Women in the Israeli Army

by tobybee

Over on Jewcy I came across this video of some woman apparently trying to find out what it’s like for women in the Israeli army. Her video is frustrating and illuminating. She doesn’t at all explore the wide range of activities that women carry out, like working on the checkpoints throughout the West Bank. She doesn’t deal with the rampant sexism, and sexual assault/abuse that exists in this army (just like every army). Basically, the video is all about how heroic and amazing these women (and, by extension, the whole army) is.
And so what’s illuminating is that you can kind of see the logic – one of the women sits in a little room, directing an unmanned spy plane which flies of Israel, and presumably the Occupied Territories. She helps soldiers on the ground know where to go. And it’s all completely disconnected. It makes sense – for her, in her isolated job, being in the air force is all about this one task, which is basically helping her friends not be killed. Hard, presumably, from her perspective, to argue with that. It’s really only by placing her actions in their larger context that we can properly understand, critique and condemn what she is doing.
But it also demonstrates that that’s how effective armies work – by breaking up the task of subjugating other peoples into small bits, so it’s palatable for the individuals who carry out the tasks (although, of course, it relies on the existence of individuals who would carry out even these small tasks. and, thank god, not all of us are those people)…

For some reason, I can’t get the video to embed here, so to watch it click here.