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Tel Aviv University
TAU Minerva Humanities promotes neo-Marxist agenda: Chen Misgav, Hilla Dayan, Erella Grassiani

04.06.15

Editorial Note

In March 2015, Chen Misgav, a PhD candidate at the TAU Geography Department under Prof. Tovi Fenster, wrote to the Social Science Forum on behalf of the TAU Minerva Humanities Center (MHC), where he is a fellow, to announce an event in April. 

The event, "To Rethink the Academia" hosted three panelists from University of Amsterdam involved in ReThink Uva, a solidarity direct action group dealing with the New University movement, the student protests in Amsterdam, and the international struggle against the financialization of academia.  The group protests the "increasing numbers of temporary contracts, funding being allocated based on the number of graduates or the number of publications, and the merger- and relocation-plans carried out without staff involvement or support."  

It is not surprising, since Minerva Humanities Center is the hotbed for neo-Marxist, critical scholars. The three speakers are in fact known anti-Israel activists.

Dr. Hilla Dayan, served as international relations adviser for the Coalition of Women for Peace, Israel (which supports the right of return of Palestinian refugees and calls for BDS) and is a co-founder of gate48, which "supports non-violent resistance to the occupation...the main reason for human right violations conducted by the Israeli government". Dayan claimed in the Amsterdam Law Forum 2011 that "Israel is currently undergoing a quiet anti-democratic revolution" and that civil society should "demand justice, accountability and an end to a brutal occupation by Israel must act to defend individuals and organizations from government retribution and punish this government for its anti-democratic excesses. Ensuring that Israel pays a heavy international price for domestic repression...the only way to bring the country to its senses. No matter how far-reaching new repressive laws are, dissenters and human rights defenders in Israel will not stop their struggle for democracy and justice at the government’s command."

Her partner, Dr. PW Zuidhof, joined her in a public letter against the last summer war with Gaza. They accused Israelis, who blamed Hamas for putting civilians in peril's way, for supporting war crimes of the IDF.

Dr. Erella Grassiani published in 2013 her Soldiering Under Occupation: Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The book repeats the usual charges that the IDF "being numbed" from running an occupation, engaged in wholesale brutalizing the Palestinians.

Not surprisingly Hagada Hasmalit, (the Israeli radical left-wing website (that by its own admission features anti-Zionist, Marxist or anarchist perspective by Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis, and Palestinians) has strongly promoted the event in more details.
 
Tel Aviv University and Minerva Humanities Center should not support events run by activists masquerading as scholars.  Offering academic legitimacy to such events, diminishes the standing of legitimate scholarship.

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From:  Chen Misgav < chenmisg@post.tau.ac.il
Date: 2015-03-26 11:37 GMT+02:00 
Subject: [SocSci-IL] הזמנה לאירוע- ערב עיון "לחשוב מחדש את האקדמיה" 
To:  socsci-il@listserver.huji.ac.il 

שלום לחברות וחברי הרשימה, 
מרכז מינרבה למדעי הרוח באוניברסיטת ת"א וקבוצת הלקסיקון למחשבה פוליטית ביקורתית מזמינים אתכם לערב עיון "לחשוב את האקדמיה" שיתקיים ב12.4 בשעה 18:00 בחדר 212 בבניין רוזנברג באונ' ת"א. פרטים נוספים בלינק הבא ובצרופה: 
http://mhc.tau.ac.il/news/thinkingac/ 
-הכניסה חופשית- 
Chen Misgav 
Ph.D Candidate 
Tel Aviv University 
PEC LAB  - Planning for the Environment with Communities 
Department of Geography and Human Environment 
Tel:  +972 54 7922946 
E-Mail:  chenmisg@post.tau.ac.il 
New articles free on this link: 
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/9SiManNppHn2PYegW952/full 
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/B2ea7WgrYgfsMDVBqufU/full



Minerva Humanities Center
מרכז מינרבה למדעי הרוח
בהשתתפות חוקרים אורחים מאוניברסיטת אמסטרדם
ד?ר הילה דיין
ד?ר פיטר-וים זיידהוף
וד?ר אראלה גרסיאני
  יום ראשון, 12 באפריל
20:00-18:00
חדר 212, בניין רוזנברג, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
הכניסה חינם
לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה
 דיון על המחאה בהולנד נגד האקדמיה הניאוליברלית באוניברסיטת אמסטרדם פרצה לאחרונה מחאה גורפת נגד ?האקדמיה הניאוליברלית?
 המחאה קוראת לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה
(Rethink UvA)
ומנסחת לראשונה תביעה לדמוקרטיזציה, כנגד הניהול הריכוזי והכמו-תאגידי, המשעבד את סדר היום האקדמי להגיון שוק ההון והנדל?ן. ברוח הקריאה לחשוב
את ?אקדמיית העתיד? נערוך דיון על התנאים שהובילו להתפרצות המחאה, אתגריה והישגיה, ועל המשמעות שיכולה להיות לה בהקשר המקומי
.students occupying the Maagdenhuis, the University of Amsterdam’s main administrative building. Photograph: Guido van Nispen

לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה – דיון על המחאה בהולנד נגד האקדמיה הניאו-ליברלית 

אפריל 12 בשעה 18:00 - 21:00

מתחילת השנה החלה אוניברסיטת אמסטרדם מחאת סטודנטים המונית, שכפתה על הנהלת האוניברסיטה כצעד ראשון להקפיא תוכנית קיצוצים שאיימה לפגוע בעיקר במדעי הרוח. המחאה הגיע לשיאה בהשתלטות על בניין ההנהלה על ידי סטודנטים שקראו לתנועתם "אוניברסיטה חדשה" ואליהם הצטרפו בהדרגה חברי סגל לא מעטים שהתארגנו כקבוצת "לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה".
מפגינים נגד שכר הלימוד באוניברסיטאות ברחובות אמסטרדם (צילום: מפגינים נגד שכר הלימוד באוניברסיטאות ברחובות אמסטרדם
(צילום: "לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה")
המחאה, שהניצוץ שהדליק אותה היה תוכנית הקיצוצים, עברה מהר מאד לפסים של מאבק נגד האוניברסיטה הניאו-ליברלית. במקום להיתקע במאבק פרטני נגד חוליי הניאו-ליברליזם האקדמי כמו נסיקת גובה שכר לימוד, תנאי העסקה פוגעניים וקידום על בסיס כמות (פרסומים) ולא איכות, לראשונה מנוסחת באמסטרדם הדרישה לפרק את האוניברסיטה הניאו-ליברלית ולהגדירה מחדש כמוסד ציבורי.
המטרות היותר קונקרטיות שהציבו לעצמם המוחים הן להשתלט באופן דמוקרטי על מוסדות הניהול האוטוריטריים ועל מנגנוני ניהול הכספים, במטרה לצמצם בהדרגה את התלות החולנית שפיתחה האוניברסיטה בכוחות השוק. מאז תפסה המחאה תאוצה בפברואר היא הספיקה להתפשט לאוניברסיטאות אחרות בעולם וגייסה אליה תמיכה של דמויות בולטות בעולם האקדמי.
באוניברסיטת תל-אביב יתקיים דיון, תחת הכותרת "לחשוב מחדש את האוניברסיטה – דיון על המחאה בהולנד נגד האקדמיה הניאו-ליברלית" ביום ראשון, 12 באפריל, החל משעה 18:00 בחדר 212, בניין רוזנברג. בדיון ישתתפו: ד"ר הילה דיין וד"ר פיטר-וים זיידהוף וד"ר אראלה גרסיאני – המלמדים באוניברסיטת אמסטרדם. הכניסה חופשית.

=====================================================


ReThink UvA is a forum of UvA employees who demand structural reforms in education and research. Output-focused management has severely compromised the quality of both university education and research. We endorse the objectives of the New University movement and ally ourselves with the platforms Humanities Rally, Science in Transition and Reform Dutch Universities (H.NU).
ReThink UvA is a UvA-wide grassroots movement. We stand for the university as an academic community, and emphatically not as a business. In our university, students and staff contribute substantially to the decision-making process. Policy choices may not be based on financial returns, but should first and foremost be guided by scientific and societal needs.
ReThink UvA demands structural reform. All faculties are experiencing the symptoms of runaway output-oriented policies: increasing numbers of temporary contracts, funding being allocated based on the number of graduates or the number of publications, and the merger- and relocation-plans carried out without staff involvement or support. We must therefore change the current governance structure. Top-down management and output-oriented policies compromise the core goals of our university: quality education and research.
ReThink UvA provides a platform for this debate and for direct action. Together with the New University, our first focus will be on the fundamental problems within all faculties of the UvA, in the firm belief that other universities will recognize these issues and join forces in solidarity.
=================================================================
Jewish Voice for Peace
Letter from Tel Aviv - Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 07/31/2014 - 3:21pm
Why do Israelis support a costly ground invasion of Gaza? 

The summer in Israel was planned long in advance. Eager to go, our three small children were excited to start their Lego themed summer camp. We landed in Tel Aviv in steamy mid July, just when the current violence started. As a Dutch-Israeli family from Amsterdam that travels frequently to Israel we are used to being teased in calmer times about why, for our own sanity, we do not choose a real holiday destination instead of a conflict zone. Friends and relatives in the Netherlands are now worried. They inquire politely as to our safety and wellbeing. On facebook they see our shared images of dead and wounded children in Gaza, war horrors, anti-war demonstrations, international condemnations, outraged op-eds and petitions calling for immediate ceasefire. Pictures from home of smiling blond kids in green parks and sunny beaches are flickering in glaring contrast to the barrage of depressing feeds from our “vacation.”

Our family here knows we are appalled by the war and condemn the atrocities in Gaza but there is no point talking about it with them. As Israeli and Dutch citizens who want to see an end to the occupation our politics combined with the fact that we don't live in Israel makes us outsiders, if not outright “traitors.” We are naïve if we don’t see that hitting Gaza hard is necessary in response to the existential threat of Hamas. The weight of the overwhelming support for the war descends upon us daily, heavy and inescapable like the 90% humidity in the air. In Kindergartens, Pilates studios, hairdressers, office building signs are posted as people collect goodies for packages to send to our soldiers in the front. Soldiers are on everyone’s mind since the first smiley profiles of dead young man appeared in the news. At night many Tel Aviv restaurants and bars are empty or closed. Summer events and music concerts are cancelled so our sister and sister-in-law doda (aunt) miki the producer has plenty of time to spoil our children. This is war.
 
One of the many ironies of this “war vacation” is that the war and the vacation do coincide. Unlike many Israelis we are privileged to be able to take off for several weeks each summer. We got lucky with a house swap and stay at the very heart of Tel Aviv, complete with its Bauhaus glory and shady broad boulevards. So we take the kids on evening strolls on Rothschild Boulevard; hang out at Habima square, go to the beach and the pool, occasionally dine out. Our war amounts to spending a few minutes in a friendly meet and greet in the staircase of the apartment building if we happen to be home with the children when the siren is on. At night we do not disturb the kids’ sleep and skip the neighborly meet and greet, like last night when the siren went off. It took us few rather disorienting days here to slowly come to the conclusion that the palpable collective fear is disproportionate to the actual threat.

Government propaganda, lies and deceptions to galvanize support for the war is relentless and the Iron Dome system, the system that intercepts Hamas rockets, is just part of it. An expert opinion according to which the Israeli population is almost 100% safe even without it because of the inferiority of Hamas' weapons and the abundance of shelter infrastructure seemed credible. Deep inside, we believe, everyone knows that the chance something will happen to you here is statistically negligible. It can happen, like the chance of dying in a shocking aviation disaster as what happened this summer to hundreds of Dutch citizens, but it is very unlikely.

One commentator rightly said that Iron Dome functions as the Deus-ex-Machina of this war. Everyone but us is convinced it saves lives. We see it more as a psychological warfare device. Curiously, much of the explosion sound that gets people so worked up here is largely produced by the Iron Dome system itself. What is striking if not outright suspicious is that there is hardly any information in the aftermath of interceptions; we know nothing about it and nobody cares. The threat of warheads in any case gradually subsides as we write giving way to fear from terrorist infiltration from the Gaza tunnels. This shift happened within days from the ground invasion, which marked a notable decrease in the number of Iron Dome alarms.

How come everyone, even in our leftie circles, is so psychologically affected by this war? Why are they so afraid? earlier rounds - the second Intifada with buses and markets exploding - were much more terrifying. Of course far too many are first and foremost afraid for the lives of their loved ones, soldiers and reservists in Gaza. In my family a distant relative was wounded; the brother of a friend is "inside"; The ex of a friend, who I know way back from our military service during the first Intifada, was drafted. With more than forty soldiers dead, it appears that the imaginary threshold of a war too costly to wage has not been crossed.

As we write this, carnage in Gaza and the death of scores of soldiers is authorized to continue. Why? The Israeli narcissism that concerns itself only with IDF casualties while hundreds of bodies pile up in Gaza is nothing new. The logic of war normality we experience here in Tel Aviv just confirms it. The soldiers die so that we can live “normally.” Violence is inevitable because Israel is under attack. One has to be here to understand fully that the legitimacy of this war is not just manufactured top down by the Israeli government. It is a genuine and widespread social reality. Everyone, even those few hundreds opposing the war, us included, take part daily in its production. Take for instance the dynamic of normal routine interrupted regularly by sirens. In no time, these interruptions themselves became a normal routine. We all got used to the “pending emergency” situation. We are all on an emergency-normality switch mode. People stop cars in the middle of the road to seek shelter in nearby buildings only to go back behind the wheel and honk impatiently at the other drivers as if nothing happened; In cafes people nervously react to suspicious sounds, jump from their seats to the sound of sirens, and return seconds later to their relaxed posture sipping their espressos and so on.

Many Israelis, including very young children, incessantly consume updates on strikes and interceptions through the “red color” app. The app with the red icon on their smartphones is decorated with a sound radiation sign resembling the nuclear danger logo. Authorities, institutions, employers, all heighten security procedures, producing signs, road signs and flyers with instructions on buildings “safe spaces”. Municipalities put on giant billboards with patriotic slogans, one more offensively patriotic than the other. We received a leaflet to parents from the kids’ summer camp advising us on how to maintain “emotional safe spaces” for our children. On TV mainly men talk: brain-dead, repetitive, militaristic tactic-talk. The blogger Idan Landau once aptly called this tsunami of public appearances at times of war zman hagvarim - "the time of men."  At the same time, the witch hunt of dissenters has reached epidemic proportions, targeting many, and women especially, who dare speak their minds against the war. Orna Banai, Gila Almagor, Shira Gefen are famous celebrities who were vilified for speaking out; a Palestinian psychologist working for the Lod municipality and many like her got fired for what they posted on facebook.

The Open House LGBT organization in Jerusalem came under attack after Elinor Sidi, its director, took a stance against the war. In academia, university presidents published statements warning that they monitor staff and students expressions on social media and will resort to sanctions if they express “too extreme” opinions. This blunt assault is what happens publicly. In private, we know from our friends, many who are politically colored as unpatriotic or anti-Zionist pay a great personal price. Candidates for jobs are asked to write letters renouncing their political opinions. University presidents intervene personally to block “controversial” appointments. Ron Shoval, former leader of Im Tirtzu organizations called to put to use the boycott law, from its sinful inception no more than a dead letter law, to preemptively prosecute and jail human rights defenders. The idea is to prevent human rights organizations from reporting to an international investigation like the Goldstone commission after operation Cast Lead. This witch hunt did not begin yesterday, but the war made things much worse. We encounter both this white fascism running through the main echelons of Israeli society, and the street fascism, those small but well organized gangs of the extreme right who mobilize to beat and intimidate anti-war protestors when they take to the street. In the cultural war raging here it is the Mizrahi face of the extreme right chanting “death to Arab” on the street that grabs all the attention. Haaretz is covering this Mizrahi extreme right extensively. Indeed, it is perceived by lefties especially as menacing, as the “sewage” flooding civilized Israel. But, the white fascism of university presidents or Im Tirtzu is far worse, far more dangerous. One Ron Shoval is more effective in crushing dissent than a thousand street gangs. Those are the people who really hold the key to a complete breakdown of the façade of Israeli democracy.

We attempted to describe the regime of manufactured fear and psychological support for the war, penetrating all aspects of life in all directions. For the vast majority of the country this fear is disproportionate to the actual threat. We described also a climate of threat of violence and violence directed against any form of dissent. In an atmosphere of pending emergency dissent is forbidden and any government action addressing the collective paranoia from the threat of Hamas is seen in a positive light. Needless to say, the government does nothing to curb the climate of violence against dissenters. Instead it incites it with reckless disregard to its potentially disastrous consequences. We do not fear to go and demonstrate, we are still able to do that with reasonable safety, but staying safe on the street is a slightly more complicated task than calculating where the nearest building entrance is in case of a siren alarm. This regime of collective fear and collective mobilization in support of the war is so intense, that our “war vacation” is starting to feel like we took the wrong flight and landed in North Korea.

They are all animals” a tattooed man in his 30s muttered in our direction as we just got up to pay for our coffee. "Are you sure ALL of them are?" one of us replied later contemplating the stupidity of a casual response that could have easily provoked violence. Hamas is seen as a mortal, inhuman enemy, which must be crushed, decimated. In line with Prime Minister Netanyahu it is for many heir to Amalek in ancient times and Hitler. This is no apology but Israelis have been traumatized by the savage campaigns of suicide bombings of Hamas beginning in the 1990s, and so it is psychologically impossible for many to acknowledge that however criminal the actions of military resistance to the occupation sometimes are, in fact as soon as Hamas took power over Gaza in 2006 it became an intimate strategic partner of the militant Israeli government.

Mash'al and Bibi are caught like lovers on an airplane about to crash in a deadly embrace for their own survival. Although the IDF now deals Hamas a military blow, the government is in fact desperate to keep the organization somehow alive. Military sources said from the outset of the operation that the purpose of the invasion this time is not to “break Hamas.” Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire in turn reflect just how addicted it became to the crumbs falling from the Israeli government table. The script for a ceasefire was already written before the ground invasion began. It is a matter of ending the bloody spectacle with a mere semblance of two sides mutually bettering their positions.

The tragedy of course is that so many stand-ins and movie extras must die so spectacularly in vain for the status quo of occupation-resistance to continue. It may sound crazy, given all that we have said so far about Israel in the grip of fascism, but right to left people understand perfectly well the futility of the bloodshed. They already talk about the next round as inevitable. Depressed and helpless to stop it many express confusion and are simply torn between their instinct of victimization and sense of horror at the high price in human life. What is entirely lost or powerfully sublimated is the consequence of being implicated in and authorizing crimes against humanity. Israelis consider the war of position between Hamas and their government to be an existential war, and the conduct of their enemy, they feel, absolves them from any accountability. In their battle of survival, real and imaginary, it only makes sense to let the enemy die and verify the killing (vidu hariga). In this savage place no laws of war apply.

Our children's renewed Israeli passports arrived just before the ground invasion. Staring at their pictures, Israeli IDs and passport numbers, the thought crossed our minds - why can't they be spared this terrible burden? Why should they carry an identity associated with cruelty, horrors, war, occupation, apartheid, crimes against humanity? They are Dutch kids after all, fluent in Hebrew but with a thick Amsterdam accent. Why can't they just sleep in their beds safely without their parents agonizing about children killed in their name? We should go home to Amsterdam or join our relatives vacationing in la Palma, a Canary island. This war vacation and the summer disaster in the Netherlands made us aware of our fragility, temporariness, and inability to control what is happening in our environment. It also sharpened our differences. At times like these mom is better off here in this normal-savage place where she is from, and where she directly partakes in efforts to stop the war. For dad it is crazy to be here, where he is surrounded by supporters of war crimes, who seem superficially normal and go about their normal lives. The kids, they just soak up the sun and enjoy themselves tremendously, their family and friends keep them happy. Their happiness and safety is comforting, but what would we say when they start asking us: mom, dad, what is war, who is doing it, and why can’t you stop it?

Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof

Jewish Voice for Peace    |     1611 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1020, Oakland, CA 94612     |    510.465.1777     |    info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org

===================================================

2011

ISRAEL AGAINST DEMOCRACY
Hilla Dayan*

* Hilla Dayan (Ph.D. New School for Social Research, New York) is a lecturer at Amsterdam University College and the International Relations Policy Advisor for the Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel).

Israel is currently undergoing a quiet anti-democratic revolution spurred by a self-proclaimed ‘second Zionist revolution’. It began with serial admonitions directed against academics, civil society associations and foundations, veteran human rights NGOs, individual anti-occupation activists and the Palestinian citizen minority at large. ‘Scientific findings’ have been presented to Parliamentary committees supposedly exposing the subversive activities of ‘the enemies from within’. There were explicit threats, such as the ultimatum given to the president of Ben Gurion University to dispose of anti-Zionist faculty within 30 days or else University donors would be approached and asked to withdraw their donations. This insidious threat first backfired, provoking protest in the name of academic freedom. But the demand succeeded eventually in severely undermining academic freedom. Ben Gurion University recently adopted new bylaws, which threaten academics with disciplinary measures for opposing government policies by supporting academic boycotts.

The irony of course, is that this ‘revolution’ is not waged in the name of the people but on behalf of the state, and against democracy. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has lifted the settlers’ movement to a historical peek of power. Split into small ultra-nationalist parties in fierce competition for visibility, the movement nevertheless occupies a position of hegemony. It today claims to represent not a minority, a rather marginal sub-sector of Israeli society, but ‘the Jewish people’, on whose behalf the current Israeli Parliament, the 18th Knesset, unleashed a tsunami of anti-democratic legislation. Literally hundreds of new proposed bills seek to restrict the freedom of expression and association of individuals and organizations, and severely penalize Israeli citizens for a variety of legitimate and non-violent political activities.

In March 2010, the Knesset enacted the Nakba Law, allowing the State to revoke government funding for groups and public institutions commemorating the 1948 Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). In July, the anti-boycott bill passed into law. This law levies punitive fines without a need for proof of damage on citizens who are alleged to call for academic, cultural or economic boycotts. It could lead to revoking the non-profit status of, and thus effectively ban, organizations such as the Coalition of Women for Peace, whose research into the economy of the occupation (whoprofits.org) has played a pivotal role in successful international campaigns promoting government and corporate social responsibility. Theatres may censure artists and actors who refuse to perform in theatres illegally built on Palestinian land for fear of losing government funding. The bill’s stated purpose is to protect Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

It turns Israeli citizens by default into active supporters of violations of international law. It enables settlers and right-wing organizations to harass political opponents and companies and drag them to court day in day out on false ‘boycott’ charges. A marked escalation of repression, the turning point being the 2008-2009 military offensive in Gaza, translated public admonitions of dissent into full-scale anti-democratic legal revision. This legal revision is dealing a blow, the strongest to date, perhaps the most lethal, to the country’s shaky democratic foundations and liberal image. It is as anti-intellectual, racist, fanatic, and intolerant of dissent as the ‘lords of the land’ ideology of the settlers. With the help of its long civilian arm, the extreme right in power is clearly demonstrating that it is willing and able to go to great length in undermining democracy and wreaking havoc on Israeli civil society and the Palestinian minority in order to sustain the occupation and the settlements at all costs. What distinguishes this new populist movement from the populism we are familiar with in Europe is that it does not raise the spectre of a Zionist revolution in opposition to the status quo, but in an attempt to violently enforce it.

The Israeli settlers’ movement and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands nonetheless share not only dubious funding sources and a vulgar vision of the conflict that manipulatively seeks to advance parochial interests by globalizing islamophobia; they also share a desire to dominate the political discourse entirely. Wilders’ extremist Israeli friends seem to be in a better position, since they are currently in power,to enforce by law intolerance of opposition and persecution of ideological enemies. We can certainly attribute the legal revision enacted by this movement against democracy to the growing visibility and international success of the non-violent resistance to the occupation in Israel/Palestine and internationally. Israeli leaders officially acknowledge, by initiating the boycott prohibition bill, for instance, that the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) is actually effective. Indeed, Israel’s international status is plummeting.

According to a recent BBC poll surveying 27 countries, Israel is grouped with Iran and North Korea as ‘the world's least popular countries’ and viewed as having a negative influence in the world. Just when it seems that the international community is approaching the point of finally having enough of Israel’s entrenched policies of occupation and settlement, Israel is turning its back both to the forces of democratization in the Middle East, and to the West, trumping international sensibilities as to basic standards of democracy.Israel’s international isolation is clearly a result of misguided actions of a reckless government lashing out at its citizens for allegedly causing the ‘delegitimisation of Israel’ rather than seriously dealing with the new realities taking shape in the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered boycotting the Mideast Quartet meeting for fear of international pressure. His Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liebermann, blatantly lied about his ‘successful meetings’ in Europe, forcing heads of state to respond by underlining major disagreements.

The notion that Israel could protect itself from ‘delegitimisation’ through domestic repression of dissent is preposterous.Crushing dissent will not turn the tide. International pressure and solidarity with the non-violent resistance to the occupation will continue to soar. Even when it backlashes, even when it sometimes unintentionally puts at risk those activists struggling on the ground to end the occupation, international pressure is both necessary and productive in the short and the long run.

Policy makers and international stakeholders confronted persuasively and effectively with the resolve of Palestinian, Israeli and international civil society to demand justice, accountability and an end to a brutal occupation by Israel must act to defend individuals and organizations from government retribution and punish this government for its anti-democratic excesses. Ensuring that Israel pays a heavy international price for domestic repression is not only a matter of a moral and legal obligation of the international community, but possibly the only way to bring the country to its senses.

No matter how far-reaching new repressive laws are, dissenters and human rights defenders in Israel will not stop their struggle for democracy and justice at the government’s command. These democratic forces will not be silenced, not even by a state whose desperate actions signal to the world that it is currently indifferent to its prospects of becoming the only dictatorship in the Middle East.

- The Amsterdam Law Forum is supported by the VU University Library 



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http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=GrassianiSoldiering

SOLDIERING UNDER OCCUPATION

Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada

Erella Grassiani

Often, violent behavior or harassment from a soldier is dismissed by the military as unacceptable acts

by individuals termed, “rotten apples.” In this study, the author argues that this dismissal is

unsatisfactory and that there is an urgent need to look at the (mis)behavior of soldiers from a

structural point of view. When soldiers serve as an occupational force, they find themselves in

a particular situation influenced by structural circumstances that heavily influence their behavior

and moral decision-making. This study focuses on young Israeli men and their experiences as combat

soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), particularly those who served in the “Occupied Palestinian

Territories” (OPT) during the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” which broke out in 2000. In describing the soldiers’

circumstances, especially focusing on space, the study shows how processes of numbing on different

levels influence the (moral) behavior of these soldiers.

Erella Grassiani is currently Lecturer in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University

of Amsterdam. Her work focuses on military and security issues in Israel.


Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Preface
Methodology

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Studying Soldiers
Chapter 3. Checkpoints, Arrests and Patrols: Spaces of Occupation
Chapter 4. Performing as Occupiers: Operational Dynamics
Chapter 5. Tired, Bored and Scared: Emotional, Physical and Cognitive Numbing
Chapter 6. Blurring morals: the numbed moral competence of soldiers
Chapter 7. Morality in Speech: Discursive Strategies of Soldiers
Chapter 8. Conclusion

References





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