news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | July 24, 2014 | 2.53 pm IST

Several Israeli reserves are refusing to join the Isreali Army’s ground attack on Palestinians in Gaza.

Writing a petition of support to the various groups of reserves, soldiers and administrative personnel in the Army, Yael Even Or argues in The Washington Post: “In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.”

The petition also talks about the nature of control and influence that the Israeli army has over both Israelis and Palestinians, and how they are qualitatively different: “The Israeli Army, a fundamental part of Israelis’ lives, is also the power that rules over the Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967. As long as it exists in its current structure, its language and mindset control us: We divide the world into good and evil according to the military’s categories; the military serves as the leading authority on who is valued more and who less in society — who is more responsible for the occupation, who is allowed to vocalize their resistance to it and who isn’t, and how they are allowed to do it. The military plays a central role in every action plan and proposal discussed in the national conversation, which explains the absence of any real argument about non-military solutions to the conflicts Israel has been locked in with its neighbors.”

Signatories to the petition say that the “entire” military comprising of combative as well as non-combative personnel all serve to “implement the oppression of the Palestinians”. Apart from being responsible for the oppression of Palestinians, they argue that the Israeli army projects itself as a “stepping stone” in Israeli society, but actually perpetuates segregation on class lines. Those from elite families get the elite posts in the army, and when they leave, they are offered well-paying jobs in Israeli companies. But the benefits that people from lower income groups receive are not as generous. 

While admitting that they had in fact benefitted from military service and were able to get good jobs, but they say : “But for the above reasons, these benefits were not worth the costs.”

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