcoming Tel Aviv Pride parade has set social media, the streets and the queer community alight. In preparation for the June 9 march, the city’s streets are already filling up with rainbow flags and cute tourists. Luckily for the parade’s organizers, this year's event is taking place in the second week of June rather than the first, which marks 50 years since the start of the 1967 occupation. We already…Read More... | 3 Comments
The flip side of Israel’s need for heroes created in uniform, weapon in hand, is the urge to preserve the ideals associated with them and to shield them from criticism — the ramifications of which have become disturbingly clear in the case of Elor Azaria. “A nation without heroes is a house without doors.” So says the grotesque, dictatorial general in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Autumn of the Patriarch,” after affording equal posthumous honors to several army officers who die in quick succession, no matter whether they were killed in a tragic accident or as a result of their own depraved activities. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 19 Comments
While youth groups in Israel often focus on ideals such as public service, working together, and protecting the environment, they also serve as conduits for military service. An inside look at the built-in militarism of Israel's youth movements, from all sides of the political spectrum.Read More... | 4 Comments
Isn’t it time to finally ask why every single attempt to achieve full equality for Palestinian citizens has failed? By Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz) This week the Israeli army radio, Galei Tzahal, conducted a survey which, among other things, polled the attitude of Israeli Jews regarding full equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. The results of the survey, conducted among 503 Jews, revealed that the Jewish public in this country is almost equally divided on this issue. 45 percent oppose full equal rights for the state’s Arab citizens, 43 percent are in favor, 6 percent replied “it…Read More... | 40 Comments
May Fatal is a young soldier who was sexually harassed and perhaps stalked by her superior in the army. That’s nothing new. Sexual harassment in the IDF has been a dirty, loosely kept secret for decades, known to most women and plenty of men in Israel. Few women ever go public with their experience, and even fewer do so with their own identity. [tmwinpost] Last year, Fatal submitted a complaint against her commander Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi, a battalion commander in the Givati combat brigade, within the army system. The case made the press but she remained anonymous. In December, military prosecutors reached a plea bargain…Read More... | 3 Comments
An education system that brings an inherently violent organization in through the front door is failing at its most basic obligation. This policy is the first injection of militarism, ultimately meant to prevent our children from becoming critical citizens. Ten years ago, when my oldest daughter was five years old, I already had the honor of being the mother of a draft refuser. One day, when she was in kindergarten, my young daughter came home with a notice from the kindergarten teacher asking parents to help their children prepare care packages for a soldier. The notice included a list of…Read More... | 23 Comments
Dozens of Jerusalem's Israel Arts and Sciences Academy alumni publish a letter calling on future graduates to refuse to serve the occupation. Orly Noy sat down to speak to one of the signatories about the legality of the letter, militarism in the educational system and the influence of former IASA student, Sayed Kashua. Just three months ago reservists from the secretive Unit 8200 declared their refusal to serve in the army. Now a group of alumni from the Jerusalem's Israel Arts and Sciences Academy (IASA) are calling on the school's students to do the same and refuse to enlist. There are…Read More... | 44 Comments
The demand for gender equality in Israel has led women to strive for integration into the ranks of the IDF command. For some the army is a stepping stone to senior civil positions after service. But does the integration of women in combat and commanding roles in the military promote a feminist agenda? And can gender equality in the IDF ever pose a real challenge to male hegemony in Israel? Related: WATCH: Former female Israeli soldiers break their silence Is the IDF the world's most liberal institution?Read More...
The Israeli education minister’s letter to the graduating class of 2014 is evidence of the fact that Israeli education is little more than an ongoing IDF preparatory course. By Avner Ben-Amos (translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) A letter to the high school class of 2014 published by Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron in the July 24, 2014 issue of Israel Hayom is a worrying wakeup call. A wakeup call because the education minister presents a worldview that rests on distorted, revisionist history. Worrying because this minister determines, directly or indirectly, how our schoolchildren perceive their reality. Even if only…Read More... | 5 Comments
A group of 50 Israeli high school seniors recently sent letters to the prime minister declaring that they will refuse to serve in the army on ideological grounds. But refusing to serve the occupation can be a privileged position, one that is not afforded to various groups of Israelis of certain socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Read more on Israel's latest class of refusers: Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupationRead More...
The voice of 'pro-Israel' militarism has been ringing through the halls of Washington D.C. since the 1970s. Now, to end the occupation, American citizens must couple their opposition to AIPAC with support for anti-occupation groups in Israel. By Philip Farah In the 1970s, Israeli TV had a great program, Nikui Rosh, that was something like the country's version of Saturday Night Live. Its most famous skit was one in which Israeli leaders would start beating the drums of war, warning against threats from across the Lebanese or Syrian borders, whenever the Israeli economy was in crisis. This is an old trick everywhere:…Read More... | 18 Comments
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