October 11 – 13, 2011, Amsterdam
During three days of discussions, exhibitions and film screenings, gate48 would like to introduce innovative perspectives on the militarization of Israeli society and culture. Militarism is part of everyday life in Israel, closely linked to the ongoing reality of armed conflict and occupation. As a result, militaristic approaches to the conflict have become dominant, while feminist critiques and other alternative voices have been ignored or dismissed. Conscripted Realities aims to bring forth these voices in order to examine how the military and civil society interact in the formation of the national subject.
Academics and activists from Israel will discuss the topic from various angles, including the economic aspects of militarization, the militarization of education and media, and the effects of militarization on gendered and ethnic minorities in their struggles for equality. The symposium is accompanied by a digital exhibition “Making Militarism Visible”, curated by the Israeli feminist organization “New Profile”. The exhibition reveals the subtle but strong influence of militarism on Israeli popular culture.
The symposium also marks the opening of the exhibition “Breaking the Silence: Video Testimonies of Israeli Soldiers”, created by Breaking the Silence* and presented at the Melkweg gallery. Conscripted Realities: Military and Society in Israel endeavors to contextualize this powerful exhibition within a broader socio-cultural perspective.
*Breaking the Silence is an organization of Israeli ex-military combatants who seek to reveal the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The exhibition at the Melkweg gallery is co-organized by gate48.
Tuesday, October 11
Opening event: CREA – Theaterzaal, Turfdraagsterpad 17
20:00-20.15 Opening Remarks
Dr. Erella Grassiani, VU University Amsterdam, gate48
20.15-22.00 Noam Hayut, co-founder of Breaking the Silence
Breaking the Silence: Testimonies of Soldiers from the Israeli Occupation
Discussant: Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, Chair of the department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University
Wednesday, October 12
Symposium: University of Amsterdam – VOC-zaal (Bushuis/OIH), Kloveniersburgwal 48
9:00 – 9:30 Gathering and coffee
Screening of the New profile exhibition “Making Militarism Visible””; ongoing throughout the day.
9:30 – 9:45 Opening Remarks
Noa Roei, University of Amsterdam, gate48
9:45 – 11:15 Session I: The Making of Military Minds: Militarism in Education and Media
Abir Kopty, activist, media analyst and consultant
Militarism, Patriarchy and elitism in Israeli media
Rela Mazali, author and independent scholar, co-founder of the New Profile movement to demilitarize Israel, co-founder of the arms control project “Gun Free Kitchen Tables”
Disappearing Choice or How I Was Educated to Believe There Wasn’t Any
Chair and discussant: Robin Celikates, Associate Professor of Political and Social Philosophy, University of Amsterdam
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 13:00 Session II: Equal Duties, Equal Rights? Gender Politics in a Militarized Society
Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, Chair of the department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University
Militarism from a Gendered Perspective: The Meaning of Military Service in Israeli Women’s Life Course
Inna Michaeli, Coalition of Women for Peace
From “No Pride in the Occupation” to the Current “Pinkwashing” Debate: LGBT Politics and Militarism in Israel
Chair and discussant: Aylin Kuryel, PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Session III: The Security Business: Soldiers without Uniforms
Galit Gelbort, PhD researcher and writer, Israel
Evolutions of Israeli Control of the Palestinian Population: From Checkpoint to the New Privatized Crossing
Dr. Erella Grassiani, VU University Amsterdam, gate48
How to use Occupation Skills for a Profit: Israeli Combatant Experience as a Brand
Chair and discussant: Rela Mazali, author and independent scholar
15:30 – 16:00 Roundtable and Concluding remarks
Melkweg – Mediaroom, Lijnbaansgracht 234a
17:00 Drinks and the opening of the exhibition:
Breaking the Silence: Video Testimonies of Israeli Soldiers
The exhibition will be on display between October 13th and November 13th.
Thursday, October 13
Humanity House, Prinsegracht 8, Den Haag
17:00 Breaking the Silence: Testimonies of Soldiers from the Israeli Occupation
Discussion with Noam Hayut, co-founder of Breaking the Silence
Final Event: Mezrab, Domselaerstraat 120, Amsterdam
The Political Consequences of Militarization
19:30 Doors open, food and drinks available
20:30 Introduction: Itamar Shachar, gate48
20:40 Film screening: “A Million Bullets in October”
(Israel 2007, 47 min., Hebrew with English subtitles)
Director: Moish Goldberg
This documentary film describes how the Israeli public was convinced with the outbreak of the second Intifada in October 2000 that ‘there is no partner for negotiation on the Palestinian side’, and therefore a military assault on the Palestinians is unavoidable. Testimonies of Israeli politicians, journalists and ex-military officers reveal how Israeli consciousness was shaped through disinformation spread by the military and by uncritical journalists, while cabinet members allowed the army to lead the way and dictate policy.
21:30 Discussion with Abir Kopty, activist, media analyst and consultant
Moderator: Pejman Jafari, PhD candidate at the department of political science, University of Amsterdam, board member of Mezrab