Militarism and Education from a Feminist Perspective: the Case of Israel

Haggith Gor on right in this photoHaggith Gor & Rela Mazali  -  Both of us have been looking for years at the implications of raising children in a state that requires them by law to enlist in the army at age 18. At first we were looking at ourselves. We were two very politically aware and active women, Israeli and Jewish, conscious feminists, taking part in organizations that opposed Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and worked against Israel’s violations of human rights. For many years each of us invested a great deal of time, energy, creativity, and what money we could, to working in and with such organizations. We regularly took part in demonstrations and protest actions.

As part of these processes, each of us formed a deeply critical view of actions taken by the Israeli army, and of the ways in which the military was deployed by successive governments, irrespective of the party in power. We began asking ourselves to what degree the military has been, and is, used as an organization truly providing defense; whether it is in fact too easily usable for purposes of oppression. We delved into extensive reading about processes of militarization in other countries, including South Africa, Ireland, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, the USA, Hawai’i. Each of us read different books and articles, as we compared and shared in an excited atmosphere of urgency and discovery. We conducted an ongoing, unfolding dialogue about similarities and differences between the Israeli case and the ones described in our reading. We constantly drew detailed analogies or identified contrasts with our own personal experiences and insights, generating a growing, living body of shared knowledge. Gradually, we began to ask whether the power and status of the Israel Defense Force allowed and even actively encouraged continuing use of warfare as a political strategy. Were these, and not external circumstances beyond our control, actually perpetuating the state of war?

Veterans for Peace Call for an End to NATO

No NATOVeterans for Peace works for the abolition of war, and while that process will take many steps, one that should be taken immediately is the dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

NATO has always been a war-making institution lacking in accountability to the peoples of the nations it claims to represent. But NATO at least once claimed a defensive purpose that it neither claims nor represents any longer.

NATO has militarized the nations of Europe against the will of their people, now maintains hundreds of nuclear weapons in non-nuclear European nations in blatant violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and is threatening Russia with missile base construction on its borders.

Violence, USA: The Warfare State and the Brutalizing of Everyday Life

US Army via Flickr
Henry A. Giroux
/ May 2, 2012  / Truthout - Since 9/11, the war on terror and the campaign for homeland security have increasingly mimicked the tactics of the enemies they sought to crush. Violence and punishment as both a media spectacle and a bone-crushing reality have become prominent and influential forces shaping American society. As the boundaries between "the realms of war and civil life have collapsed," social relations and the public services needed to make them viable have been increasingly privatized and militarized.(1) The logic of profitability works its magic in channeling the public funding of warfare and organized violence into universities, market-based service providers and deregulated contractors. The metaphysics of war and associated forms of violence now creep into every aspect of American society.

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