Date(s) - 12 Sep 2019
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Professor Haim Bresheeth
‘An Army Like No Other’: How the Israeli Defense Force Made A Nation
Professor Haim Bresheeth will discuss his forthcoming book An Army Like No Other.
The Israeli army, officially named the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), was established in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who believed that ‘the whole nation is the army’. In his mind, the IDF was to be an army like no other. It was the instrument that might transform a diverse population into a new people. Since the foundation of Israel, therefore, the IDF has been the largest, richest and most influential institution in Israel’s Jewish society and is the nursery of its social, economic and political ruling class.
In this fascinating history, Haim Bresheeth charts the evolution of the IDF from the 1948-49 Nakba to the continued assaults upon Gaza, and shows that the state of Israel has been formed out of its wars. He also gives an account of his own experiences as a young conscript during the 1967 war. He argues that the army is embedded in all aspects of daily life and identity. And that we should not merely see it as a fighting force enjoying an international reputation, but as the central ideological, political and financial institution of Israeli society. As a consequence, we have to reconsider our assumptions on what any kind of peace might look like.
Professor Bresheeth is a filmmaker, photographer and researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is co-editor of The Gulf War and the New World Order (Zed Books 1991) and co-author of Introducing The Holocaust (Icon Books 2000) and The Holocaust: A Graphic Guide (Icon Books 2015). He writes for Ha’aretz and Al-Ahram Weekly.