Women Against Violence

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At least some Israeli people are against the horrific violence their government is unleashing on innocent people in Gaza, and they are women. Below is the statement released today by the IDF military reserve women who have decided that killing innocent people is not the way to resolve problems in a civilized world.

We are Israeli reservists. We refuse to serve.

“Whenever the Israeli army drafts the reserves — which are made up of ex-soldiers — there are dissenters, resisters, and AWOLers among the troops called to war. Now that Israel has sent troops to Gaza again and reserves are being summoned to service, dozens are refusing to take part.

We are more than 50 Israelis who were once soldiers and now declare our refusal to be part of the reserves. We oppose the Israeli Army and the conscription law. Partly, that’s because we revile the current military operation. But most of the signers below are women and would not have fought in combat. For us, the army is flawed for reasons far broader than “Operation Protective Edge,” or even the occupation. We rue the militarization of Israel and the army’s discriminatory policies. One example is the way women are often relegated to low-ranking secretarial positions. Another is the screening system that discriminates against Mizrachi (Jews whose families originate in Arab countries) by keeping them from being fairly represented inside the army’s most prestigious units. In Israeli society, one’s unit and position determines much of one’s professional path in the civilian afterlife.

To us, the current military operation and the way militarization affects Israeli society are inseparable. 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.

This petition, long in the making, has a special urgency because of the brutal military operation now taking place in our name. And although combat soldiers are generally the ones prosecuting today’s war, their work would not be possible without the many administrative roles in which most of us served. So if there is a reason to oppose combat operations in Gaza, there is also a reason to oppose the Israeli military apparatus as a whole. That is the message of this petition:

We were soldiers in a wide variety of units and positions in the Israeli military—a fact we now regret, because, in our service, we found that troops who operate in the occupied territories aren’t the only ones enforcing the mechanisms of control over Palestinian lives. In truth, the entire military is implicated. For that reason, we now refuse to participate in our reserve duties, and we support all those who resist being called to service.

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.

The Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are deprived of civil rights and human rights. They live under a different legal system from their Jewish neighbors. This is not exclusively the fault of soldiers who operate in these territories. Those troops are, therefore, not the only ones obligated to refuse. Many of us served in logistical and bureaucratic support roles; there, we found that the entire military helps implement the oppression of the Palestinians.

Many soldiers who serve in non-combat roles decline to resist because they believe their actions, often routine and banal, are remote from the violent results elsewhere. And actions that aren’t banal — for example, decisions about the life or death of Palestinians made in offices many kilometers away from the West Bank — are classified, and so it’s difficult to have a public debate about them. Unfortunately, we did not always refuse to perform the tasks we were charged with, and in that way we, too, contributed to the violent actions of the military.

During our time in the army, we witnessed (or participated in) the military’s discriminatory behavior: the structural discrimination against women, which begins with the initial screening and assignment of roles; the sexual harassment that was a daily reality for some of us; the immigration absorption centers that depend on uniformed military assistance. Some of us also saw firsthand how the bureaucracy deliberately funnels technical students into technical positions, without giving them the opportunity to serve in other roles. We were placed into training courses among people who looked and sounded like us, rather than the mixing and socializing that the army claims to do.

The military tries to present itself as an institution that enables social mobility — a stepping-stone into Israeli society. In reality, it perpetuates segregation. We believe it is not accidental that those who come from middle- and high- income families land in elite intelligence units, and from there often go to work for high-paying technology companies. We think it is not accidental that when soldiers from a firearm maintenance or quartermaster unit desert or leave the military, often driven by the need to financially support their families, they are called “draft-dodgers.” The military enshrines an image of the “good Israeli,” who in reality derives his power by subjugating others. The central place of the military in Israeli society, and this ideal image it creates, work together to erase the cultures and struggles of the Mizrachi, Ethiopians, Palestinians, Russians, Druze, the Ultra-Orthodox, Bedouins, and women.

We all participated, on one level or another, in this ideology and took part in the game of “the good Israeli” that serves the military loyally. Mostly our service did advance our positions in universities and the labor market. We made connections and benefited from the warm embrace of the Israeli consensus. But for the above reasons, these benefits were not worth the costs.

By law, some of us are still registered as part of the reserved forces (others have managed to win exemptions or have been granted them upon their release), and the military keeps our names and personal information, as well as the legal option to order us to “service.” But we will not participate — in any way.

There are many reasons people refuse to serve in the Israeli Army. Even we have differences in background and motivation about why we’ve written this letter. Nevertheless, against attacks on those who resist conscription, we support the resisters: the high school students who wrote a refusal declaration letter, the Ultra orthodox protesting the new conscription law, the Druze refusers, and all those whose conscience, personal situation, or economic well-being do not allow them to serve. Under the guise of a conversation about equality, these people are forced to pay the price. No more.

Yael Even Or. . . . “

. . . and many more signatures.

To see the other signatories to this manifesto/petition, see the story here.

 

Israel’s Gaza Killing Spree

Every israeli bomb murders Gaza civilians

Every israeli bomb murders Gaza civilians

Remember when the Israeli excuse for murdering scores of Palestinian citizens was retaliation for the 3 kidnapped teenagers that were found dead several weeks ago?   Yesterday, Israel air strikes murdered four small boys on a beach in Gaza.  Today the ground invasion to “close the tunnels” with bombs started.

Netanyahu’s excuses for the ongoing killing has already changed several times. At one point the excuse for Israel’s killing spree was to strike “military” targets or “terror targets”.

Then it was because Hamas, an elected group,  reportedly didn’t agree with their so-called cease fire proposal. Then it was to eradicate Hamas, then it was to close the tunnels. The tunnels only exist because Gaza is under siege by Israel and Israel has closed their borders, including the border with the ocean.  (Hamas does not live in the tunnels. The tunnels bring medical supplies, food and other necessities of life into Gaza.)

Everyone wants a cease fire to the violence, but make no mistake, Israel began this particular “war” as they always do, and they expect Hamas and Gaza citizens to sit back and take it and not fight back? This is a false expectation. The false choice just the other day was an amazing one by the Netanyahu government:  Because Hamas did not honor the ceasefire that Hamas never agreed to, Israel had no choice but to hit Gaza even harder.

Even in a crazy world, that is particularly insane “reasoning”.  Israel gave Hamas a six hour ultimatum and then resumed killing Gaza citizens at random, willfully killing civilians, when Hamas didn’t respond to Netanyahu’s demands. It’s well past time for the United States and its people to stop supporting the Israeli government in all matters of war and militarism.  Stop giving them money, stop making excuses for their murders of Palestinian people. It’s time to boycott and divest.

And see this story for the horrifying manner in which Israel is getting away with murder — supposedly, in a legal manner, but a method called a “roof knock”.  A roof knock is a non-explosive that goes through the roof of a civilian house to warn them to leave immediately, and if they don’t get out, they are killed.  Israel believes this warning method is a legal way around murder. Imagine if your neighbors did this to you: knocked on your door, telling you to evacuate and if you don’t immediately evacuate, then the hail of gunfire you die in is your own fault.

It’s amazing that any American with a conscience could defend any of this.

 

 

Why are Americans so Obsessed with Guns?

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A: The NRA Culture, a culture of machismo, and the politics of the GOP and the Tea Party. But it has recently been brought to my attention that a bunch of white women are also doing the gun-obsessions-open-carry thing.  *Note these are all white women. (If a brown or black women openly carried a weapon anywhere in the United States, I doubt she’d remain out of jail for long. All of these roving packs of gun-toters are white or appear white, come to think of it.)

Why do they do it?

“Low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy. [let me add - deep cowardice]

A gun in the hand gives the bearer an inflated sense of self esteem and power and they can’t live without it. It’s a drug to them which is why they get so uptight when questioned or challenged about their addiction.

… and before someone else brings it up the constitution gives the right to bear arms. Nowhere does it say gun, aassault rifle or 20,000 rounds of armour piercing ammunition. Carrying a stick is bearing arms!”

Continue reading

Why Are Men So Violent? | Psychology Today

It will not have gone unnoticed that men are more violent than women. Men perpetrate about 90 percent of the world’s homicides and start all of the wars. But why? A recent article in a prominent science journal contends that evolution has shaped men to be warriors. More specifically, the authors claim that men are biologically programmed to form coalitions that aggress against neighbors, and they do so in order to get women, either through force or by procuring resources that would make them more desirable. The male warrior hypothesis is alluring because it makes sense of male violence, but it is based on a dubious interpretation of the science. In my new book, I point out that such evolutionary explanations of behavior are often worse than competing historical explanations. The same is true in this case. There are simpler historical explanations of male violence, and understanding these is important for coping with the problem.

via Why Are Men So Violent? | Psychology Today.

MSNBC Guest Says We Should Profile ‘White Men’ as School Shooters | Video | TheBlaze.com

MSNBC Guest Says We Should Profile ‘White Men’ as School Shooters | Video | TheBlaze.com.

Mass Shooters Usually Men

Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current, joins Thom Hartmann. Since the shooting massacre in Connecticut – debates have heated up across the country on gun control – mental health services and the level of violence in our culture in general. But – as those debates are going on – one very important characteristic of mass murders in this country is being overlooked. In 31 of the school shootings that have taken place since 1999 – the shooters were all men.

Are Men to Blame for Violence?

Movies, Women and War

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The movie “Edge of Tomorrow” attempts to feminize mass violence/war in the character of Rita, aka “Full Metal Bitch”. The Strong Female Warrior is a forced idea in this movie for two major reasons. The movie does not uphold the premise that legendary, violent fighters are ever women. Second, the actress chosen for the role of the world’s best, baddest fighter against aliens is the pretty, petite, soft-spoken Emily Blunt. (spoiler alert)

Even in the movie itself, she is never shown winning battles, or looking particularly fierce or bloodthirsty, until briefly (at the end in some dark scenes where it’s hard to even see her). Even then, her bravest scenes end with her kissing the man she trained. Then she sacrifices herself for the greater good, a very female thing to do, while the man continues to actually to the killing of the alien. For most of the movie Ritat talks in a very normal, non-warrior like tone. For all her popularity as the world’s best figher, the movie shows us no successful battle scenes where she really kicks alien ass, nor are there any scenes where we are impressed with her toughness or violent, rage-filled fights. We only hear that these things occurred at some point in the past. The character of Rita is a manufactured female warrior for the sake of having a female warrior in the movie.

This is completely unlike a real female warrior character in the older “Alien” movies, where Sigourney Weaver nearly saved humanity all by herself by violently fighting and killing aliens. However, her motivation did not seem to be saving the human race in a testosterone-fueled manner, but instead, saving a little girl, who reminded her of her own daughter. For all her incredible fighting, it appears to have been her motherly caring that saved human kind.

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