critical Israelis in the Netherlands

Academic symposiums


Conscripted realities – military and society in Israel

October 11 – October 13, 2011, University of 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.


Tuesday | October 11

 Opening event: CREA

20:00 – 20:15 | Opening remarks

Dr. Erella Grassiani, VU University Amsterdam, gate48

20:15 – 22:00 | Breaking the Silence: Testimonies of Soldiers from the Israeli Occupation

Noam Hayut, co-founder of Breaking the Silence

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

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: Dr. Robin Celikates, Associate Professor of Political and

Social Philosophy, University of Amsterdam

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

14:00 – 15:30 | Session III: The Security Business: Soldiers without Uniforms

Galit Gelbort, PhD candidate, Dep. of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University:

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

Thursday | October 13, 2011

Public discussion: Humanity House, Prinsegracht 8, Den Haag

17:00 | Breaking the Silence: Testimonies of Soldiers from the Israeli


Discussion with Noam Hayut, co-founder of Breaking the Silence

Final Event: Mezrab, Domselaerstraat 120, Amsterdam

20:30 | Introduction

Itamar Shachar, gate48

20:40 | Film screening: “A Million Bullets in October”