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Research on Gender and the Military in Israel

From a Gendered Organization to Inequality Regimes

Orna Sasson-Levy

This article offers an analytical review of the research on gender and the military in Israel since the 1970s. I argue that the research in this field has undergone a paradigmatic shift that is based on five analytical transformations: (1) a move from a binary gendered conception to intersectionality analysis; (2) a shift from a dichotomous perception of the military organization to an analysis based on 'inequality regime' theory; (3) an emphasis on women as agents of change and resistance; (4) a focus on men and militarized masculinities; and (5) macro-analysis of the significance of women's service in a militaristic society. The article concludes with a discussion of the current political dynamics and conflicts that shape both the construction of the military gender regime and the production of the research in this field.

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US–México border states and the US military–industrial complex

A Global Space for expanding transnational capital

Juan Manuel Sandoval Palacios

English abstract: At the beginning of the 1980s a new Global Space for the expansion of transnational capital emerged in the US–Mexico Border States. The militarization and securitization of that border were justified by government policies aimed at stopping irregular immigration, drug traffic, and terrorism. In 1991 the US Congress approved the creation of a new Defense Industrial and Technology Base (DITB), which would benefit the Gun Belt linked to the Military-Industrial Complex; and in 1992 the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed to establish a Defense Reserve Industrial Base Program (DRIB), the location for which would be within the existing production-sharing centers along the US–Mexico Border. Both, the DITB and the DRIB, would take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and transnational arms corporations established or expanded their facilities in the Global Space that has been created along the Mexico–US Border. This article examines this process.

Spanish abstract: A principios de los años ochenta surgió un nuevo Espacio Global para la expansión del capital transnacional en los estados fronterizos de Estados Unidos y México. La militarización y la securitización de esta frontera ha sido justificada por estrategias para detener la inmigración irregular, el narcotráfico y el terrorismo. En 1991 el Congreso de los Estados Unidos aprobó la creación de una nueva Base de Tecnología y Defensa Industrial (DITB) que beneficiaría al llamado Cinturón de Armas ligado al Complejo Militar-Industrial; y en 1992 el Departamento de Defensa (DoD) propuso la creación del Programa de Base Industrial de la Reserva de Defensa (DRIB), cuya ubicación estaría dentro de los centros de producción compartida a lo largo de la frontera México–Estados Unidos. Tanto el DITB como el DRIB aprovecharían el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), y las corporaciones transnacionales de armamentos establecerían o expanderían sus instalaciones en el Espacio Global creado a lo largo de la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Este artículo examina este proceso.

French abstract: Au début des annéesquatre-vingt, un nouvel Espace Global pour l’expansion du capital transnational surgit à la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. Depuis, la militarisation et la sécuritisation de cette frontière a été justifiée par des stratégies pour contenir la migration clandestine, le traffic de drogue et le terrorisme. Cependant, ces processus protègent et supportent également cet espace global, qui est lié au “ceinturon armé” qui a surgit durant l’administration Reagan. Depuis cette époque, des propositions ont été présentées au Congrès des États-Unis pour établir une nouvelle Base de Technologie et de Défense Industrielle (DITB selon ses sigles en anglais), qui serait bénéfique pour la ceinturon armé ainsi qu’un Programme de Base Industrielle de la Réserve de Défense (DRIB en anglais) dont la localisation a été proposée tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cet article étudie comment le DITB et le DRIB ont évolué dans le contexte de l’Accord de Libre Échange Nord-Américain (ALÉNA) et ont permis à des corporations transnationales d’armes d’établir ou de renforcer des installations dans l’Espace Global qui a été créé tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cette article examine ce processus.

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Jochen Maurer and Gerhard Sälter

The border guards were what made the Berlin Wall both function and lethal. Without them, people could escape nearly without any hindrance. Thus, it is crucial to understand the role of the border guards, who they were, and how they were prepared for their duty. They had a double task: preventing citizens, in most cases respectable and unarmed, from fleeing; and serving as an initial front-line defense in case of war. The military aspect of their mission, however, remained hypothetical, whereas preventing escapes became their daily duty. The duplicity of their task, with the military aspect determining armament, training, and structure no doubt increased the number of fatalities at the border.

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Aviva Halamish

The article critically examines Mapam's activity regarding the Military Government imposed on Arab-populated areas between 1948 and 1966. It analyzes and compares the party's declared stand and its parliamentary activity with the role played by the issue as a factor in coalition negotiations. The article contends that the issue of the Military Government did not serve as a crucial factor in Mapam's decision either to join the coalition or to stay out of it. It also claims that Mapam did not have a direct influence on the actual decisions concerning the Military Government, due to Mapai's dominance in the Israeli political system in those years. The article suggests that the case of Mapam and the Military Government sheds light on the modus operandi of the Israeli political system prior to the Six Day War, on the extent of Mapai's dominance of the political system in Israel prior to the 1977 political upheaval, on the limited role and influence available to small parties in a dominant party system, and on the inherent conflict and potential collision between security considerations and democracy.

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Christian Kehrt

A closer look at military pilots promises new insights into processes of automation, changing man-machine relations, and the cultural and political meaning of these experiences. The review of recent scholarship is combined with concrete historical examples. By drawing from the German case between the two world wars, the author discusses how the material and cultural experience of flight can be investigated and which new directions such an approach makes possible.

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Nina Leonhard

On 3 October 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, in which about 2.5 million East German citizens served their country, was dissolved. Its personnel either was removed from military service, placed into early retirement, or integrated into the Bundeswehr after a two-year selection and examination process. Since then, the NVA has turned into an object of history with no immediate significance for contemporary German society—despite efforts of former NVA officers to change the official interpretation of 1989-1990. This article examines the processes of remembering and forgetting with regard to East Germany's military heritage since 1990, contrasting the Bundeswehr's politics of memory and “army of unity” ethos not only with the former NVA soldiers' vision of the past, but also with the East German population's general attitude towards their former armed forces.

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Wally Cleaver Goes to War

The Boy Citizen-Solider on the Cold War Screen

Ann Kordas

This paper examines the ways in which instructional films, television shows, and television commercials both depicted and sought to construct the experience of American boyhood in the decades immediately following World War II. During the Cold War, many American adults feared that boys lacked the “masculine” qualities required by future defenders of the United States. Believing that boys needed additional instruction in appropriate gender behavior, educators turned to a new film genre: the classroom instructional film. Films in this genre emphasized the importance of patriotism, respect for order and authority, and the need for emotional and physical discipline in American males. Television shows and toy commercials also encouraged boys to envision themselves as future soldiers and defenders of freedom.

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The Anti-Empire of General de Boigne

Sentimentalism, Love, and Cultural Difference in the Eighteenth Century

William M. Reddy

Sentimentalism became a widely accepted practical code among the educated European elite in the late eighteenth century. In the 1790s, however, it went into rapid decline. One reason is that when Europeans tried to establish families and polities in line with the dictates of sentimentalism, these efforts often ended in failure. A noteworthy example is provided by the career of Benoît Leborgne, later known as Bennett de Boigne, who rose to fame as a soldier of fortune in India, founding a kind of anti-empire in collaboration with Mahadaji Sindhia between 1784 and 1795. The collapse of his state building efforts—and of his marriages—clearly demonstrate the pitfalls of "following one's heart" in the eighteenth-century manner.

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Military Occupation as Carceral Society

Prisons, Checkpoints, and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle

Avram Bornstein

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been subject to increasing confinement, starting with prisons in the 1970s and 1980s and growing into a regime of checkpoints and walls that encircle entire towns and villages. After a historical review of the incremental stages of this incarceration, the article examines the overall impact of prisons, checkpoints, and walls, based on observations garnered from more than a dozen research trips over two decades and a review of research by others. Although these architectures are built and used in the name of security, findings show that mass imprisonment debilitates the Palestinian economy, forcing Palestinians to flee or resist. The final section compares the Israeli carceralization of the Occupied Territories to the US occupation of Iraq, suggesting that similar, albeit more violent, processes are underway.

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Daniel Monterescu

Danny Kaplan, The men we loved: Male friendship and nationalism in Israeli culture. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007, 190 pp., ISBN 1845451937.