Unintended Securitization

Military, Medical, and Political-Security Discourses in the Humanitarian Treatment of Syrian Casualties in Israel

in Conflict and Society
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  • 1 Haifa University heyal@staff.haifa.ac.il
  • 2 Hebrew University of Jerusalem limor.darash@mail.huji.ac.il
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Abstract

In this article, we examine statements by state officials and individuals from the military and the medical establishment regarding the provision of medical aid by Israel to casualties from the Syrian Civil War. We argue discussions of this project have been characterized by three different discourses, each dominant at different times, which we classify as military, medical, and political-security. We propose “unintended securitization” to describe how the project moved from the military into the medical-civilian and then into the political sphere, and came to be seen as advancing the security interests of the Israeli state. We argue the relationship between humanitarianism and securitization seen here challenges the view that humanitarian apparatuses are often subordinated to military rationales by showing how securitization here emerged from the demilitarization of what was initially a military project.

Contributor Notes

HEDVA EYAL is Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Haifa University. Her research deals with medical anthropology, notably medical experimentation on humans, reproductive technologies; the relations between medical science, state, and society in the Israeli context; and feminism. Email: heyal@staff.haifa.ac.il

LIMOR SAMIMIAN-DARASH is Senior Lecturer (US Associate Professor) in the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on preparedness and security, the governance of risk and uncertainty, and scenario thinking/planning. Her recent publications include Modes of Uncertainty: Anthropological Cases (coedited with Paul Rabinow, 2015), “Governing Future Potential Biothreats: Toward an Anthropology of Uncertainty” (Current Anthropology, 2013), “Practicing Uncertainty: Scenario-Based Preparedness Exercises in Israel” (Cultural Anthropology, 2016). Email: limor.darash@mail.huji.ac.il

Conflict and Society

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