Militarism is a prevalent ideology which upholds the military as sacred, an ideology which glorifies military values and the war ethos, irrespective of the actual state of security. In a militaristic society the military is revered, it’s leaders held in the highest regard, and in turn the military’s norms and values pervade and dominate the civil society, in areas such as education, entertainment, urban space, social services, family life, etc..
The Jewish society in Israel perceives military action as normal, and wars as unavoidable. It is a society in which integration in society is conditioned on military service, which is framed as both a burden and a social duty one mustn’t avoid. A society in whose towns and cities it is common to see armed soldiers roam the streets, where parks are decorated with war memorabilia and streets are commonly named after wars, battles, military units and generals. A society which views other nations as either for us or against us. A society in which women would never be full, equal members in the political process because they are excluded from positions of power within the military.
This section of the site features articles concerning militarism in Israeli society. It features outtakes from the media, an online exhibition and lectures on the subject, as well as a global perspective of this phenomenon.
Rela Mazali (23/2/13)

The following piece is abbreviated, adapted and updated from a keynote speech at the conference: Jewish Unity for a Just Peace, May 5-7, 2001, Chicago.


New Profile (23/2/13)

In 2009 the Ministry of Education invited 600 school principals to hear a lecture by General Gabi Ashkenazi, the Chief of Staff, about the importance of the draft. Members of New Profile went to the event, held at the National Theater in Jerusalem.

New Profile (23/2/13)

In 2009 the Ministry of Education invited 600 school principals to hear a lecture by General Gabi Ashkenazi, the Chief of Staff, about the importance of the draft. Members of New Profile went to the event, held at the National Theater in Jerusalem.

tags: militarism in the education system
Dorothy Naor (13/2/13)

When I migrated to Israel over 40 years ago in my wildest nightmares I never expected that my grandchildren would be born into the Middle East conflict that had been the lot of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples since 1948.

tags: testimonies
Rela Mazali (7/2/13)

What to do when the country I live in totally loses its compass? Totally loses its shame? What to do when the regime that collects my taxes uses them to deploy its high-tech military, armed to the teeth, against activists sailing to oppose a criminal siege? When this country’s politicians authorize soldiers to shoot-to-kill into a deck-bound crowd? And then tell me they are protecting me?

tags: militarism and economy, Public Refusal, Wars and the Occupation
New Profile (7/2/13)

In Israeli public discourse, military service is often associated with equality: The call to force conscription on social groups that resist or avoid it goes under the slogan of “equal sharing of the burden” (there is, apparently, only one burden to bear in the Israeli society), and even under the slogan of “equality in blood”. Welfare authorities, schools, and community organizers often sincerely believe that the best way to ensure social mobility for underprivileged youth is through getting them all enlisted.

tags: militarism, militarism and economy, militarism and feminism
Ruth L. Hiller (13/11/12)

Most Israelis believe that an ongoing state of emergency is justified, and that a large conscript and reservist military will help to keep them safe from surrounding enemies,the very enemies who desire to annihilateIsrael and “push us into the sea”.

tags: criminalization of dissent
Ruth L. Hiller (5/6/12)
MK Miri Regev’s recent racist rant hit a nerve with me. She described the African asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan, now in Israel , as a “cancer in Israel’s body”. I have to admit, as a recent breast cancer survivor, this made me cringe.
tags: racism
Ruth L. Hiller (5/5/12)
The question of what is the difference between refuser and refusenik has come up quite a bit, and I just thought that now is as good a time as any to set the record straight.
tags: draft resistance, Refuser Solidarity Network
Rela Mazali (4/10/11)
Military men and institutions enjoy enormous privilege in Israel. Just take a look at the CV's of Israeli Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers. In the past decade, every Chief of Staff of the Israeli army has become a government minister within a year after leaving the army. In the last and the upcoming (2003) elections, both candidates for Prime Minister were/are ex-generals. Security, so-called, is prioritized in the national budget. In 2002, security spending in Israel amounted to 12% percent of the Gross Domestic Product; one of the highest figures in the world. In the US, for instance, it is 3.5%. In the major NATO countries it never exceeded 3%, even at the height of the cold war. Forty percent of Israel’s security budget is spent on the salaries of career soldiers, almost exclusively men, who are entitled to retire with full pension rights at age 45, and who then go on to a second career in politics or business, through the “swinging door” leading from the army to high-power jobs.
tags: militarization, Occupation