of Israeli Society


The evident militarisation of Israeli society is truly astonishing to one who, like I, has never previously witnessed a society where rifles are commonly carried around and people in uniforms, or carrying banners, parade. Guns are all around one, soldiers on patrol duty or checking ID carry one for a start. Again one will see troupes of youngsters, in quasi-military uniform, making their way through an alleyway in Jerusalem, shepherded by young adult soldiers (women in fact) who carry rifles. Again, large numbers of soldiers, waving flags and in boisterous mood, celebrating the end of their period of conscription, making for the Western Wall plaza. Again, a crowd of right-wing Jews, waving flags and singing, holding up the traffic as they celebrate Jerusalem Day (the reunification of Jerusalem, viz. the annexation of East Jerusalem at the time of the 1967 war). I am told that if an Israeli (Jewish) family goes on an outing the parents are expected to carry a gun with them. Settlers of course routinely carry guns. Moshe Dayan (military leader and head of the IDF, later Defence minister, then Foreign Minister) famously commented: ‘We are a generation of settlers, and without the combat helmet and the barrel of a gun, we will not be able to plant a tree or build a house.’

The depth and extent of U.S. military and financial  support for Israel is breathtaking.  In 2002 the U.S. provided a package of $9 billion in loan guarantees, such that Israel could sell bonds internationally with the backing of the U.S. In 2009 Israel had $3.8 billion left to use by 2011. The U.S. and Israel have agreed to expand a partnership in energy and technology research. Israel has become the world leader in the use of nano-technology for use in the internal control of a state’s population. The Israelis have had a laboratory in their back yard - the land they have occupied. Some of this use of technology for control is evident even at the level of passing through checkpoints, where a Palestinian has to put their hand on a special  machine for their finger print to be read. (Palestinians just do this automatically, twice a day, on their way to and from work.)

Jews celebrating the end of their conscription make their way to the Wailing Wall.

Susan Barry

Street scene

T-Shirts for Sale

Right-wing Israelis celebrate Jerusalem Day (right by a Palestinian neighbourhood).

Susan Barry

Specialist Literature:


- See Christian Peacemaker Teams’ ‘Open Letter to Obama – call on Israel to stop suppressing Palestinian dissent’, 25.06.09.

See Further on this Site:

  1. -Army

  2. -Arms Exports