Women in Zones of Conflict : Power and Resistance in Israel [1 ed.] 9780773573123, 9780773529533

Filling a void in feminist studies of women and war, Women in Zones of Conflict challenges the traditional view, which s

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Women in Zones of Conflict : Power and Resistance in Israel [1 ed.]
 9780773573123, 9780773529533

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Women in Zones of Conflict

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Women in Zones of Conflict Power and Resistance in Israel TAMI AMANDA JACOBY

McGill-Queen's University Press Montreal & Kingston • London • Ithaca

© McGill-Queen's University Press 2005 ISBN 0-7735-2953-5 Legal deposit third quarter 2005 Bibliotheque nationale du Quebec Printed in Canada on acid-free paper that is 100% ancient forest free (100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free. This book has been published with flie help of a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for ow publishing program. We also acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for our publishing activities.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Jacoby, Tami Amanda Women in zones of conflict: gender structures and women's resistance in Israel / Tami Amanda Jacoby, Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-7735-2953-5 i. Women in politics - Israel. 2, Sex discrimination against women - Israel. 3. Women and war - Israel. 4. War and society - Israel. I. Tide. 1101236.5.175132 2005 305.4«'o956g4 02005-902142-x

This book was typeset by Interscript in io.5/i3Baskerville.

Contents

Acknowledgments vii i Gender Structures and Women's Resistance in Israel 2 The Zionist Woman

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3 Women and the Israeli Military 39 4 Women, Organized Religion, and the Family in Israel 53 5 The Women's Peace Movement 68 6 Women in the National-Religious Camp

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7 The Campaign for Women in Combat in Israel 8 Conclusions Notes References Index

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Acknowledgments

This book is the product of a collaborative effort with a broad group of dedicated scholars and political activists on both sides of the Atlantic who share my interest in women's issues and the Israeli-Palestinian context. I wish to thank all the individuals who agreed to be interviewed, many of whom welcomed me into their homes and shared valuable hours of their time and personal experiences. Among them, I would like to thank particularly Dafna Golan, Gila Svirsky, Terry Greenblatt, Galia Golan, Naomi Chazan, Molly Malekar, Hava Keller, Judy Blanc, Hava Halevi, Susan Techner, Hava Weisel, Rene Ann-Gutter, Sumaya FarhatNaser, and others affiliated loosely with the Jerusalem Link. I would also like to thank Nadia Matar, Ruth Matar, Eve Harrow, Gernma Blech, Yael Amiel, Anita Finkelshtein, Renee Margolis, Hadassah Weisbrod, and Esti Noeh from the Women in Green. I am indebted to a formidable feminist literature associated with the writings of Cynthia Enloe, J. Ann Tickner, V. Spike Peterson, Nira Yuval-Davis, Jean Bethke Elshtain,

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Christine Sylvester, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Deniz Kandiyoti, Simona Sharoni, and others, who courageously paved the way for studies such as mine. I owe a special debt of gratitude to David Dewitt, who was always available and made me feel confident that my project was worthwhile through all the stages of its development. Also, Sandra Whitworth and Haideh Moghissi were most generous with their guidance and challenges. Thanks are due to Didi Khayatt, Michael Brown, and Jane Parpart for their useful input. My research was strengthened tremendously by ongoing discussions and endearing friendships with colleagues at York University, in particular, Samantha Arnold, J. Marshall Beier, Leah Simmons, and Heather Chestnutt. My field trips to Israel and Palestine were generously financed by the Centre for International and Security Studies Graduate Research Assistance Fund, the Graduate Students Association, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University. I would like to thank my parents-in-law, Yitzhak and Miriam Yaacoby, for providing a caring environment during our numerous stays in Israel. Since 1998 I have received financial, administrative, and collegial support from the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, for which thanks are due to Paul Buteux, Jim Fergusson, George MacLean, and Pat Kruchak. And the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne provided a second home for this project during the final stages of its writing and submission for publication. I have also benefited greatly from discussion with other colleagues, especially Brenda O'Neill and Margaret Ogrodnick from the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba and Deborah Stienstra from the University of Winnipeg. I also thank Margaret Levy and John Zucchi from the editorial department of McGill-Queen's University

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Press for their help and guidance, and Jane McWhinney for the finishing touches on the manuscript. Finally, this book is dedicated to my husband and life partner, Gady, who prodded me along, persevered with me through the difficult times, and celebrated my achievements with love and great enthusiasm. My children, Edden and Uma, serve as the source of inspiration for all that I do, and my parents, Chuck and Sara Axelrod, taught me throughout my life that I have the ability to do anything I want, and provided me with the life tools to pursue my goals.

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Women in Zones of Conflict

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1 Gender Structures and Women's Resistance in Israel

After considerable effort on the part of women's movements and a formidable literature produced by feminist scholars, it is now commonly understood that women face a variety of obstacles to gender equality as they engage in civic structures - familial, cultural, religious, economic, and political — throughout the world. Patriarchal authority1 is said to be universal, overcoming distinctions based on class, ethnicity, nationality, and so forth. However, understanding women's struggles for gender equality in particular zones of conflict requires a specific understanding of the contours of patriarchal authority and women's agency in those regions and contexts. Until recently, feminist literature focused overv/helmingly on Western women and their experiences. The quintessence of this literature was a close association of the women's movement with pacifism and human rights. Understandings of non-Western feminism were either extrapolated from Western perspectives or established against the standards set by Western feminism, thus marginalizing and thereby rendering "other" the realities of non-Western women.

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A useful starting point for exploring the unique struggles of non-Western women is found in the distinction between zones of peace and zones of conflict (which Singer and Wildavsky refer to as "zones of turmoil").2 Zones of peace refer to North America and Western Europe, where relative peace and freedom from the threat of war is enjoyed, along with high levels of prosperity and economic and political cooperation. By way of contrast to the development of women's movements in peaceful areas, nonWestern women have tended to become politicized within the broader contexts of civil-ethnic conflicts and developing states. These zones of conflict consist of unstable areas where "wars rage unchecked, the threat of war looms over daily life, prosperity is a distant hope, and economic and political cooperation is limited or fragile" (Sens and Stoett 2002, 194). Zones of conflict embody distinct "sites of resistance" (Marchand and Runyan 1996) that for women are fundamentally different from peaceful Western societies. In conflict zones, women mobilize alongside their men, whether to liberate their society from colonial or post-colonial oppression, to campaign for national self-determination, or to partake in the process of democratization. In many instances, these endeavours involve the use of force to realize social and political goals. This mobilization of women through armed conflict is one of the most significant features of developing and/or non-Western women's movements around the world. Moreover, since mobilizing within and through unstable or developing political structures tends to deflect support for civil society and minority rights at a time when society as a whole is undergoing change, women's struggles for individual rights are eclipsed by collective struggles. In the absence of an accepted democratic political authority, religious, tribal, or local social structures move in to fill the void in governance. Indeed,

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the resulting lack of separation between religion and the state is a dominant aspect of the nature of statehood in crisis and constitutes one of the most difficult sites of resistance for non-Western women. Women and men struggle together in zones of conflict for rights and representation; however, women often encounter structures of patriarchal authority - in the national movement, the military, the private sphere, and through the discourses and practices of dominant belief systems. In these structures, women are either domesticated or rendered subordinate to men. As a result, a crosscultural component of women's organizing in zones of conflict is women's contestation of gendered norms and practices within their own societies in order to promote the liberation of women alongside the liberation of society as a whole. The analytical unity of patriarchy throughout different societies is only one thread that binds Western and non-Western women. However, the purpose of this study is to highlight the factors that characterize patriarchy in a local context, that of women's resistance in Israel, and thus the specific parameters around women's struggle and agency in that state. An examination of the complex interplay of gendered structures in the Israeli context, although somewhat exceptional, exemplifies the politics of women's resistance in other societies undergoing civil unrest or armed international conflict. Israel is an invaluable context for an analysis of women's organizing3 because Israel is at once a dynamic industrialized democracy and a zone of protracted conditions of conflict. On one hand, Israel provides for a broad range of interests that compete for power in the political system. With a vibrant press and a robust civil society, along with established institutions such as the Supreme Court of Justice and the military ombudsman, civic rights and duties are protected in Israel to a degree unprecedented in other

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conflict zones. Hundreds of human rights and political organizations have been set up in Israel to monitor political processes independently from the government and to represent them to the world through news and print media. Since the 19708, and particularly since the 1987 Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, political protest, public demonstrations, and grassroots organizing have become hallmarks of Israeli politics and press. Israeli women have been involved in the political process throughout Israeli history. During the pre-state period, women were heavily involved in the struggle for national self-determination in Palestine. In comparison to authoritarian regimes, garrison or developing states, Israel has allowed its citizens ample opportunity to express diverse forms of political dissent. Whether one refers to the Arab minority in Israel, the new wave of Russian immigrants from the early 19905, or the more veteran Sephardi population (Jews from Arab and north African countries), different groups in Israel have politicized their cleavages and have either organized on the basis of their difference in the form of political parties in parliament or have expressed their dissent in less organized, albeit more public, forums. Moreover, a comprehensive spectrum of rights is readily available to Israeli citizens, including freedom of expression and organization. A major exception is the Arab minority in Israel, which, on account of its exemption from military service, does not obtain the full range of benefits open to Israeli soldiers upon relief from duty. However, with regard to the Jewish majority in Israel, there is little question about the democratic nature of Israeli rights and duties. As a result, women have played an active role in nation building and forging the contours of the Israeli political spectrum. On the other hand, Israel is also a state embroiled in armed conflict. The experience of over fifty years of

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protracted warfare has established key gender boundaries in Israel which limit the opportunities for feminist political activism. A strong national security agenda prevails over specific social groups, such as Arabs, Sephardi Jews, and women. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), with their culture of militarized masculinity, are a key institution in Israeli society that influences codes of conduct in both public and private spheres. The primacy of the IDF and its patriarchal authority have served as a major limitation on feminist struggles. Therefore, while the democratic foundation of Israel encourages women to contribute to the political process (mobilization), the militarized nature of the state discourages women from challenging the patriarchal nature of that process (marginalization). Therefore, Israel is an exceptional case through which to contemplate gender as a structure. Unlike the case in most other societies, Israeli Jewish women carry a larger burden of the war-making effort through their compulsory induction into the IDF. Since statehood was established in 1948, the role of women in war has continually been subject to vigorous scrutiny and debate. Nevertheless, the conscription of women reinforces a litany of other myths of gender equality in Israel based on the prime-ministership of Golda Meir, the Ketuba (the ancient Jewish marriage contract that ended arbitrary divorce), communal childcare in the kibbutz, the clause promoting gender equality in the Declaration of Independence, and the work of the pioneering women in the pre-state period (Buber Aggasi 1991: 203). Despite these pervasive ideologies in the founding myths and symbols of Israeli society, the reality of gender equality in Israel is that women are relegated to the margins of civic structures as a result of entrenched institutionalized and cultural forms of patriarchal authority. These gender boundaries become increasingly restrictive during periods of crisis in Israel as the whole society is

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mobilized and a division of labour develops to fulfill social needs. During such times, male and female roles are regarded as existential and linked to the survival of the national community under threat; in the case of Israel, the male role is to fight wars, while the female role is to reproduce fighters. This discourse of patriotic motherhood has been imposed on women as a unified category in title service of the state, creating a relatively circumscribed sphere for women's struggles for gender equality, particularly during wartime. Moreover, popular discourses in Israel do not acknowledge the extent to which women differ among themselves in terms of their religious observance, their nationalist perspective, their familial relations, and other personal characteristics that define their personal and political objectives. As a mature state, Israel currently offers women a broader range of opportunities than was available fifty years ago, but these opportunities are tempered by the voracity of continued debate about the role of women in Israeli society. Therefore, the experience of women in relation to political structures in Israel is profoundly contradictory, as women are simultaneously included and excluded. The conceptual framework of this study draws from a major theme in feminist literature on nationalism: the mobilization-marginalization phenomenon. Many feminist scholars have explored the complex process through which gender is negotiated in relation to national, ethnic, and other identities in societies undergoing conflict (Cockburn 1998; Dajani 1994; Enloe 1989; Jayawardena 1986; Kandiyoti 1996; Moghadam 1994; West 1997; Williams 1996; Yuval-Davis and Anthias 1989). The prominence of the national collective in zones of conflict and other transitional societies confronts women's movements with the difficult choice between autonomy and affiliation with "malestream"4 political structures. Negotiating a

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place within the nation involves a fundamental tension for women between working toward political change within existing structures and agitating for a more comprehensive transformation of society (Jacoby 1999). This tension is referred to as mainstreaming versus independence. Gender mainstreaming entered the policy lexicon in the 19705 and igSos when international institutions such as the United Nations, in particular its Commission on the Status of Women, directed their attention at national machineries as a way of promoting the status of women throughout the world. Feminist scholars devoted attention to analyses of gender in relation to government institutions and citizenship (Chappell 2002; MacKinnon 1989; Moghadam 2003; Rai 2003; Whitaker 1999; Yuval Davis 1997). In developing states, studies of gender mainstreaming took the form of Women in Development (Kalbagh 1991; Mies, BennholdtThomsen, and von Werlhof 1988; Momsen 1991; Seth 2001; Shiva 1989). In both developed and developing states, gender mainstreaming involves working toward gender equality within established structures such as the government, the military, the judicial system, parliament, or, as in the case of revolutionary regimes, the nationalist movement. Institutionalizing feminism in this way involves making women's (as well as men's) interests an integral part of the design, implementation, and monitoring of policies and programs in all areas of the political process, to overcome inequality where authority is perpetuated (Rai 2003). A dilemma of this strategy is the potential for integration and/or co-optation by the national leadership, as feminist goals are subject to the requirement to conform to the official platform and dominant social norms. However, the benefit of mainstreaming is that it provides a strong forum through which women may act politically, including working toward the acquisition of key political resources,

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media attention, and funding. Mainstreaming is an important strategy used by women in zones of conflict in order to be present in institution-building arenas where crucial decisions about war and peace are made, so that women can have an influence over key policy making. Independence, on the other hand, involves acting from outside the mainstream political spectrum in what Cynthia Enloe has termed "unconventional vantage points" (1989: 14) such as grassroots organizations, protest movements, lobby groups, and other elements of civil society that are critical of established authority. The choice to work from the outside (Kardam and Acuner, 2003) often occurs at the expense of funding, resources, and legitimization. However, independence can increase women's gender consciousness and awareness of their particular interests as women, relatively unencumbered by the constraints of political authority, bureaucratic hierarchy, and elite decision making. As a result, women's independent organizing can potentially challenge and destabilize conventional political boundaries and thereby serve as a critical reflection on the political process as a whole and a potential forum for transformation. In most areas of the world, women use a combination of mainstream and independent strategies to campaign for their rights. Women's independent organizing is particularly significant in zones of conflict, where political systems are contested and under stress. In such circumstances, the boundaries of the political spectrum are broader than in most Western democratic systems, and extremist politics can have more of an influence on policy. In conflict zones, the political process tends to threaten, exclude, and thereby radicalize a wider range of political perspectives and groups, as leadership seeks to consolidate its authority by suppressing or eliminating political rivals. As well, lacking peaceful methods of conflict resolution, the political

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process is often characterized by violence. Women mobilize in circumstances that mirror the political spectrum in zones of conflict, including participation in extremist and armed militant groups, whether in an organized military or in guerrilla and terrorist organizations. The diversity of female locations and attitudes toward war, and the political system as a whole, renders untenable the claim adavanced from the feminist standpoint that women represent a unified political constituency in the international arena, or a "global sisterhood," a Western feminist notion linked to the perceived coincidence between women and pacifism in the field of International Relations. Diversity among women, on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, nationalism, and so on, has become a key staple of literature on gender in international perspectives, particularly in postcolonial studies (Abdo 1995; Einhorn 1996; Gocek and Balaghi, 1994; Hasso 1998; Williams 1996) as well as in feminist postmodern debates (Elan 1994; Nicholson 1990; Pateman and Gross 1987; Scott 1988; Sylvester 1994). These debates and writings have uncovered the complexity of the category of gender both in theory and in practice, and in so doing have paved the way for understanding how gender influences, and is in turn influenced by, other categories of collective affiliation. Bringing this discussion of gender and difference into the context of zones of conflict is the next step in exploring women's multiple identities in a number of the world's regions, notably the Middle East. International Relations has served as a base for most works on women and war. Feminist intervention in the field has been recent and is highly controversial for the mainstream. As a field of study, International Relations has been one of the areas most strongly characterized by androcentrism, that is, centrality of the male or men's experience. The invisibility of women in International Relations

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has traditionally been linked to the nature of its subject matter - war, security, and the state system. This focus has effectively sealed off possibilities for feminist analysis because of male predominance in these realms, as men have historically served as leaders, diplomats, soldiers, and other figures of authority who are associated with the main structures in International Relations, such as the state, peace negotiations, the military, and the international system. Women have tended to assume less prominent roles in war, acting from outside dominant structures and thus seeming invisible. The initial development of feminist perspectives in International Relations tended to rely upon the association of women with pacifism. This representation derived in part from qualities assumed to reside in the female, such as motherhood, caregiving, emotion, creativity, connection, holism, a global perspective, and a desire to protect the sanctity of all life (Reardon 1993: 25). Carol Gilligan exemplifies this perspective, arguing that the female mothering role establishes consciousness and a moral attitude in women toward the concrete needs of particular individuals in the private realm of necessity, as opposed to the disembedded and disembodied perspective of the generic man in the public sphere (1982). Moreover, the connection established between mother and child, according to Sara Ruddick, creates the root of a preservative love that women are assumed to carry with them throughout all other social relationships (1989). The motherly bond has been defined as an "ethic of care" or an "ethic of responsibility," characteristic of women's distinct ways of knowing, thinking, and acting in regard to international relations. These assumed female qualities are said to create in women an affinity with peace and an aversion to violence that is the universal and collective "other" to men's predisposition to aggression. The supposed natural male

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tendency to warfare, for example, is often explained by the "testosterone argument" (Seifert 1996: 36) or the "drivedischarge" model (Elshtain 1987: 199), the most extreme biological claim invoking the work of Freud, which holds that higher levels of the male hormone are responsible for a higher degree of aggressiveness in men. Lower levels of this hormone would then explain women's more peaceful nature. These biological explanations of male and female roles have been highly contested and rejected by many different feminist perspectives. Nevertheless, out of the female pacifist role have developed more positive definitions of conflict resolution that are more comprehensive and multidimensional than the mere absence of war. According to Betty Reardon, women define peace as the elimination of insecurity and danger by addressing the feminist cause (Reardon 1993: 21). For example, feminist definitions of peace include "the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality, and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms"5 or relations between people based on "trust, cooperation and recognition of the interdependence and importance of the common good and mutual interests of all peoples" (Reardon 1993: 5). Although these components of a feminist agenda on peace address issues of particular concern to women such as poverty and inequality, issues that are not typically associated with foreign policy, other feminist scholars are reluctant to define peace as a categorically female issue. Feminists who are critical of biological explanations of male and female relationships to conflict suggest that a gender dichotomy must be refuted as the basis for defining peace, on the grounds that explanations based on gender simplify complex patterns of human behaviour and the diversity of roles that men and women occupy in war and peace. Biological arguments also perpetuate myths and

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stereotypes that legitimize male violence and female passivity and in so doing, further surrender men's caregiving responsibilities and reinforce women's traditional domain. The second source of women's relationship to peace extends beyond symbolic representations and arguments, and situates peace in the concrete history of women's participation in pacifist and anti-war movements. Women's peace movements have been virtually excluded from the study of international conflict due to claims that they provide a "weak, passive and negative alternative to war" or that they represent a vision of the world that is "limited or naive" (Macdonald 1988: 22). This accusation can be refuted only if the international system is regarded from "unconventional vantage points'* (Enloe 1989), This change in stance involves challenging the location of authority in states, leaderships, and ruling parties and locating meaningful international politics in places and experiences that would normally not be considered significant in International Relations, in civil society, the grassroots, and the home, for instance. Feminist peace scholars have demonstrated that women active in peace movements have much to contribute to an understanding of women's unique methods of organizing in support of international conflict resolution. The womenonly peace encampment established outside the base fence of Greenham Common in Britain between 1981 and 1985 to protest the deployment of cruise missiles, and the Women in Black movement around the world (started in Israel), are two of the best-known examples of the unique experience and organizations of female pacifism. Lacking hierarchy and making decisions by consensus, these movements indicate women's penchant for organizing for peace in a way that is at once democratic and inclusive. The idea that women have special contributions to war prevention derives in large part not from biological predispositions but

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from processes of socialization in which women have played roles that make them feel the burden of war and value opportunities for peace more openly than men. For example, women have traditionally been excluded from decision making about war, and war has therefore tended to more fully coincide with masculine interests. Also, women's unarmed circumstances have allowed them to experience war from the position of the potential or actual victim. Through their experiences in peace movements, women have created alternative cultures of peace, which differ substantially from the militarized culture of war. Involvement in peace activism has provided many women with a possibility for empowerment. If peace can emerge from women's concrete life experiences, this must occur outside the realm of agreements signed by heads of state and approved by the international community. Seen in this light, women's organizing opens space for thinking about women in commensurate relations throughout the world in disparate geographical spaces and across different cultural circumstances (Alexander and Mohanty 1997: xix). However, women's peace movements constitute only a partial representation of women's experiences of war insofar as they coexist uneasily with the fact that many other women embrace militarized structures and reject pacifist campaigns. Women warriors, or female combatants who support and engage in military combat, are less visible models for feminist literature in International Relations. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that many women have occupied combatant positions in conflict zones, whether they enlisted as military soldiers or serve as guerrilla fighters and terrorists in militant organizations. Many women support militaristic policies in order to protect their own security or the security of their nation. As the exclusion of women from International Relations has become accounted for and comprehensively

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documented (see Elshtain 1987; Enloe 1989; Peterson 1992; Tickner 1992), the basic issue remains to determine how to use reconstructed categories and boundaries to create feminist perspectives and political strategies in a cross-cultural context. The main question is: are there particular experiences common to women, as a group, that might serve as the foundation for rethinking women's roles (Steans 1998: 117), or are women "so divided on issues of war and peace as to preclude such a constituency? In lieu of entering this debate, this book proceeds against the background of the diversity of feminisms (see Tong 1989), taking into account the different feminist perspectives on the location of the sources of women's inequality or oppression, and the strategies designed to resolve them. Feminist interventions through postcolonial prisms have made particularly valuable contributions to understanding gender and difference (Alexander and Mohanty 1997; Jayawardena 1986; Gourdine 2002; Minh-ha 1989; Mohanty Russo and Torres 1991; Yuval-Davis 1997). Located at the intersections of a number of different disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, women's studies, political studies, and literary criticism, feminist postcolonial authors question issues of identity, authenticity, and difference in relation to women's studies, feminist writing, political organizing and mobilizing across borders, and democratic projects. While they do not agree upon what a new feminist position would entail, they do promote comparative and relational feminist praxis (unity of theory and practice) so as to include many different voices in the debate. These intricacies within feminist revisioning are useful for approaching the empirical diversity of women's organizing in zones of conflict as a means to prepare the discussion of specific case studies.

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The case studies presented here demonstrate that women diverge on the most fundamental issues related to war and peace despite the unity of gender structures within which women organize. Women contest political structures vis-a-vis men, but they also, and perhaps more importantly, contest feminine symbols and forms of gender consciousness for purposes of their own political organizing. For example, women's movements dispute the discourses and practices associated with femininity, motherhood, bereavement, and feminism to justify political objectives that are situated throughout the breadth of the political spectrum. As a result, symbols of womanhood are given concrete, and at times widely divergent, expressions through the practice of women's resistance. On this basis, this book augments contemporary discussions about gender and difference in International Relations, and the intersections of gender with other collective affiliations such as class, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and so on. As mentioned, this mobilization-marginalization phenomenon is a guiding framework for the line of inquiry that informs this book. This phenomenon is theorized with reference to four mutually constitutive gender boundaries in Israel: Zionism (Jewish nationalism), the military, religion, and the family. The primacy of the military in Israel, on account of its protracted conditions of warfare, has coincided with the rise of religion to a disproportionate role in the political process. Although Israel is not an exclusively religious society, the objective of maintaining Jewish majority rule, both politically and demographically, in a largely inhospitable geopolitical environment has given legal power to its Orthodox religious establishment, thereby complicating the separation of religion and statehood. The power of Orthodox Judaism, whether through personal status law in the legal system or as represented

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through political parties in parliament, has significantly influenced the regular functioning of society and the family in Israel. Religious definitions of membership in the State of Israel have colluded with nationalist discourse and symbols. Therefore, the military, nationalism, religion, and the family serve as the four main sites of resistance in which Israeli women contest patriarchal authority and forge opportunities for feminist activism. These four sites of resistance are analyzed historically through two generations of Israeli women's activism: the pre-state period and the 19708 feminist movement. This historical background is followed by a consideration of three women's movements currently active in the Israeli context: the Israeli women's peace movement, women in the national-religious camp, and women's campaign for the right to fight. These three groups represent facets of the main struggles facing women in the Israeli context vis-avis issues of war and peace, the relationship between religion and statehood, and women's rights and duties therein. The primacy of both die military and the religious establishments as central components of nation building in Israel, along with expectations about women's contributions to the nation through the family, has rendered problematic the possibilities for gender equality in Israel. Images of women as domesticated or subordinate in both military and religious structures collude with the widespread lack of public sympathy for feminism in Israel because of its perception as a western foreign construct or a threat to national unity. This negative perception of feminism contrasts with attitudes toward women's activities that are contained within the "legitimate" arena of motherhood and homemaking. As a result, feminism is defined either as partisan, secondary, or as a destabilizing factor in the collective survival of both the Israeli State and the Jewish people. In this way, national security and Jewish nationalism in Israel

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collude as a mechanism of social, political, and personal control by defining the contours for oppositional politics in a way that problematizes struggles for gender equality. The idealization of the various images of the feminine as mother, supporter, protegee, and keeper of culture serves to limit women by acting as a gendered mechanism for social control. As a result of these intricate dynamics among political structures, the religious establishment, ideologies, and familial codes of conduct, Israeli women are continually faced with the difficult choice between conflicting demands of women's rights and an affiliation with their state and nation, or as Yael Yishai articulates it, "the choice between adherence to the (national) flag and the (feminist) banner" (1997: 6). Within these gender boundaries, women have played a consistent and unique role in Israeli politics of resistance. Although Israel has always been characterized as a multicleavaged society, with divisions and groups in conflict over a number of crucial issues,6 women's role in the national security debate commenced after the 1973 War, and was intensified by the Lebanon War in 1982, the Intifada (Palestinian Uprising against Israeli Occupation) since 1987, and the start of the Middle East Peace Process in 1991. These events caused the Israeli political system to buckle under the massive strain of protest, and created political polarization around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Men and women, who had never before been active on issues of foreign policy, organized and expressed their interests in a vehement and public manner. Since 1973 the Israeli political arena has become transformed from a hegemonic structure based on the national security agenda into a site of contestation over such crucial issues as the authority to declare war, the range of foreign policy options, as well as the relationship between statehood and democracy. These cleavages occurred

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between the state and a variety of social groups, encompassing divisions between men and women, and divisions among women. Civil society in Israel has become replete with a wide range of political organizations and movements that document Israeli policy and frequently take to the streets in public demonstrations both for and against the government. Women took an active role in both mixed-gender and women-only political movements in the 19805 and 19908. During these decades, three major categories of women activists coalesced in Israel. Women in the national-religious camp organized in support of Jewish statehood and Jewish settlement in biblically defined land. The Israeli women's peace movement criticized Israel's occupation of disputed territory, rejected war as a means for solving conflict, and entered into dialogue and partnerships with Palestinian women. And a third category of women lobbied the state for full participation of women in combat in the Israeli Defense Forces. An exploration of the divergent and overlapping interests of these groups is an extraordinary foray into the realm of women's politics within a nation. The dynamics of women's inclusion and exclusion in Israel and their divergent responses to the Arab-Israeli Conflict and state building are the leading concerns of this study. This book has two main commitments: to shed light on women's movements in Israel so as to illustrate the intricate relationships between gender and nation in zones of conflict; and to highlight the variety of approaches that animate these movements. One of the main challenges behind this study is that in conflict zones, nationalism is often the leading focus for the political mobilization of society as a whole. Within a nation in crisis, men and women struggle together to achieve political and social goals. Consequently, the question of gender tends to be sidelined,

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relations between men and women are not regarded as a primary social concern. The challenge for feminist inquiry is to demonstrate that nation building involves "bundles of expectations" (Enloe 1989) about the definitions and roles of femininity and masculinity. As a result, men and women experience different relationships with, and criteria for, membership in the nation. While nationalism opens space for women's political mobilization alongside men, strained political structures pressure women to fulfill traditional roles; while men occupy the public sphere, social burdens are transferred to the traditional family. During periods of crisis, women are expected to support male fighters by ensuring social stability, cultural continuity, and reproduction. Nationalism, then, constitutes a fertile ground for negotiating gender relations and women's rights at the precise time at which society is undergoing political transformation. Gender is therefore a crucial unit of analysis in the study of women in nationalism in zones of conflict. The mobili/ation-marginalization dynamic in conflict zones raises a host of questions about the politics of women's resistance. What is the relationship between nationalism and feminism in zones of conflict? What are the limitations and opportunities for feminist struggles within broader armed struggles? How does gender consciousness intersect with other identities such as class, religion, political affiliation, and ethnicity? Other questions pertain to forms of female organizing within nationalist movements. Do women organize differently from men within a nationin-arms? Are women's methods, practices, and ideologies of organizing either distinctly feminine or feminist when compared to mixed-gender organizing? Do feminist struggles have an impact on the contours of nation-building processes? These questions beg a serious consideration of the relationship between feminism and nationalism, or the coincidence of women's rights and national liberation.

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The commitment to explore issues of difference within feminism is influenced by the diversity of approaches within contemporary feminist theory and the increased influence of poststructural feminism since the igSos (McNay 1992; 1990; Sylvestor 1994; Haraway 1988). The poststructural turn is useful for theorizing women's competing claims and crosscutting identities. This recognition is underscored by poststructural feminist arguments that gender is a significant mobilizing factor, but an insufficient basis for unity among women (Pateman 1989). The poststructural focus on differences among women suggests the need for a particular definition of gender that abandons the naturalized or biological dichotomy of the sex-gender system. This dichotomy has served as a basis for predominantly essentialist assumptions of scholarship in the social sciences that follow the Western tradition of a natural coincidence between women and pacifism, and between men and aggression (Chodorow 1978; Gilligan 1982; Harris and King 1989; Ruddick 1989; Reardon 1993). Rather than assuming that gender is biologically given and predisposed to political action, that is, that women act in predictable ways that can be extrapolated from their "gender," the premise of this book is that gender is socially constructed (Harding 1986; Scott 1988). The complex and multi-dimensional terrain of female representational practices can only be understood by considering gender as a complex process of socialization and a discursively constituted category that claims no a priori identity. According to this definition of gender, women are seen to gain consciousness of themselves and their goals as women through their participation in multiple, and sometimes contradictory, political campaigns. This methodological approach to studying women's politics values women's lived experiences as a crucial and legitimate form of knowledge, albeit within and through the intersections of broader sociopolitical contexts.

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The study of conflict zones from the perspective of women represents a unique level of inquiry. The analysis here explores the unity of gender structures as they are imposed upon women by patriarchal authority. However, and perhaps more importantly, this study demonstrates the subjective awareness of those who experience and struggle against those imposed structures. The focus on women's organizing in conflict zones reveals women not as a passive homogeneous category acted upon by patriarchal authority, but as diverse agents struggling actively to promote their interests. The diversity of women's struggles begs consideration of a more contextual understanding of collective representation, which the method of inquiry employed here promotes through concrete case studies and personal interviews. Seen from the perspective of the participant, the issues encountered in this study promote debate about the significance of women's politics in cross-cultural circumstances, the intersections of global and local dialogues and practices, material circumstances that affect women's opportunities for resistance, and the intricate intersections of gender consciousness with other collective identity structures. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, a primary motivation for this study ties in with my own personal history. Although this project began in 1994 when I was starting doctoral studies at York University in Toronto, my deep interest in Israeli women's issues and my sense of the possibilities for women's personal fulfillment in Israel crystallized through a journey that has covered more than twenty years. I lived in Israel as a young child and then again in early adolescence. From 1987 I studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked in the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. In 1991 I immigrated and took Israeli citizenship. Since then, I have developed intricate social and familial bonds through my marriage to an Israeli citizen and the birth of my first child in Jerusalem in 1994. This

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research led me to reflect on my own social location as a partially observant Canadian Jewish woman and new Israeli immigrant, and on the root of my deep passion for the region as well, as an embodiment of all the restrictions, complicities, and privileges of the broader affiliations to which I belong. Being born Jewish allowed me to immigrate to Israel based on the right of return, a right limited to Jewish people from the Diaspora, and receive funding from the Israeli government toward my education, housing, and living expenses. Being born Canadian gave me the opportunity to leave Israel and live comfortably in a peaceful society while I continue to visit Israel at least once or twice a year. As a fieldwork location, therefore, Israel is my "home away from home," affecting my own voice and biases, both in terms of the prism through which I saw others in my research, and the ways in which others perceived me. Recognition of this involvedness has raised some key methodological issues in my work which feminist scholars have long debated in relation to feminist fieldwork. There is no consensus regarding what a distinctive feminist method of research should entail; that is, how feminist knowledge is to be created, accumulated, managed, or effectively and ethically negotiated. A host of feminist scholars have developed feminist methods, which involve redefining the subject matter, renegotiating relations between the researcher and those being researched, reconsidering the meaning, purpose, and role of data, and undertaking new approaches to writing, representing, and authoring that data in the post-fieldwork phase (Acker, Barry, and Esseveld 1991; Code 1995; Driscoll and McFarland 1989; Dubois 1983; Reinharz 1992; Stanley and Wise 1990; Wolf 1996). However, the innovation of feminist research is not necessarily in choice of methods but rather in "alternative origins of problematics, explanatory hypotheses and evidence, alternative purposes of inquiry, and a new prescription for

Gender Structures and Women's Resistance in Israel

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the appropriate relationship between the inquirer and her/his subject of inquiry." (Harding 1987: preface). Diane L. Wolf suggests that these dilemmas of knowledge and representation are so complex that one may ask, "Should we do fieldwork at all?" Nevertheless, she contends that fieldwork is a useful and important process that opens vistas to other societies and alliances that would not otherwise be available. Therefore, "confronting and understanding the multiple and often irreconcilable contradictions" in fieldwork is a necessary step if we are to "refocus our gaze beyond ourselves" (Wolf 1996: 3-4). In full consideration of the methodological dilemmas that pervade research on women in conflict zones, I selected to accumulate data through fieldwork, which consisted of three separate field trips to Israel and the Palestinian autonomy areas: in December 1996, between November 1997 and January 1998, and in July 1999. During these trips, I conducted a series of personal interviews of women (and men) activists from a range of organizations in the Israeli political spectrum, both from leadership positions and from the rank and file. These interviews, along with secondary literature, form the basis for the case studies in this research. The following chapters engage with different dimensions of the politics of women's organizing in Israel. The first part of the book explores the mobilization-marginalization phenomenon facing women in a range of gender structures in Israel. Chapter 2 explores the relationship between women and Zionism (Jewish nationalism). Zionism is the basis for the founding principles and symbols of the State of Israel, which affect norms, social codes, and models of good citizenship. This chapter considers how women have been integrated into the dominant identity structure associated with the Jewish nation. It considers the progressive and

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regressive forces of Zionism with respect to women and distinguishes between the symbolic representations of women vis-a-vis the practice of women's politics within the nation. Chapter 3 investigates the dominant role of the military in Israeli society and the implications of women's compulsory conscription. In this chapter, the home front versus battlefield distinction is reconsidered in terms of women's opportunities in Israel to participate in warfare and/or control the conditions of their security in dominant protection systems. In chapter 4, the religious establishment in Israel and its influence over the contours of the Israeli family through the Ordiodox monopoly over personal status law is analysed, with respect to the role of women in both public and private spheres. The lack of separation between religion and state in Israel colludes with pro-natalist attitudes, which promote the patriarchal family and orient women's reproduction toward the demographic struggle for the survival of the Jewish nation, the land, and the Jewish family writ large (Katz 1996). The intersections of religion, family, and war in Israel hold problematic implications for women's rights within the Israeli context. In the second part of the book, three case studies of Israeli women's movements are presented in terms of their historical background, organization, and contestation over the symbols of womanhood, mothering, and feminism in Israel. Chapter 5 provides a detailed analysis of the Israeli women's peace movement with a particular focus on the cross-national partnership between Israeli and Palestinian women forged through the organization of the Jerusalem Link. Women's peace politics in Israel has been formulated both in terms of feminism and support for Palestinian national self-determination. The distinction between feminist and modiering groups in the women's peace movement is presented as a way of highlighting the contestation over the articulation of women and peace. Chapter 6 presents a case

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study of women in the national-religious camp in Israel with a particular focus on Women in Green. The role women play in support of Jewish settlement in disputed territory is explored in relation to the image of "frontier women" and patriotic motherhood. The final case study in chapter 7 gives an account of the struggle for women's "right to fight" in Israel. "Women in Combat" represents a primary struggle for equal opportunity of women in a society in which women undergo conscription with men, albeit into a military establishment that has traditionally regarded women as secondary and superfluous. This chapter considers the intricacies of the campaign for women in combat as well as the persistent opposition to this campaign originating from the military, the Orthodox community, and Israeli society as a whole. Concluding remarks integrate the findings of the case studies in the final chapter and determine the prospects for a transformative agenda for women in light of the diversity of women's struggles and the continued influence of forms of patriarchal authority in Israeli in nationalist symbols, the military, the religious establishment, and the family.

2 The Zionist Woman

The first predominant boundary around women's protest in Israel is the influence of Zionism in the social and political infrastructure of Israeli statehood. Studies of nationalism have traditionally positioned the state as the embodiment of collective identity in the modern world (see Gellner 1994; Anderson 1983); identity has been viewed as an affinity of the "territorially-based nation state with a nationalist construction of political identity" (Steans 1998: 46). Combining the state with identity posits that individuals form their perspectives and self-understandings of their place in the world on the basis of their membership in a given national community. Indeed, nationalism has been the most widespread cause for conflict around identity in the modern world, as a result of the inscription of boundaries that place the individual in spaces delineating an "inside" from an "outside" and thus a "self' from an "other," setting entire communities in conflict over the delineation of their membership and their existential survival.

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Feminist critique contends that the establishment of political identity around such referent objects as the state and the nation is not gender-neutral, but is imbued with specific understandings of masculinity and femininity. Nira YuvalDavis, for example, has argued that nationalist projects articulate a variety of genealogical (myth of common origin), cultural (symbolic heritage, language, religion, and customs) and civic (citizenship) dimensions throughout specific historical circumstances. However, she discerns two main formulations of nationalism with respect to women (1997: 31). On one hand, nationalism has served as a progressive force that offers women the opportunity to challenge traditional gender structures and enter new domains that were previously unavailable to them at a time of broad political transformations such as war. On the other hand, female identification with the nation is often delineated by the incorporation of indigenous symbols drawn from an imagined past and upheld by patriarchal norms, traditions, and rituals that can be regressive of women's equality. This contradiction between progressive and regressive forces in nationalism is bound up in the tension between symbolic and practical assertions of national identity. The symbolic female role in discursive constructions of nationalism does not necessarily coincide with the practice of women's politics. For example, nationalist ideology imposes a division of labour on men and women based on sexualized symbolism and imagery. Nira Yuval-Davis and Floya Anthias point out that in nationalism women are depicted as biological reproducers of the members and keepers of the cultural boundaries of ethnic/national collectivities (1989), while men are represented as the civil or military reproducers of national policy and decisions (see also Yuval-Davis 1996, 1997: 26-38). The association of womanhood as a symbol of natural procreation centres

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on the female body and its role both in the actual production of members of the group and in the transmission of national culture. Jill Steans argues that this construct of nationalism as woman "appeals to a sense of belonging" and of "being at home," which usurps the position of the devoted mother and transforms her into the symbol of the nation as a family writ large (1998: 66—7). Territory is often symbolized as the motherland, the earthly emblem of the survival of a nation. Conquered territory is feminized and eroticized as the passive object of male love and sacrifice (Katz 1996). Violation of the land as a symbol of the rape of a woman is a powerful image in nationalism; it demands that citizens rush to defend their beloved kin and beloved land from harm or destruction. The glorification of womanhood as a symbol of the nation, however, does not necessarily represent the diversity of women's roles in nationalist struggles and their different motives for participation. In nationalist and national liberation struggles, women have occupied both combatant and non-combatant positions, risking their lives and taking life in a variety of circumstances. Despite this diversity, feminists have argued that the delineated symbolism of womanhood in nationalism often leads to practical control over women's lives through efforts to preserve and protect traditional structures such as the patriarchal family and code of ethics. Images of women as representing the nation tend to collude with the policing of women's actual bodies and sexual conduct. When women struggle for equal rights within the nation, they are accused of either betraying the group or supporting a foreign ideology that infringes upon die indigenous culture. The statement "Not now, later" (Enloe 1989) represents a widespread attitude expressed toward women during nationalist struggles when harmonious relations between men and women are regarded as vital to social unity.

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31

Women are thus expected to postpone their struggles until the post-revolutionary period, when the more "important" issues will supposedly have been resolved. Alternatively, when women participate alongside men in nationalist struggles, their role is represented as either supportive or as a temporary predicament. Females occupying the role of fighter or leader are not regarded as a model for female liberation; thus their position is often reversed after the crisis has passed, as a number of revolutions have demonstrated. In Iran, Tunisia, and Palestine women were active during the period of transition but were literally "sent back to the kitchen" after the crisis had subsided. These contradictions of nationalism are problematic for women attempting to negotiate equal membership in the nation and the family, as feminism is made to seem threatening to the consolidation of a new political order and men are absolved of familial responsibility in the process of transition. Women are often expected to fully contribute during the revolutionary period, but then to defer to male authority when the crisis subsides. Therefore, while women may identify strongly with the nation, their contradictory positioning in nationalist symbolism raises serious questions about the relationship between feminism and nationalism as identity structures, and about the compatibility of national struggles with women's equality. In the Israeli context, Jewish nationalism (Zionism) has served as a primary gender structure and site of contestation for women. Zionism is a product of the unique trajectory of Israeli national self-determination since the late nineteenth century. Zionist terminology is derived from the word Zion, the traditional synonym for Jerusalem and the land of Israel. The idea of returning to an ancestral homeland was combined in the late nineteenth century with the political need to respond to the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe. The formal organization of the

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Women in Zones of Conflict

Zionist movement was established at the first Zionist Congress, convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897. Since that time, political Zionism has been defined as the worldwide Jewish movement for the establishment of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine. Since the pre-state period, Zionist ideology has relied on a particular affinity between the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and biblical territory (Yuval-Davis 1987: 64). This trinity defined the community to be represented and rendered secure by the state-building process on a religious basis, that is, Jewish. Both ideological and practical efforts of the Zionist project were designed to promote a "return" of Jews from all over the world to establish a national revival and secure a national homeland in Palestine. This doctrine of the founding period is one of the most basic, yet controversial, aspects of contemporary Israeli politics and gender relations; it governs a wide range of processes of inclusion and exclusion in the nation. The second and third waves of Jewish immigration (Aliyot) from Eastern Europe (1904 to 1918, and 1919 to 1923 respectively), transformed Palestine into the ideological meeting place of Jews from different Diasporic locations and backgrounds. In order to unify the Yishuv (the Jewish community in pre-state Israel), the normative ideology of a melting pot, kibbutz galuyot (ingathering of the exiles) was adopted. This discourse was adopted from the Bible and rabbinical sources. For example, the flag of the State of Israel features the tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl with a central emblem of the Magen David, the blue Shield of David. The official emblem of the state is the menorah, the sevenbranched candelabra, a major ritual article since the time of King Solomon's Temple in ancient Jerusalem. And the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, articulates the Jewish gaze on Zion as the foundation of the "hope of two thousand years." In this way, the Zionist movement legitimated

The Zionist Woman

33

its national character by encouraging, and in a sense, creating conformity to perceived "Jewish" conduct and comportment. Assimilation, therefore, was open to Jews only who, despite their differences in ethnicity, socioeconomic status, regional background, and levels of religious worship, were regarded as having derived from a common origin. This melting pot ideology of the early Zionist movement was a mechanism of inclusion and exclusion that embraced certain individuals and groups, but subordinated and/or defined as partisan all others which did not conform to the official narrative of the collective. Female Jewish immigrants expected to be fully included in this melting pot society. However, the pattern of inclusion and exclusion was profoundly gendered, both during the Yishuv period and into the period of statehood, largely as a result of the protracted conditions of international conflict. Jewish pioneers who arrived in Palestine during the prestate period were united around the common goal of building a new egalitarian society based on ideals of social change and collective organization. Jewish men and women transported these ideas from the Diaspora in Eastern Europe and Russia, after the general emancipation of peasants in Russia in 1861 had contributed to a relatively freer movement of the Jewish population outside the previously restricted areas of residence (Pale of Settlement). This new law contributed to a proletarianization of the Jewish population as Jewish youth — both girls and boys increasingly participated in a growing Jewish student body and a range of political movements espousing secular and revolutionary ideals of socialism, communism, and anarchism (Rein 1980: 25). Jewish youth movements embodied an ideology of gender equality that reflected the equal relations between men and women comrades in the movement in Russian exile (Bar-Droma quoted in KatzenelsonRubashow 1932: 183).

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Women in Zones of Conflict

Upon arrival in Palestine, the key principles of the Zionist endeavour were to settle the land (Binyan Ha 'aretz) and to establish a Jewish labour force (Kibush Ha'avoda). The underlying objective was to transform the Jewish people from a persecuted minority into a sovereign and independent majority in Palestine (Bernstein 1992). Through this collective struggle, the Jewish individual was expected to become transformed from a tragic, disenfranchised, and isolated figure in the Diaspora, into a new, pioneering, proud Hebrew person in charge of his or her destiny in the new Yishuv. Therefore, early efforts to create an Israeli civic identity were based on compensating for the past fragility of both Jewish individuals and Jewish communities in the Diaspora, and reclaiming the strength, both physical and otherwise, of Jewish leadership and society. As a result of the deep pressures to unify the fledging national Jewish community, both institutionally and ideologically, women's struggles during this period tended to reinforce the dominant narratives of Jewish nationalism as men and women worked together toward these common goals. However, for women of the second (1904-1918) and third (1919-1923) waves of immigration, equal inclusion in the nation did not occur. The most pressing struggle in this period was to overcome limitations on their complete integration into the Jewish labour force. There was little sympathy from men for the idea of women working in the fields in Palestine. The female immigrants therefore confronted an environment largely inhospitable to the idea of Jewish women's independent labour. Moreover, as a result of the harsh environmental and political conditions, the early egalitarian ethos of equality among members of the Yishuv was eventually transformed into the glorification of physical labour, militarism, and the masculine qualities of strength and power. The image of the pio-

The Zionist Woman

35

neering male, the halutz, who worked with physical ardour and revolutionary fervour, became a basis for the mythology and values of the pre-state society. The focus on productivity and physical labour tended to enhance the significance of biological difference between the sexes as women's bodies became regarded as less productive and thus less valuable than men's in such physically demanding tasks as plowing, tilling the soil, and other field crop work. Instead, women were assigned subsidiary roles in the kitchen and the laundry. These support roles for women established a precedent for women's subsequent contributions during the period of statehood. Women were even excluded from the annual contracts of the Zionist organization and, unlike their men, did not receive wages directly from the Palestine Office (Swirsky and Safir 1991: 286). With the establishment of the Histadrut (the General Federation of Hebrew Labour) in 1920, women were continually under-represented in its governing bodies and were restricted to passive participation in subsequent periods of labour leadership (Izraeli 1992: 193). As a result of these restrictions on women's labour, female workers from the agricultural communes established their own independent women workers' movement in 1920 from within the Labour Zionist movement. The choice to organize independently during a period of crisis was a fundamental challenge to the nationalist movement at a time when the idea of feminism was not deeply rooted in that society. The most notable of women's independent organizations was the Sejera collective, established in 1907 by Manya Wilbushewitz Shohat and consisting of twelve men and six women. The Sejera collective reflected women's struggle for equality in that period insofar as it was "the only place where women enjoyed full equality with men in a mixed collective during the Second Aliyah" (Bernstein

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Women in Zones of Conflict

1992: 90). The women workers' movement also consisted of a series of women's training farms, women workers' conferences between 1914 and 1918, a girls' agricultural school, and the Council of Women Workers, the organizational body of the movement, established in 1921. These organizations promoted women's independence from men in areas of labour and personal empowerment. As such, they are evidence of an early development of feminist consciousness in the women's movement of the pre-state period which was distinct from the nationalist movement. However, the pressures of Jewish settlement in Palestine discouraged female expressions that would challenge the patriarchal underpinnings of the Zionist movement. Accordingly, women's demands toward the nationalist movement developed in ways that sought to increase their inclusion in, rather than exclusion from, nation-building processes. Women wanted to substantiate the female pioneer as an equal contributing member of the new agricultural community, rather than to increase their independence vis-a-vis men. As Sylvia Fogiel-Byaoui suggests, "war restrained women from struggling for equality of rights, and caused them to fight for equality of duties" (1992: 227). The predominant means for achieving equality of duties was articulated by the women's movement as a selftransformation; that is, that women would strive to become more masculine in their physical endurance, talents, and social responsibility without a reciprocal expectation on the part of men to become more feminine, - to take responsibility for childrearing and other familial and social responsibilities, for example (Izraeli 1992: 186). Women's inclusion in the nation came to depend on their fulfillment of traditional functions within the family as a symbol of the pioneering woman's femininity. Many women internalized this ideology of womanhood, as

The Zionist Woman

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borne out by women's organizational structures at the time. For example, the women's labour movement transformed itself from a trade union with an initial feminist leaning, into a volunteer organization that devoted itself to unremunerated social service (helping to absorb immigration) and catered to more domesticated notions of women's caregiving roles. The Council of Women Workers established an auxiliary organization in 1930 entitled the Organization of Working Mothers or, its full name, the Organization of Mothers Who Work in Their Own Household. The emphasis on women's motherhood role both served state-building processes and corresponded with the needs of the first families in the kibbutzim who, despite communal childcare arrangements, left women to shoulder the burden when the first children were born. This division of labour absolved men from household duties and allowed them to increase their influence in areas of labour and public policy. Motherhood became the predominant space through which women were given the opportunity to participate in the political process in the period of nation building. Therefore, with the development of the Zionist movement in pre-state Palestine, women were mobilized to support the nation but discouraged from organizing independently in ways that would challenge the predominant symbols of the pioneering ideal. The initial stage of gender activism in Israel took place within very limited political structures and consequently promoted women's domestic duties in the service of male leadership and in support of the early state infrastructure in crisis. In other words, the collective exigencies of the nation eclipsed the development of feminism in the early pre^tate period. These early changes in gender roles have been described as a "flight from feminism" (Clapsaddle 1976) in women's political mobilization during the initial

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stages of nation building. This retreat from feminist activities would have serious consequences for subsequent periods of feminist organizing in Israel, as Israeli society was able to develop under the guise of gender equality although ultimately evading the reality of gender inequality until the 19705.

3 Women and the Israeli Military

A second primary boundary around women's organizing in Israel is the dominant role of the military in Israeli politics and society. In the modern international system, the state's monopoly over legitimate violence, that is, violence recognized by the international community vis-a-vis both its internal rivals and its external enemies, has deeply gendered meaning. Since women have traditionally been unarmed and absent from the upper echelons of the defence industrial complex, men have inadvertently been conferred the right to "protect" women, while women have been defined as vulnerable and in need of protection. This discursive gender dichotomy of protector and protected is illustrated by Jean Bethke Elshstain's "just warriors" and "beautiful souls," (1987) in which the male soldier is represented by his willingness to sacrifice his life in the name of sovereignty (Grant 1992: 85), while civilian women constitute the objects for which sacrifice is made. Although women are honoured for their emotional support for the male soldier as they observe, suffer,

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Women in Zones of Conflict

cope, mourn, adore, witness, and work (Elshtain 1987: 164), women are denied the capacity to control the conditions of their own protection, and therefore are rendered dependent on men and the effective functioning of the military system. Women's dependent role in protection systems, while made to appear contractual through association with citizenship, occurs at the cost of gender inequality, and thereby obscures the collective interest women may have in transforming the system altogether (Peterson 1992: 52). Feminist studies of women and the military have sought to destabilize the traditional division between home front (safety) and battlefield (conflict). Although in reality, this division has never been unambiguous, and increasingly so as ethnic and/or tribal conflict spills over borders in the post-Cold War era, national security continues to be defined as armed protection of the boundaries of a nationstate (homeland) from external, military threat. The symbolism associated with the home front — battlefield distinction has come to distinguish, according to Rebecca Grant, between "the morality of the private citizen and the citizen ready to sanction violence as a member of the public" (1992: 85). Indeed, home front-battlefield is a powerful interface of discourses and practices that designates particular roles to men and women in conflict zones (Jacoby, 2002). Due to the investment of ethical conduct in the family, home front denotes a supportive domain in which reproduction, basic necessity, and affective relationships are represented by women, while the battlefield is the more privileged arena of production and political life as determined by autonomous elite and propertied men. Since war is regarded as an existential issue, the state reserves the right for itself to make policy decisions at the very highest level of government or the nationalist movement. Soldiers become the most valuable decision makers

Women and the Israeli Military

41

about war, having had first-hand experience of combat. It follows that the prioritization of the battlefield in the modern state system is underlined by leadership structures in which the male citizen-warrior is the primary model for citizenship. Women's exclusion from this dual system of war and political authority renders them invisible and subordinate in all aspects of the political process, particularly in the production and reproduction of protection systems. As V. Spike Peterson describes it, states are active in "protecting citizens from each other, protecting rights to privacy, protecting property rights, and protecting citizens from external threats" (1992: 50). However, protection systems offered by the state system are Janus-faced. While the state claims to protect its population from external "danger," it simultaneously reproduces the conditions which make that protection necessary in the first place by accumulating weapons, retaining war readiness postures, making threats, repressing undesirables inside and out, and forcing citizens to fight when called upon. Compulsory conscription is particularly problematic in conflict zones where the "right to fight" is often not a "right" at all, but an obligation of citizens to their state or nation in times of crisis. Feminist scholars have envisioned a more demilitarized concept of citizenship that includes a multitude of overlapping civil, political, social, ethnic, and other rights and obligations, which value spaces where women have been traditionally positioned (Yuval-Davis 1997: 24). By including the private sphere as a basic unit in the study of women and the military, feminists have revealed the broad range of violent acts that are perpetrated against women by men, both inside and outside the battlefield and in spaces that lie beyond the purview of citizenship, for example, in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and rape. A consideration of violence and protection outside

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the battlefield, as traditionally defined, helps also to understand issues of marginalization, sexual harassment, and violence against women within the military and in conflict zones. J. Ann Tickner has argued that gendered violence takes place at all levels of society, not only within the institutionalized contours of the state system (1992: 30). For example, violence against women occurs within the home, the space that is supposed to be a sanctuary from the insecurities of the public arena. In cases of domestic abuse, violence is not always committed by the "enemy," but often by those most intimately positioned in a woman's sexual/ affective domain. For example, rape can be perpetrated not only by occupying or invading forces but also by national soldiers against their own wives and significant others. This understanding of sexual violence against women destabilizes ideas about protection that have been established by the state system. The recognition of multiple forms of gendered violence begs a broader approach to conflict in the study of International Relations that considers the social impact of armed conflict, the relationship between the military and the family, and the ways in which violence spills over from the battlefield onto the home front as a byproduct of pervasive forms of militarized masculinity, during times of both war and peace. Issues concerning women in the Israeli military reflect the basic assumptions described above. Israeli women are incorporated into the military through compulsory conscription, although women conscripts continue to occupy secondary and supportive roles in the Israeli Defense Forces. It is necessary to explore this contradictory dimension of women's military service in Israel on account of the primary role occupied by the military in Israeli society. Thanks to over fifty years of protracted warfare between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Israel has developed a highly militaristic society with energies and resources

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manifested - politically, culturally, psychologically, and economically — around the predominant institution of the Israeli Defense Forces. Compulsory conscription has blurred, and at times rendered virtually indistinguishable, the lines between civilian and military life in Israel, as Jewish citizens spend a large portion of their life in service. Service in the military is a measure of involvement in Israeli public life as well as a primary site of socialization in society. Compulsory military service begins at the age of eighteen, from which time men have traditionally served three years while women have traditionally served two.1 The substantial time spent in military service allows, conscription to act as a significant socializing mechanism with regard to codes of conduct, character development, and broader national objectives. Indeed, the model of a conscript army in Israel has always envisaged itself as a reflection of the society it serves. On one hand, the military serves an equalizing function by integrating individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds into a framework in which their potential military rank need not correspond to their civilian status. On the other hand, the military forms a key boundary of exclusion in Israeli society, in that it consolidates the power and autonomy of the Israeli state and its elites vis-a-vis other minority groups such as Israeli Arabs, Sephardi Jews, and women (Helman 1996: 9). Despite universal conscription, there are many different categories of service and exemption. Groups who do not serve in the military are deprived of a predominant access to social and political value, as service in the military acts as a significant rite of passage into positions of authority in politics, the civil service, and the financial sector. Therefore, the military is a significant feature of personal life and power throughout Israeli society. As a result of the predominant definition of war in Israel as an "existential threat," the military has often been

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portrayed as a "sacred cow," an institution situated outside the sphere of public debate. Ironically, despite the military's civilian composition, decision making about top military priorities is regarded as beyond the scope of civil society. The lack of separation between the military and the state in Israel has allowed the military an extensive degree of leverage in policy making. Any matter defined as an issue of national security, whether it is or is not in reality, is closed to public debate. This attitude has allowed the State of Israel to withstand public pressure on such controversial issues as the waging of war and the accompanying sacrifice of life that is unprecedented in the western world. The military has lost a significant degree of status since its weak performance in the 1973 War, and particularly since the 1982 Invasion of Lebanon, which was regarded more as a means for political gain than a response to existential threat. However, as long as the state of belligerence in the region endures, the military continues to occupy a central role that highlights proper codes of conduct and influences key political structures in Israel. Women's difficult relationship to the military in Israel dates from the struggles of the pre-state period. During the initial stages of conflict, women's status in military operations was ambiguous, and women's rights and duties were not established in a clear and systematic manner (Fogiel-Bijaoui 1992: 227). During the pre-state period, women demanded to be equally responsible for the defence burdens of the community, just as they had demanded equal status in the Jewish labour force. However, the problem of gender equality was marginalized as tensions escalated between Zionists and the Arab population opposed to Jewish settlement in Palestine. As the security situation deteriorated in the early i goos, the first pre-state defence organization, Hashomer, was established in 1909 with a largely authoritarian and paramilitary character

Women and the Israeli Military

45

that reinforced the ideology of violence and male superiority (Rein 1980: 35). This militarized definition of masculinity increasingly devalued the initial commitments of the pre-state Jewish community to communal ideology, peaceful settlement, equality, and radical change. However, in the wake of Arab assaults on Tel Hai and Kfar Giladi in 1920, and on Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1921, Hashomerwas proclaimed unfit to respond to the security problems, and was replaced by a new secret defence organization, the Haganah (literally, "defence"). The Haganah recruited all fit men and women to address Arab hostilities as well as British restrictions on Jewish immigration. The significance of the Haganah was in its being the first Jewish defence organization to intentionally and explicitly recruit women. However, despite women's inclusion and equal instruction in techniques of discipline and the use of firearms, women ended up serving in feminized areas of communication, first aid, and medical assistance (Bloom 1991: 129). This gender segregation and supportive role for women changed in 1936 during the Arab Revolt when women made an explicit demand, and were granted the right, to stand guard in the communes. This so-called Women's Rebellion contrasted with the struggle in 1929, when women of the kibbutz were denied the right to guard. After this rebellion, the practice of women in combat became increasingly entrenched. In 1941 women were enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Services of the British Army and, after an initial policy against the recruitment of women, also served in equal numbers as men in the Palmach (Jewish assault companies). By 1944 Palmach men and women represented equal numbers in each core group (gariri) and by 1948, 1,200 women were full-fledged members. Women were also members of underground resistance groups such as the Irgun, a dissident group that focused on anti-British actions, as well as Lechi,

46

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the smallest and most militant group, also motivated by its anti-British attitude. In the pre-state period therefore, women's struggles were oriented toward women's inclusion in defence activities. However, women's roles tended to glorify the masculinity of the male pioneer. In zones of conflict such as Israel, women's liberation was not articulated as a feminist struggle for women's independence, but rather as a means for women to contribute more comprehensively to broader nationalist goals and defend the home and family alongside men. Women's avoidance of a direct confrontation with the male leadership over demands for gender equality reflected women's desire not to challenge unity of the Yishuv in the face of a hostile external environment. Since the proclamation of the State of Israel on 15 May 1948, and the passing, on 8 September 1949, of the Defense Service Law, which defines and regulates the obligation of service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Israeli Jewish women have undergone compulsory conscription. The compulsory military service of Israeli women distinguishes the Israeli context from other zones of conflict in which women are not active in military structures. However, as Galia Golan, suggests, "the military stands as the quintessence of a patriarchal institution reinforcing the stereotypical role of woman as subordinate, subservient and superfluous" (1997: 115). Women continue to be formally and informally relegated to the margins of the military experience, whether or not they are inducted. First, exemptions are widely and legally available to women who are either married or pregnant, or who claim a religious way of life. In 1978 legislation was passed that automatically gave religious women the opportunity of exemption from military service if they signed a simple document attesting to their observance of an Orthodox religious lifestyle. Women exempted on religious grounds were legally

Women and the Israeli Military

47

obligated to serve a period of service in a social or educational capacity, although they tend to do so only on a voluntary basis. This simple means of avoiding military service has been used by many secular women pretending to be religious. Therefore, both secular and religious women have an easy exit strategy should they choose not to serve. Second, out of all IDF soldiers, women comprise only 35 per cent. Statistics from 1996 estimated that enlistment rates were approximately 80 per cent for men and only 70 per cent for women.2 Not only are women under-represented numerically in the military in comparison to the general population, but they are also segregated within the military structure. In 1948 the IDF reorganized its front-line brigades. The issue of women's service was raised with two possible options. Women would either be integrated into men's units, or they would form separate battalions to serve the brigades while remaining independent. The second strategy was chosen, leading to the establishment of the Women's Corps (Chen) on 16 May 1948. Soon thereafter, however, the Women's Corps was restructured so that female conscripts would be dispersed throughout various units. A Brigadier General now leads the Women's Corps, under whose command stands a cadre of professional Women's Corps officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOS). The Women's Corps is integrated into the headquarters of territorial commands services and corps with a Chen office composed of a senior officer in the rank of Lt. Col. Major according to the size of the headquarters, staff officers, and NCOS responsible for all issues in which the Women's Corps is involved. Servicewomen serve directly under the commander of the unit to which they are assigned, but they have access to the Women's Corps as a professional support system on issues such as daily routine, order and discipline, residence, and lodging.

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Feminist critics have pointed out that Chen, which refers literally in Hebrew to charm and grace, is a highly gendered symbol of the Israeli military. Simona Sharoni points to the fact that female conscripts are taught very different modes of conduct for their assimilation into the military than are men. Women are encouraged to emphasize their femininity by keeping a neat appearance and are even given cosmetic guidance as part of their basic training (1995: 46). Although women learn how to use guns in basic training, the majority of women conscripts end up in clerical and service positions under the authority of a male of higher rank. In fact, the Israel Women's Network has documented that out of women serving in the army in 1994, 12.6 per cent were officers, 10 per cent worked in technical professions, 9 per cent in instruction and training, 7 per cent in intelligence, 7 per cent in communications, and i per cent in the military police. In the National Report on the Status of Women in Israel submitted to the 41st session on the Commission on the Status of Women of ECOSOC in March 1997, it was reported that although 69 per cent of women in the IDF served in professional positions requiring formal training (and elite units such as the intelligence corps, which are now 50 per cent female), a full 31 per cent end up in secretarial jobs that "neither require nor impart professional skills of any kind. "3 Israeli women have complained that the regular activity of female conscripts involves serving coffee and providing emotional and other support, activities that can be destructive for women's self-esteem on account of their being positioned in the lower ranks. A study of women's integration into the IDF confirms that high levels of "masculine identification," that is, acting like a man, enhanced women's adjustment to their military roles and their ability to adapt to masculine job performance indicators. The most important finding was that male and female soldiers

Women and the Israeli Military

49

serving in traditional and lower-ranking posts experienced higher rates of demoralization. The issue is that women are mostly located in lower ranks, while only some occupy positions of authority over men and other women. This finding suggests that women's lack of self-esteem in the military is linked to their subordinate status in the hierarchy of job posts (Eshkoletal. 1987). The prioritization of combat in Israel is a significant factor of women's marginalization both in the military and in society at large. In the IDF, combat is the most valued service to a nation considered to be under existential threat. Members of elite combat units such as the Golani (footsoldiers) and the Tsanchanim (paratroopers) are the most respected and honoured of soldiers. Experience in combat also serves as a rite of passage into Israeli society following the completion of service. In Israel, combat is a source of prestige that can be translated into material and political benefits upon return to civilian life. Many, if not most, leading politicians in Israel are drawn from a prestigious military background, catapulted into positions of public authority upon retirement from duty. Until recently, only men served in combat units, while women served in "combat help" positions. As a result of women's exclusion from or indirect relation to combat, they are excluded from many benefits and opportunities. In the 19705 women revisited issues concerning gender equality in the military. Women's exclusion from war making in Israel became a public issue after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Israeli military had been unprepared for the Arab onslaught and sustained heavy casualties in the initial stages of the war. This loss was followed by massive protest against the government initiated by reserve soldiers and officers in the IDF. The atmosphere of widespread dissent around the 1973 War inadvertently opened space for public debate about gender issues. Women had

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been excluded from an active role in the War.4 With the male dominated labour force repositioned at the front lines, women lacked the skills necessary to replace men in areas of manufacturing, agriculture, and public transit. A virtual standstill took place throughout the state as women channelled their anxiety on the home front into baking cakes for men on the battlefield. Myth has it that so many cakes were baked that a flour shortage occurred. This inefficient allocation of resources prompted a public discussion about the gendered division of labour in Israeli society in the postwar period. After the war, a widespread reorganization of the armed forces took place as part of a larger trend to fully utilize the available manpower - as well as womanpower - of Israeli society. An additional effect of the 1973 War was the entrance of feminist activists into the parliamentary arena and the start of a period of intense legislative activity with respect to the status of women in public institutions in Israel, including the military. During the 19705 the Israeli feminist movement, a product of women's studies seminars instructed by Marcia Freedman and Marilyn Safir at Haifa University in 1971, led the campaign for gender equality in Israel. The movement was responsible for a series of study and consciousness raising groups, a feminist library, a newspaper called Nilachem (literally "we shall fight"), and a successful campaign to open a daycare centre at Haifa University. In the 1973 national elections, the feminist movement entered the electoral arena in cooperation with the Citizens' Rights Movement (CRM) led by Shulamit Aloni (a militant activist on questions of citizens' rights, electoral reform, and religious freedom), and began to pass legislation on women's issues. Marcia Freedman obtained a seat in parliament. In the 1977 elections, the Women's Party was organized, and put forth the first women's list to run for the Knesset

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since 1949. The Women's Party platform was the first attempt to raise military and defence issues within a feminist framework of analysis in Israel. The uniqueness of the Women's Party agenda was its combination of a radical feminist perspective, which referred to Arab women as "sisters in joint struggle," (Sharoni 1995: 105) with support for the right to Palestinian national self-determination. Despite this bold stance, the limited arena for feminist organizing in Israel prompted the party to reiterate its loyalty to the Israeli nation by stating "gender equality is the path to women's contribution to society at large," and seeking to stand above partisan divisions by claiming to be "not leftwing, not right-wing, and not center" (Yishai 1997: 43). These contradictions within the Women's Party deferred to attitudes in Israeli society', as well as to the majority of female voters, who normally rejected women's separate partisanship, particularly when that involved a cross-national affiliation with Arab women. Indeed, the Women's Party ultimately failed to garner the minimum number of votes and disbanded shortly thereafter; the disintegration of the Haifa feminist movement followed. While dissent after the 1973 War opened space for women's issues, the parliamentary arena was largely insensitive to Israeli feminism, particularly on account of its connection to Palestinian rights. Women's exclusion from combat and their segregation in feminized areas of the military have jeopardized their possibilities for advancement and political authority in the nation. On one hand, because the military is such a dominant institution in Israeli society, women have found the need to struggle for the "right to fight" in order to be prominent where decisions about foreign policy are taken and codes of social conduct are established. Moreover, war has enabled women to make demands on the state to be included, as a result of the need for their labour during war. However, the feminist movement in Israel has been

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caught between the conflicting demands of campaigning for women's "right to fight" in the Israeli military, and simultaneously supporting that anathema to Israeli military power, namely, the right to Palestinian national selfdetermination and partnerships with Arab women. In all, the military has constituted a key, albeit problematic, site of resistance for Israeli women, which has more recently taken the form of the struggle for women in combat, which will be further discussed in chapter 7.

4

Women, Organized Religion, and the Family in Israel

The last two boundaries around women's organizing in Israel are interrelated; the dominant role of the religious establishment gives it a problematic influence over personal status (family) law. Religion and the family are two sites of resistance for Israeli women that affect all avenues of gender equality in both the public and private spheres. Although there is no official religion in Israel, there is also no clear separation between religion and state. In Israeli public life, tensions frequently arise among different streams of Judaism: Ultra-Orthodox, National-Religious, Mesorati (Conservative) , Reconstructionist Progressive (Reform), and varying combinations of traditionalism and non-observance. Despite this variety in religious observances in society, Orthodox Judaism prevails institutionally over the other streams. This boundary is an historical consequence of the unique evolution of the relationship between Israeli nationalism and state building. The historical legitimization of Israeli self-determination has relied on an affinity among the State of Israel, the Jewish people (in Israel or the Diaspora), and biblical territory

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(Yuval-Davis 1987: 64). The origins of Jewish Orthodox power in Israel reside with the development of the Zionist (Jewish nationalism) movement in the pre-state period. The nature of Israeli statehood has been subject to continuous debate between religious and secular groups, particularly with reference to criteria for membership in the nation, which turns on the definition of who is "a Jew" and the consequent "right of return." In spite of these debates, the Zionist movement intentionally incorporated religious discourse and symbols of the Hebrew Bible to legitimate the national unity of the Jewish people and reinforce its claims to the land upon the establishment of independence in 1948. Since the founding period, in order to defuse religious tensions, the State of Israel adopted what is known as the "status quo," an unwritten agreement stipulating that no further changes would be made in the status of religion, and that conflict between the observant and non-observant sectors would be handled circumstantially. The "status quo" has since pertained to the legal status of both religious and secular Jews in Israel. This situation was designed to appease the religious sector, and has been upheld indefinitely through the disproportionate power of religious political parties in all subsequent coalition governments. The influence of Orthodox Judaism in the Israeli legal system has therefore maintained a system of ideological ambiguity. On one hand, the Declaration of Independence adopted in 1948 explicitly guarantees freedom of religion. On the other, it simultaneously prevents the separation of religion and state in Israel. The persistence of this ambiguity throughout the Israeli legal system is compounded by Israel's lack of a complete written constitution, in place of which exist a series of Basic Laws pertaining to the central aspects of Israeli governance. Attempts to adopt a formal constitution have been complicated by vested interests in the "status quo," particularly

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those of the religious sector with its desire to avoid the articulation of freedom of religion in a constitutional document. This legal void represents the unresolved tensions between religion and democracy in Israel, and symbolizes the continued deference to religious ambiguity over egalitarian values in the legal system. The power of Orthodox Judaism in Israel holds explicit gendered connotations, which are most evident in the area of personal status and family law. The State of Israel inherited the Ottoman Millet system from the British Mandate (1918-1948). This system granted autonomy over matters of personal status to the three main religious communities in Palestine: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. The autonomy and national character of these communities were equated with their religious definition, despite the internal divergences of religious observance in the different communities. As a result of perceived continuous threats to the Jewish nation, the State of Israel has continued to enforce religious criteria for personal status since 1948, with a system providing religious jurisdiction and administrative power to all three religious communities. Since 1953 religious courts have maintained exclusive jurisdiction, based on Sharia (Islamic canon law) for Muslims, ecclesiastical courts for Christians, and Halakha (Jewish canon law) for Jews, over all aspects of personal status in Israel. This relic of the Ottoman era accommodates the intricate relationship between religion and state in Israel. Therefore, despite the fact that individual members of the three communities may be religious or secular, their personal lives are governed by the rules of religious doctrine. In the Jewish sector, Halakhic authority establishes key gender boundaries, which jeopardize women's equality. Halakha is based on a body of knowledge that has incorporated both written and oral aspects of Jewish law since biblical times. Orthodox interpretations of Halakha are stricter than those of other streams about the question:

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"Who is a Jew?" particularly with reference to the 1950 Law of Return for Jewish immigrants, which grants every Jew the right to acquire automatic citizenship and to undergo Orthodox conversion processes. According to Orthodox Halakha, a Jew is defined biologically as having been born to a Jewish mother. Maternal lineage differs from the definitions prefered by non-observant Jews, who favour more inclusive civil, social, and cultural criteria for identification with Judaism. The Orthodox definition complicates the predicament of individuals who, for whatever reason, do not fit within this category, and thus do not claim the accompanying rights and benefits of being born to a Jewish mother in a Jewish state. Most importantly however, Orthodox Judaism places the responsibility of lineage on women, whose sexuality, personal conduct, and comportment thereby become key to national reproduction. Orthodox Jewish law is also more conservative on gender issues than other streams. For example, and by way of contrast to Orthodox Jews, Reform Jews recognize women's equality in religion, acknowledging women's right to lead prayer and become rabbis, for example. The jurisdiction and influence of Orthodox personal status has been particularly problematic for Israeli women on such issues as personal status (which affects key avenues of political representation), sexuality, and other social mores bound to the familial unit through marriage, conversion, and domestic litigations such as divorce, inheritance, and child custody. Women in need of legal recourse are undermined in rabbinical courts because all judges are male and women hold subordinate status in Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law. In fact, the only mitzvot (commandments) that refer to women pertain to their duty of keeping Kashrut (dietary laws) in the home, and observing the Sabbath (day of rest). In the public arenas of

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power and politics, according to Orthodox Judaism, the place of women is circumscribed and subordinate. Even in the arena of religious activity women's participation is secondary; women are not required by Halakha to pray, except for personal fulfillment. In the Orthodox synagogue, women are divided from men by the mechitza, a partition or wall that situates women at a distance from the Holy Ark, the structure that contains the scrolls of the Torah and serves as the centre of prayer for Judaism. This separation is a continuing reminder of women's subordinate role in religious worship. The power of Orthodox Judaism is particularly problematic for women in Israel because of its close relation to the state. Orthodox religious law is the only framework for personal status in Israel; there is no option to marry or divorce in civil court. This legal system discriminates against women by inhibiting both their inclusion in citizenship and their acquisition of other redistributive benefits. Jewish law reinforces the gender division of roles between the sexes by interfering in the composition of the familial unit. For example, Halakha prohibits recognition of civil marriage. While civil marriage is recognized in Israel, it is not contracted and thus many couples selecting the civil option must either marry abroad or take their vows before a foreign consul in Israel. Orthodox divorce procedures have been the most problematic for women's equality in Israel. Terms for divorce can be administered either through rabbinical or civil court, depending on the court that is approached first. However, it is the husband, not the court that is ultimately empowered by Jewish law to grant the divorce. Failing to comply, the man risks a penalty of imprisonment, which still does not free the woman from the marriage (Shanoff 1981). In fact, many men have preferred prison to divorce for malicious reasons and have delayed proceedings

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for many years, if not indefinitely. Women whose husbands have refused divorce — agunot (literally, "anchored women") - are ineligible to remarry, since only death or divorce can dissolve the marriage. Thousands of women fall into this category, both in Israel and around the world. This personal status law can be particularly problematic in a zone of conflict such as Israel, where women whose husbands have gone missing in war cannot remarry. It also causes a problem for children born to women whose biological father is not the mother's legal husband. These children are defined as "bastards" and are limited in terms of their membership in the nation and their own future marriages. Furthermore, according to Halakha, daughters are not recognized as heirs in inheritance cases. Women are excluded from participation in policy making or from holding office in public institutions of the religious communities. For example, women can neither sit on a bench in family court nor serve as a witness because of the Haldkhic denial of their right to sign a document. By circumscribing women's role in the family, therefore, Orthodox personal status law serves to weaken the status of women in the nation. Therefore, the areas in which established religion influences state building is a site of contestation in Israel not only between secular and religious Jews but also between men and women. Israeli foreign policy and religion collude in many respects to unify a nation in arms, but to the detriment of women's status within the state. Personal status law in Israel is tightly linked to the production and reproduction of the Israeli family. Most public celebrations in Israel derive from the calendar of the Jewish religion. Family celebrations and gatherings tend to be organized around Jewish holidays such as the festive family meal at Purim,1 Passover,2 or on Friday night before the Sabbath, the day of rest. Jewish holidays reinforce the popular

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and cultural attitudes in Israel that glorify unity of the traditional family as an ethical model and unit of social and political redistribution. The Israeli family is widely perceived as the repository of women's traditional role. As in other societies, enduring popular perceptions link women to die private sphere of procreation and caregiving, and men to the public sphere of war and high politics. Motherhood is universally one of the most prominent symbols of womanhood. However, the association of womanhood with motherhood and its underlying gendered division of roles is amplified in Israel as the family appropriates the role of sanctuary and support network during periods of conflict. During wartime, the state transfers many burdens onto the traditional family in order to promote policy and gain support and legitimization. For example, the state began to explicitly recruit families to offset the burdens of war when support and legitimization declined after the early 19705 and particularly with the 1982 Lebanon War. The military encouraged a fuller involvement of parents in military life as a means to sustain the national consensus about the Israeli Defense Forces. The increasing involvement of parents in military life, as witnessed in the establishment of a Military Ombudsman since 1972 to deal with parental concerns, and the enhanced role of parents in ceremonial rituals, such as the oath taking of new recruits during basic training and the completion of different ranks and specialization courses, has helped to maintain ties between the family and children during military duty. However, an effect of parental participation in the military has been to lengthen the duration of a woman's familial obligation within the traditional family. In addition to eliciting tacit support from parents through their participation in military ceremonies, the military transfers other burdens such as laundering, ironing, and economic or psychological support to the traditionally

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defined private sphere. For example, the military institution of the laundry has virtually disappeared while the task of laundering, drying, and ironing uniforms has become a Saturday employment activity for many mothers of male soldiers (Herzog 1996: 18). In this way, the military-family relationship perpetuates the gender division of roles associated with motherhood. While the military embraces the family to sustain both its symbolism and legitimacy, it does so in a way that subordinates the family unit and reinforces patriarchal power within it. One of the most significant means of impinging on the Israeli family in Israel occurs with reference to the "the demographic struggle." Israeli popular attitudes toward the family, and the power of the Orthodox rabbinical establishment are reinforced by the state's recruitment of IsraeliJewish women to serve the nation via their reproductive functions. Demographic policies have been a cornerstone of the Zionist settlement project, particularly with reference to the objective of establishing a Jewish majority in Palestine in the aftermath of the World War II and the Holocaust (Yuval-Davis 1997: 31). The Jewish demographic concern intensified during the period of state building as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. The Occupation incorporated a large Arab population within Israel, adding approximately 1.5 million non-Jews to the already 300,000 living within Israeli borders. This, along with a decline in Jewish immigration rates and an increase in Jewish emigration rates in the 19705, raised concerns that the higher Arab birthrate would lead to a Jewish minority in the State of Israel. The dilemma of Jewish minority rule would increase the tension between the Jewish nature of Israeli statehood and its changing internal composition.

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The response to this so-called demographic liability came in the form of national demographic policies designed to encourage a higher birth rate in the IsraeliJewish sector. The important aspect of Israeli demographic policies was that they were largely directed at women and their sexuality. For example, the Israeli demographic centre was established in 196*7 in conjunction with the Israeli prime minister's office, with the explicit aim of creating an environment conducive to fertility. Moreover, in 1968 the Israeli Housing Ministry established the Fund for Encouraging Birth to subsidize housing for families with three children or more (Yuval-Davis 1987: 80). The pro-natalism of the Israeli state creates a circumscribed sphere for women by establishing a particular ideological construction of women, rather than men, as the national reproducers of the Jewish nation (Yuval-Davis 1987). Israelijewish women are expected to fulfill their national duties by reproducing generations of male soldiers for righting and sacrifice in wars. In effect, pro-natalism has nationalized the woman's womb by transforming the body from a means for sexual and procreative freedom into an instrument of the state. Prime Minister Ben Gurion's wellknown speech at the first session of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) crystallized the sentiment from early on in the state-building process that "women have a special mission as mothers" (Ben Gurion quoted in Rein 1980: 54). The initiation of special rewards for "heroine mothers," Israeli Jewish women who produce ten children or more, put this ideology into practice. In the realm of warfare, patriotic mothering usurps the maternal symbol of lifegiving to support militaristic or nationalist policy. Mothers may play an active role, organizing as mothers in propaganda campaigns, giving birth to new generations of soldiers, or politicizing the burdens of

6a

Women in Zones of Conflict

the grieving mother of the martyr. Jean Bethke Elshstain portrays mothers in warring nations as mothers who have been drafted, as they play the heroines who plead to their soldiers: "Kill them for me" (1987: 191-2). Other mothers play a less active, though equally important, role by simply ensuring social continuity, complying with rations for scarcities, and taking upon themselves the additional work necessitated by the absence of men during the difficult periods of wartime mobilization. Israeli women are perceived to be responsible not only for biological reproduction in times of crisis, but also for cultural continuity through their predominant role in early childhood care. However, from an early age, the state recruits the family's cooperation to monitor the socialization and transition of children from offspring to citizen-soldiers. Lea Shamgar-Handelman and Don Handelman argue that through early childhood education, Israeli Jewish children — along with their parents — are inculcated with the melting pot notion of Zionism through their participation in numerous ceremonial occasions and symbolic activities. In the celebration of holidays in kindergartens, for example, the familial bond is subordinated to the symbolic collective order through a range of nationalistic ceremonies. This process recasts die normal progress of domestic life through the creation of the family by the collectivity rather than the reverse (Shamgar-Handelman and Handelman 1989: 435). In passing on the proper social mores and responsibilities to younger generations, women are expected to impart a collective foundation for civic life through the bond with their children. In both their cultural and reproductive functions, Israeli Jewish women are exalted and revered. However, these designated roles limit women's independence and freedom to choose an alternative familial lifestyle to the patriarchal family, and an alternative collective affiliation to the nation-state.

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At no time were these dilemmas about state, family, and sexuality more evident than in the struggles around abortion and the Jewish birthrate in the 19705. Since abortion is related to population control and decreased fertility, it was perceived as a controversial and largely undesirable political objective, given the exigency of Jewish reproduction in Israel. Abortion was also considered incompatible with widespread religious convictions and social norms related to the Israeli family. Judaism does not explicitly ban abortions. In fact, traditional Halakha mandates that abortion is necessary if the life of the mother is endangered by the pregnancy. However certain interpretations of Jewish law claim that abortion is equal to murder, unless the life of the woman is in danger, and abortion is also interpreted as contradicting the cardinal commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis i: 28). Anti-abortionists in Israel have used this argument against women's independence and feminist activism. In the early 19703, abortion was illegal in Israel despite the nearly 60,000 abortions performed annually either in private institutions through lucrative non-taxable cash payment, or after a committee evaluation in some hospitals (Finkel 1981: 68). In 1976 feminist movements, both in Haifa and Jerusalem, staged demonstrations demanding free abortion and contraception. Two laws proposing a liberalization of abortion had been submitted to the Knesset in 1974. However, a loosely assembled anti-abortion lobby consisting of religious, nationalist, and medical groups opposed the bill. After the first reading of the Abortion bill in February 1976, an open letter appeared in the newspapers, signed by five eminent doctors and members of the Gynecological Association of Israel, demonstrating objection to the bill on the basis of a "danger to women's health" (Rein 1980: 152). In July 1976 an incident that subsequently became known as the "Hilton Affair" took

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place when a group of feminists broke into a conference of the Israel Gynecologists Society at the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel and climbed onto the stage chanting "legal abortions," "end to black money," and "my body belongs to me." After a brief struggle with security guards and a barrage of glasses thrown from the audience, the women were carried out of the hall and charged with assault and trespassing. This single event placed the issue of abortion in the public eye and lent momentum to a period of legislative activity. The Hilton Affair also demonstrated that cooperation between religion and state often occurs at the expense of women's rights and freedoms. In 1977, during a brief period when no religious party was a member of the ruling coalition, a new penal law on abortion was passed, stipulating conditions under which a woman could obtain a legal hospital abortion. The conditions related to the age of the woman, the context of the pregnancy as a result of an act deemed criminal by the Penal Code, such as rape, incest or extra-marital relations, health of the fetus, and health of the mother.3 However, the controversial fifth condition, the "social clause," which permitted abortion on the basis of social hardship, was subsequently repealed on 11 December 1979. This repeal was part of a coalition agreement between the Likud government that came to power in the 1977 national elections and two religious parties, the National Religious Party (NRP) and Agudat Israel (Yuval-Davis 1987: 84). Loss of the fifth clause was the result of practical and close collusion between religion and the state over issues pertaining to women in Israel. A series of demonstrations followed on 8 March 1978 and 21 July 1978, demanding that the social clause not be removed. However, the feminist movements failed to receive public support, and a majority decision in the Knesset repealed the fifth condition. The widespread consensus

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against abortion in Israel demonstrates that, as Tikva Honig-Parnass suggests, "the collaboration between the nation-state and religion is strongest when it comes to issues related to defining women's roles and their sexuality, particularly in the personal sphere of procreation" (1992: 6). An additional dimension of the relationship between war, family, and women's protest in Israel is linked to the subject of the second major campaign of the 19705 feminist movement: violence against women and rape. The Israeli context has demonstrated that violence on the battlefield is intricately connected to violence on the home front. Despite public ignorance of the issue in Israel, there was increasing evidence of violence against women in the form of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.4 However, the issue of violence against women was taboo in public debate in the early period of statehood because it raised a host of questions about the right to male violence in a militaristic society. The first public mention of battered women occured in 1962 when a woman member of the Knesset asked the policy chief if he was aware of the phenomenon. Marcia Freedman reintroduced the problem in 1976 when she presented a motion of order before the Knesset's plenum on wife battering. The initial reaction was one of disbelief and even ridicule as male Knesset members laughed and made stereotypical jokes that have since become legendary such as, "What about women who beat their husbands?" (Finkel 1981: 94). Nevertheless, several Knesset committees were established to deal with the subject after a motion was passed by a majority vote. The issue of violence against women in Israel drew a very different public reaction from that of the abortion campaign in the 19703. Shelters for battered women were established by the feminist movement, and Israeli governmental bureaucracies such as the Ministiy of Social Affairs, as well as the more conservative women's organizations such as the

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Women's International Zionist Organization (wizo) and Na'amat (Moetzet Hapoalot or the Working Women's Council) established their own programs for battered women. However, these organizations conducted their programs in a way that stripped the issue of violence against women of its feminist content. For example, their programs included the batterers in counselling in accordance with the Jewish virtue of shalom belt (peace in the home). These programs also espoused an apolitical approach to women, which saw them as victimized and dependent, a view that coincides with popular ideas about the primacy of motherhood, the unified and patriarchal Jewish family, and the need to protect women in conflict. A study of feminist attitudes among university students in Israel by Izraeli and Tabory reinforced this perspective that violence against women is detached from issues of structural inequality or patriarchal power. Of the students polled, many articulated the opinion that violence against women was an issue of individual psychology or "a problem similar to kidnapping and car accidents and not... a feminist issue" (1993: 274). Blaming the victim, or focusing on the individual perpetrator and not on the social context that renders this type of violence possible, made the issue acceptable in public debates and deflected state responsibility. The issue of domestic violence against women was raised again after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and what subsequently became known as the Gulf War on 16 January 1991. This war differed from past experiences insofar as Israel had a passive position in the fighting and its men, for the very first time, did not take an active role in war. During scud missile attacks from Iraq, for example, Israeli men were confined to the home front in sealed rooms with women, children, and the elderly. Being distanced from the front lines, made men experience the powerlessness commonly felt by "protected" civilian populations in wartime. Their frustrations were directly linked

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to a wave of violence against women from the outbreak of the war until the beginning of May 1991; during that time twelve women were the victims of spousal murder. Also, during that war, rape crisis centres received an overflow of calls from distressed women and teenaged girls who found themselves in sealed rooms with members of their extended family, including uncles, brothers-in-law, and distant relatives, situations that resulted in numerous cases of rape and incest (Sachs 1991). These incidents demonstrate that women's sexuality and sanctuary in the family are at risk in militarized societies (Seifert 1996), even when a state is not actively involved in war. The Jewish definition of statehood in Israel has had significant ramifications for women and the family. The primacy of the Orthodox religious establishment in defining the contours of the family, and the burdens imposed on the family by demographic struggles and armed conflict, have politicized the private sphere in Israel in ways that oppose women's independence. "Reliable" Israeli Jewish women accept their role in reproduction and assume the responsibilities of raising citizens in accordance with Jewish norms and nationalist objectives. This model of patriotic motherhood is an exemplary tool for state control of women. As a result of the politicization of women's reproduction in Israel, issues such as abortion, domestic violence, and marriage, divorce, and child custody have been formulated in ways that decrease the opportunities for feminist activism and female independence. These restrictions permeate all the major structures of Israeli society and continue to impinge upon women's struggles for equality.

5 The Women's Peace Movement

The Israeli women's peace movement provides a valuable case study through which to determine the opportunities and constraints faced by women peace activists in zones of conflict. Since the late igSos, one of the most significant forms of women's organizing in Israel has been enacted within the framework of a feminist politics of peace. The Israeli women's peace movement is the first instance of a comprehensive connection being forged between feminism in Israel and struggles toward a negotiated settlement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The igSos and iggos were periods of profound political upheaval and protest, with Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the start of the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation (Intifada) in 1987. These two events strongly influenced the coalescence of an Israeli feminist politics of peace, with an agenda combining an orientation toward transformation on women's issues with a distinctly feminist anti-war sentiment. Although the Israeli women's peace movement has never .

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been identified as "pacifist," in terms of non-resistance to aggression — reserving the right to support the Palestinian struggle for national self-determination and Israel's right to defence — there have been various debates about the definition of peace and women's roles in peace making. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the relationship between feminism and peace, using the case of the Israeli women's peace movement, in particular the Jerusalem Link. The incorporation of issues of war and peace into feminist struggles represents a departure from the practice of earlier periods in Israel such as the pre-state period and the 19705 feminist movement (with the exception of the Women's Party), when the Arab-Israeli conflict rested outside the purview of feminist politics. Current feminist politics of peace connect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the marginalization of women in Israeli society, taking into account entrenched militaristic attitudes and spillovers of violence from the battleground into the family and the private sphere. As a result, the Israeli women's peace movement has been one of the most critical groups vis-a-vis militarism, nationalism, and other statist modes of identity in Israel. Critique of the woman-nation nexus is most evident in the Israeli-Palestinian cross-national partnership that forms the foundation for much of women's peace activity in Israel. This partnership has distinguished the women's peace movement from mainstream peace activism by facilitating different understandings of peace, security, statehood, and collective identity based on women's cross-national affiliations. However, within the Israeli women's peace movement, there is contestation over the use of feminine symbols such as motherhood to represent women and peace. The origins of Israeli women's peace activities are generally traced to the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon between 1982 and 1985. Due to the perceived offensive nature of

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the war campaign, often referred to as a "war of choice," large segments of the Israeli public began to suspect that war was being used as a political instrument (to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon) rather than as a reaction to existential threat. This was the first public questioning of the discourse on existential threat that had denned Israeli security since the pre-state period. In response to the heavy shelling of Israeli cities in the northern region, the Israeli military embarked upon a siege of West. Beirut in Lebanon, an operation that deviated from the national consensus and the agreed-upon forty-kilometre security zone. The Israeli public reacted immediately through massive anti-war movements and demonstrations throughout the country, challenging the state's authority to wage war. These acts of protest centred around the most visible mainstream peace movement, Peace Now, an organization that originated with the famous "Officer's Letter" to the Israeli government, signed by 350 army reservists admonishing Prime Minister Menachem Begin to be flexible during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt in 1978 and to make "peace now." The war in Lebanon and the aftermath of protest marked the first instance in which Israeli women took an active role in the national security debate and made specific pronouncements on issues of war and peace. However, gendered structures within the peace movement itself became apparent in the initial stages. Women pointed out that while they formed the majority of the rank and file in such mixed extra-parliamentary opposition groups as Peace Now, they were under-represented in actual decision making and did not speak in public forums.1 As a result, women peace activists formed independent organizations. During the Lebanon War, for example, the group "Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon," subsequently renamed "Women Against the Occupation"

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(Shani), was established in January 1988. Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon was a distinctly feminist anti-war group composed mainly of women affiliated with the 19705 Israeli feminist movement. Not only did this group separate organizationally from mainstream peace activities like Peace Now but it also separated ideologically.2 Its unique perspective was opposition to the Lebanon War on the basis of an explicit connection between the oppression of Israeli women and the oppressions suffered by Palestinians as a result of Israeli military rule in Lebanon, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. On account of the group's identification with the Palestinians, its message exceeded the boundaries of mainstream nationalist consensus. For this reason, Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon met a hostile reaction on the part of the Israeli public. As Simona Sharoni explains: "Israeli society was not able to address the oppression of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories nor the subordination of Israeli women, and especially not the links between the two" (1995: 108). After the start of the Intifada in 1987, Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon expanded its activities under the auspices of Women Against the Occupation (Shani), including a study group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, solidarity visits to hospitals, nursery schools, and private homes in the Occupied Territories, and protest demonstrations against such events as the detention of Palestinian political prisoners or the issue of school closures in the West Bank (Women and Peace 1989). The group continued to deepen its dialogues with Palestinian women in the Occupied Territories as a basis for subsequent crossnational partnerships and solidarity campaigns between Israeli and Palestinian women. Activities such as solidarity visits with Palestinians at the time were considered radical in Israeli public opinion, and were not practised by mainstream peace groups.

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However, not all political expressions by women during the Lebanon War were articulated in feminist terms or in support of Palestinian rights. "Parents Against Silence" (Horim Neged Shtikah) was another women's protest movement that appeared during the 1982 War. Parents Against Silence was an immediate reaction by first-time activists to what was perceived as the excessive nature of the Israeli war campaign in Lebanon. The movement's slogan, "Bring the Sons Back Home," banked on the symbol of parental concern for soldiers who they thought were being sacrificed in a superfluous and dangerous war (Azmon 1997: 112). The movement was immediately nicknamed "Mothers Against Silence" because of its disproportionately female composition and its feminine discourse that emphasized the private sphere and a mother's concern for her child. While not identified as a feminist movement, the group succeeded in breaking through the barriers that typically separate military and civilian spheres in Israel and prevent public criticism of national security issues. In so doing, the female voice inadvertently undermined the monopoly of masculine authority. However, Parents Against Silence intentionally avoided affiliation with feminism by disassociating itself from established women's or feminist organizations. By limiting the politicization of motherhood to parochial concern for "our boys," Parents Against Silence eschewed adopting a universalistic anti-war sentiment that would extend to Palestinian rights, and thus remained largely within the legitimate boundaries of Israeli nationalist protest. Not surprisingly, the organization was embraced by top-ranking political leaders and offered a legitimate platform as "concerned mothers" in the national security debate. The fundamental difference between Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon and Parents Against Silence consisted in the distinction between feminine and feminist

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symbols. As the period of 1982 demonstrated, feminine symbols were considered much more acceptable in a war society as, for the most part, they did not challenge Israeli national identity. Feminist symbols, on the other hand, were perceived as a threat, not only to masculinist leadership but also to national identity through their emphasis on the rights of the other. While the "motherist" Parents Against Silence identified solely with the Israeli nationstate, the feminist Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon identified beyond the national boundary with those they considered oppressed by their own respective nationalist project. In the aftermath of the Lebanon WTar, the Intifada, which began on 7 December 1987, was the most significant event in the development of the Israeli women's peace movement. During the Intifada, women occupied a unique role in Israeli peace activities. The extent of women's political awakening and organizing for peace during the uprising arose from two interrelated phenomena with distinctly gendered underpinnings. First, women responded uniquely to the nature of the Intifada itself; it was a popular insurrection that defied the conventional rules of war in which male soldiers fight on the battlefield. Instead, Israel faced an enemy composed largely of Palestinian women and youth (shabab) who experienced the conflict within civilian areas and the private sphere, spaces that are conventionally excluded from combat. Second, in the Intifada the Israeli army clearly took the role of an oppressor. The discourse of "enlightened occupation" that had sustained the legitimacy of Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza in Israeli public opinion since 1967 was exposed during the Intifada. One month into the uprising, Israeli soldiers, for the first time, killed a Palestinian woman as she attempted to rescue a child from being struck by a soldier. Gila Svirsky, a longtime activist in

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the Israeli women's peace movement, argues that televized scenes such as this - of women being beaten, of marching in the streets, of the violence, brutality, and oppression brought about by Israeli society, and the denunciations of the international community — resonated strongly with Israeli women, who have their own unique history of marginalization and oppression (Svirsky 1996: 3). The Intifada shattered the Israeli public's belief in the ethical role of the Israeli army. This revelation implicated all Israeli spectators, men and women, in guilt by association with sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands sent to quell the unrest. Women were particularly moved to organize around the Intifada. One month after the start of the uprising, members from the mixed-gender peace group Dai L'Kibbush (End the Occupation) organized a silent march through the streets of West Jerusalem. However, feminists took the lead in peace activities and went further in their activism than malestream peace groups. For example, when Peace Now was organizing demonstrations within Israel, women peace activists were entering the Occupied Territories to express empathy and concern for the suffering of the local Palestinian population. While Peace Now was making speeches at public demonstrations, women affiliated with the feminist journal Noga were projecting images of the brutality of Intifada on walls of buildings in one of the busiest streets in Tel Aviv. A flurry of political organizing extended these events: approximately 180 different Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian mixed and women-only peace organizations were established by the end of 1989 (Lentin 1996: 29). Although many women continued to participate in mixed-gender activities and demonstrations, the stark gender hierarchy in the peace movement prompted women to form independent, extra-parliamentary frameworks. Some of these groups, such as Tandi (Movement of Democratic Women in Israel), Gesher (literally, the Bridge),

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and the Israeli Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), had been operating long before the start of the Intifada in support of peace and Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. New groups formed as well, such as Shani, Israeli Women Against the Occupation (1988), Women for Women Political Prisoners (1988), The Peace Quilt (an Israeli-Palestinian project exhibited at the Knesseton 5 June 1988), and Women in Black. The ongoing and informal dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian women were formalized at the first international Palestinian-Israeli Women's Conference, entitled "Give Peace a Chance: Women Speak Out," in Brussels in May 1989, sponsored by the Belgian Jewish Community Center. The conference led to the establishment on the Israeli side of the Women's Peace Net (Reshet) to serve as an umbrella organization to parallel the already existing Higher Women's Council established in 1988 on the Palestinian side. Women of the Reshet explored the social dimension of peace, including house, or parlour, meetings in which Palestinian women were invited to the homes of Israeli women to talk about their experiences and attempt, through personal contact, to break down the psychological barriers created by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 3 Israeli women also travelled to the territories with a Palestinian woman host to see first-hand the operation of women's committees and production cooperatives, and open a channel for dealing with specific human rights violations, particularly those against women and children. These activities were revolutionary insofar as they established the idea of peace at the social level. Within the coalition, Women in Black was the most visible and well-documented of the women's peace groups, with its silent vigil form of demonstration, non-hierarchical organization, culture of consensus seeking, and heterogeneous membership (Swirsky 1996: 5). Women in Black's

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style of democratic organizing was clearly distinguished from the more hierarchical, established, and institutionalized malestream peace movement. As well, Israeli and Arab women stood together in Women in Black vigils, emphasizing their solidarity and partnership. During the Intifada, the women's peace movement developed an alternative ideology insofar as it rejected the limited and largely militaristic message of the mainstream peace movement. Speeches and advertisements of Peace Now, for example, a peace movement that originated out of the military and derived much of its political capital from the military background of its leaders, emphasized the necessity of war in solving disputes and the need to reinforce peace with security backed by military power. For example, Peace Now did not condemn the demolition of the homes of families of Palestinian terrorists, which women's groups defined as an unjust and aggressive way to inflict collective punishment (Swirsky 1996: 8). Both malestream and feminist peace groups campaigned for an end to the violence. However, women in particular linked this objective to their affinity with the cause of Palestinian national self-determination in terms of justice, reconciliation, and coexistence through their partnerships with Palestinian women. Again, not all women's groups active during the Intifada expressed a feminist agenda. In the summer of 1988, for example, former members of Parents Against Silence formed a new organization, Parents Against Moral Erosion (Horim Neged Schika). The formal establishment of this group was linked to the publication in the newspaper Ha 'aretz on 11 March 1989 of an advertisement bearing the names of 580 men and women calling for a political rather than military solution to the conflict. The group consisted largely of concerned parents, mostly mothers, of IDF soldiers who protested the ethical dilemmas forced

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on Israeli soldiers during their military service in the Occupied Territories. The burdens carried by the younger generation in Israel were regarded as a microcosm of the moral deterioration of the collective values of a society engaged in oppression and brutality. The focus, therefore, was not on the Palestinian victims of Israeli violence, but on Israeli society and the sins that Israelis were forced to perpetrate. Moreover, in its discourse of parental responsibility, the group portrayed itself as a concerned segment of mainstream society rather than a radical and genderspecific opponent of it. This strategy of dissociating from both feminism and Palestinian rights, and thus not challenging Israeli nationalism, resulted in their acceptance within the mainstream fabric of Israeli protest. Not surprisingly, the group disbanded even before its proposed objective, the start of peace negotiations, was achieved. These differences between feminist and motherist groups within women's peace activities during the Intifada highlight a particular difference between feminine and feminist peace activity that tends to characterize zones of conflict. As demonstrated within the limited gender boundaries of the Israeli context, feminine symbols such as motherhood are seen to support nationalist struggles, since mothers are symbols of national survival. Feminist symbols promoting equality among men and women on the other hand, are perceived as inimical to the nationalist project. Feminist organizing was especially prohibited when it was perceived as encouraging overtures with the "enemy," as women supported rights of Palestinians. Women in Black, in particular, met with a harsh and often extreme public reaction on account of its combination of feminism and cross-cultural affiliation. During silent vigils, male passers-by shouted that the women should "go home and wash their floor" or called them "whores of Arafat" and "traitors." Others volunteered their "weapons" to

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"cure the women's protest disease," suggesting the women were acting out of sexual frustration (Lentin 1996, 34). Others threatened, spat, and actually physically assaulted the women protesters. This very gendered response to Women in Black suggests a deep-seated hostility in Israel toward the crossing of gender and national boundaries by women. Similar situations have occurred in other zones of conflict, such as Northern Ireland and Bosnia, as documented by Cynthia Cockburn (1998). The nature of the Israeli women's peace movement changed drastically with the start of the official peace process in Madrid in October 1991, in which bilateral talks were conducted between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. Multilateral talks succeeded in Moscow in December 1992. This diplomatic activity opened a new set of restrictions and opportunities for women's peace activism in Israel. A flurry of diplomatic activities was followed by the Labour Party victory in the 1992 Israeli elections, which ended fifteen years of Likud Party rule. The change of government in Israel was a crucial development that created new circumstances for women's organizing for peace. First, the Labour government was devoted to making progress on the peace issue based on the principle of Land-for-Peace and the promise of achieving Palestinian statehood after an established interim period. The Labour government signed the historic Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles in Washington in September 1993, which was followed by the May 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement in Cairo and the August 1994 Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers. From 1992 onward, it was no longer illegal for Israelis to meet with members of the PLO. The development and legalization of Israeli-Palestinian contact at the diplomatic level from 1992 onward in turn legitimized the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian relations

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at the grassroots level. During a second Israeli-Palestinian women's conference, convened in Belgium in 18 September 1992, both sides agreed that their activities had actually been undermined in recent years by the lack of grassroots support and the absence of an institutional framework for cooperation. The outcome of this conference was a proposal for the establishment of the Jerusalem Link, a new organization that would institutionalize joint activism on an ongoing basis. The Jerusalem Link is a coordinating body of two independent women's centres, the Israeli Bat Shalom (Daughters of Peace) in West Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Marcaz al-Quds la I'Nissah (The Jerusalem Center for Women) in East Jerusalem, established in 1993. The institutionalized component of the Jerusalem Link allowed the Israeli women's peace movement to adapt to the transition in Israeli-Palestinian relationships from an exploratory and informal period to the official stage of the peace process.4 The Link became home to a relatively large spectrum of women peace activists. On the Israeli side, two interrelated streams created the new constituency of Bat Shalom. The original members of the Reshet merged with women long active in such grassroots movements as Women in Black, SHANI (Women Against the Occupation), Women for Women Political Prisoners, and other mixed peace groups. The Jerusalem Link continued to struggle for female representation in the official peace process to redress the notable absence of women in decision-making positions. Not a single Israeli representative to the negotiations with the Palestinians has been a woman, despite the fact that women were very active in the informal Track II dialogues, which predated the Oslo accords. In fact, during the term of sixteen governments since the establishement of the state, only nine women have served as cabinet ministers.5

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Although women were instrumental during the dialogue and the social mobilization that made the diplomatic efforts possible, their presence was rendered invisible when the process became controlled entirely by military men. The 1991 Madrid conference, for example, usurped the momentum of popular struggle where the initiatives for peace - in neighbourhood committees, public demonstrations, and mass movements during the Intifada — had originated. Ghada Zughayar, former director of The Jerusalem Center for Women (the Palestinian contingent of the Jerusalem Link) defines this tendency in the official peace process as gendered: "It is men who are negotiating, signing agreements, shaking hands, and winning prizes."6 The under-representation of women in the peace process is a dilemma that the Link sought to overcome through leadership training programs and support for female political candidates. The Link's alternative organizational model served as a template for future relations between the two communities based on principles of independence, equality, and coexistence. The coordinating body for the two independent women's centres, for example, sought to meet the separate and joint needs of Israeli and Palestinian women in order to promote women's partnership and autonomy simultaneously. While the programs of the Link were planned, operated, and funded jointly by the two centres, each centre has acquired its own staff and its own board of directors; these convene jointly and separately on a regular basis in order to work both within and between the two communities. Beyond this organizational element, the most important distinguishing factor of the Jerusalem Link is its ideological perspective on peace and security. The Link Declaration exceeds the mainstream consensus in Israel through its joint nine-point statement, constructed and

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agreed upon with the Palestinians as a basis for action. The nine points, set out in the membership application, represent the basic commitment and promise of both groups to each other throughout the difficult periods of the broader political context. The Jerusalem link Declaration includes: recognition of the right to Palestinian self-determination alongside Israel, implementation of the Oslo Declaration of Principles of 13 September 1993, respect for international conventions, an end to Jewish settlement activity, participation of women and the international community in the peace process, and the rejection of violence as a political tool. The most controversial element of the declaration is the idea of sharing Jerusalem as the basis of two capitals for two sovereign states. In a week-long concerted program entitled "Sharing Jerusalem: Two Capitals for Two States," which took place on 17-21 June 1997, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and others participated in a successful and well-attended series of symposia, tours of the city, art exhibits, and musical events intended to create the appropriate atmosphere for social contact. The event ended hi a mass rally and demonstration. However, the controversial issue of sharing Jerusalem was symbolized at this event by Sinead O'Connor's cancellation of her participation in a gala concert as a result of death threats by the radical right in Israel. Despite these problems, Sharing Jerusalem was a successful social event in line with the Jerusalem Link's perspective on building peace at the social level. The Jerusalem Link's perspective on Sharing Jerusalem is indicative of a broader redefinition of peace and security among Israeli and Palestinian women. The Link expands conventional ideas of peace on the basis of principles of feminism and social justice. For members of the Link, peace at the national level must occur in tandem with

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peace at the level of society and popular culture. The notion of "cultural peace" was more broadly defined than the outcome of political negotiations between states and leaderships. It implies a longer-term relationship among individuals and civil societies committed to transforming the predominantly militarist culture and nation-in-arms mentality that prioritizes security over such issues as education and social development, to a peaceful culture based on regional cooperation, integration, and reconciliation. The idea of a cultural peace addresses the deep psychological barriers that have built up over the years between Israeli and Palestinian communities and led to stereotypes and prejudices that are produced and reproduced in cultural forms such as the media, arts, and education. These representations have tended to obstruct a mutual recognition of rights, fears, and concerns that must be addressed at the social level. The Jerusalem Link established a joint video and cinema club to raise consciousness about difficult issues in the region and open communication through informal media channels. Israeli and Palestinian youth were invited to watch films that tackled controversial subjects and then exchange ideas about them in open discussion. Another strategy with which the Jerusalem Link has promoted peace at the cultural level is the dialogue group. The specific value of interpersonal meetings among women peace activists was set forth early on at the conference in Brussels when Simone Susskind, president of the Secular Jewish Community Center of Brussels, which sponsored the event, stated: "Women who have dabbled less in politics and are less imprisoned by ideological concepts and less divided by psychological barriers, might be more prepared to listen and talk to one another without prejudice."7 Earlier forms of dialogue in parlour meetings organized by the Reshet had revealed the

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value of informal and hospitable contexts. The Jerusalem Link extended the notion of dialogue through its Leadership Training for Empowerment and Democracy Program. For example, the Jerusalem Link, in conjunction with the Colorado-based organization Seeking Common Ground, co-sponsored summer programs for Israeli and Palestinian girls beginning in 1994 in Denver, Colorado. At the camps, the girls participated in leadership training programs, nonviolent conflict resolution, and discussions of multiculturalism. These experiences of cross-national dialogue have been useful for breaking psychological barriers and celebrating the positive aspects of difference. As Naomi Chazan, a founder of the Jerusalem Link and former member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) articulates: "The women's peace movement is about getting to know the other's story and realizing that it is real."8 The Jerusalem Link also committed to redefining security in the Israeli-Palestinian context. The definition of Israeli security in foreign policy and popular discourses as protection, separation, power, and boundaries is deeply contested by Israeli women peace activists. The Jerusalem Link does not feature the term "security" in its nine-point statement or in its various brochures, proposals, and publications. However, when members of the Link employ the term "security," its usage coincides with a feminist perspective on peace. Experience in joint work has led many members of the Link to define security as legitimizing and embracing the "other" as a means toward acquiring personal protection. In this sense, protection derives not from disconnection or from boundaries, but from connection, a true understanding of the other's motivation, and struggling for the rights of the other. For this reason, the Jerusalem Link has campaigned vigorously on issues urgent to the Palestinians such as home demolitions and land confiscation, family reunification, and human rights

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violations. Susan Techner, a member of Bat Shalom, explains this idea of security not as a question of keeping people out but as a means of bringing them in. "Security does not come From walls, fences or guns, but from removing the initial desire to harm or climb that wall in the first place."9 This perspective on the security dilemma in Israel recognizes that power, particularly male power as represented in the Israeli military occupation, is counterproductive for peace efforts, as it increases Palestinian discontent and thus intensifies the underlying motivations for Palestinian violence. The Link demonstrates the ethical dilemmas inherent in establishing Israeli security on the basis of the oppression of another people. As one activist stated: "Horrible things are done by Israel in my name, to make me safe."10 With a distinctly feminist awareness, die Jerusalem Link campaigned against the strip searches of Palestinian women in the city of Hebron. In response to a report released in January 1997 by the human rights organization B Tsekm detailing fifteen cases of humiliating and violent strip searches of women, the Jerusalem Link released its own press reports and articles criticizing Israeli policy as "shameful" and "derogatory towards women," and suggesting tfiat "no security force is justified in using diese tactics" (Chazan 1997: 54). "Does our security," its press report asks, "depend on naked women? How can we, Israeli women, believe such a blatant violation of respect for women is a valid part of the security forces' struggle to protect 'our women and children.'" The press release claims that more than eighteen women and fifteen children were ordered by Israeli police to undress in their home. In some cases women were ordered to undress in front of their children and other family members, while in two cases, policemen were present in the room. No arrests were made and no men were ordered to undress (Bat

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Shalom press release). Feminist activists from the Jerusalem Link pointed out that this form of questioning reinforces the critical connection between Israeli security policy and the oppression of women, particularly the transformation of women's bodies into objects of war and the perception that women lack dignity. Building on efforts to humanize the conflict and express the commonalities in the experiences of Israeli and Palestinian women, the Link has employed motherhood as a framework for entering the sphere of public debate and challenging patriarchal authority on foreign policy matters. However, the Link's articulation of motherhood differs fundamentally from that of motherist peace groups in its establishment of an all-inclusive symbol representing the human, rather than the more narrowly defined nationalist attributes of parental concern. One of the most successful - albeit controversial - advertisements of die Jerusalem Link, published in October/November 1996, was entitled "Every Person Has a Mother." It was accompanied by a joint list of Jews and Arabs killed during the conflict. The ad stated: "We don't want to see our sons, our spouses, or our brothers — IDF soldiers — fighting in a useless war in the territories." This ad politicized the motherhood symbol of bereavement in a way that crossed the lines between nation and enemy. This construct acted as a personalizing discourse that made the transition from caring for one's own children to caring for die children of others. The Jerusalem Link's platform of peace as social justice prompted consideration not only of equality between Israelis and Palestinians but also of equality laithin both nations. For this reason, Bat Shalom sought to address a parallel yet equally important axis within Israeli society pertaining to class and ethnic identity. The inclusion of class and ethnicity in its program is a unique contribution to broadening

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the definition and practice of women's organizing for peace in zones of conflict. Israel has undergone a history of ethnic cleavage as a result of relations of inequality between the Ashkenazi Jews from European descent and Sephardi Jews from Arab and North African countries (also referred to as Oriental or Mizrahi). Although Sephardi Jews constitute over half the population of Israel, their socioeconomic and political status is considerably lower than that of the Ashkenazi population.11 Ethnic divisions and discriminations became increasingly visible within peace movements and feminist activities in Israel. For example, at the tenth Israeli feminist conference in 1994, consideration of differences among women led to the establishment of equal representation from four major groups: Ashkenazi women, Mizrahi women, Palestinian women, and lesbians. Many of the Mizrahi women were community activists from poorer neighbourhoods and development towns. The conference revealed deep-seated tensions, as the Mizrahi women accused Ashkenazi feminists of prioritizing issues of patriarchal domination and women's liberation while at the same time perpetuating racist discrimination and class oppression against Mizrahi Jews, both men and women (We Are Here! And This fs Ours 1996). The Ashkenazi women were accused of paying little consideration to issues of immediate concern to the Mizrahi communities, such as education, decent housing, conditions of factory work, low wages, and the marginalization of Sephardi culture in Israel, as well as for tacitly accepting the scarcity of Mizrahi women among their ranks (Shiran 1991: 306). Henriette Dahan Calev, a Mizrahi feminist, has accused the women's peace movement of reaching out to Mizrahi women as "vote contractors," that is, as a means for unilaterally broadening the base of their support for the women's peace movement, without a reciprocal commitment to incorporating the needs of Mizrahi women. This unresolved struggle within the

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Israeli women's peace movement was represented symbolically by the 1996 decision by Mizrahi women to hold their own separate feminist conference. The attempt to combine consideration for Palestinian rights with concerns for the rights of women, minorities, and the poor within Israel has raised serious questions about the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, and class in the Israeli women's peace movement. Bat Shalom is one of the first women's peace organizations to address the issue of ethnic difference. To promote the empowerment of women within Israeli society, Bat Shalom conducted a series of outreach programs, within the more disenfranchised communities in Israel in particular, targeting the empowerment of Mizrahi-Jewish and Ethiopian communities. Since 1994 Bat Shalom's outreach projects to women in lower income, predominantly Mizrahi neighbourhoods, commonly referred to as schunot (literally "neighbourhoods"), have had two mutually constitutive objectives: to enlarge the circle of women leaders in the peace camp and to promote the self- and collective empowerment of women. The methodological element of the outreach initiative was designed to validate the cultural heritage and background of the women involved. For example, Bat Shalom facilitators were Mizrahi women themselves who travelled to work with the participants in their own environments, such as in "women's clubs" in community centres in lower income neighbourhoods where women go to meet their friends or participate in other social activities. The programs also use familiar cultural tools as a mechanism for discussion. The program entitled "Women and Peace in Mizrahi Music," for example, combined discussion of important social and peace issues with Mizrahi music, singing, and some dancing. The focus on Mizrahi music was a significant element of cultural validation, in that it challenged

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the marginalization of popular Mizrahi music within the dominant culture and music establishment. The outreach program conducted by Bat Shalom with Ethiopian Jewish women was distinct from the outreach in the Mizrahi community in singling out the difficulties faced by Ethiopian communities on the basis of race. While the central priority of Mizrahi outreach lay with peace through cultural legitimization, the focus of the Ethiopian program was peace through women's empowerment. The attempt to overcome the specific unequal treatment of the Ethiopian community focused on the women's predominant concern for proper education for their children, integration into Israeli society, and the acquisition of tools for dealing more effectively with the Israeli bureaucracy. Popular perceptions of the Ethiopian community have manifested in a lack of sensitivity, bordering on racism, with respect to the dark colour of their skin. The project consisted of a group of Ethiopian women from the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiot meeting weekly over a two-year period to engage in a variety of activities such as cooking, women's health, alternative medicine, political education, and the celebration of Jewish holidays. The outreach programs conducted by Bat Shalom were intended to broaden the definition of peace in relation to struggles against discrimination and inequality' within the nation. However, considering the complex and problematic nature of the history of ethnic relations in Israel, despite their best intentions this outreach effort met with mixed success and was discontinued in 1999. The programs were characterized by internal tensions, particularly the marked political gap between joint projects with Palestinian women and outreach programs with Israeli Jewish women. After the terrorist attacks on Israeli buses in 1995, for example, women from the schunot expressed reserve about

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Bat Shalom '$ human rights work, particularly the call to free Palestinian political prisoners. Another problem was the persistent socioeconomic gap between members of Bat Shalom and women from the schunot. Molly Malekar, director of Bat Shalom's social programs, admits that the outreach programs had paternal and ulterior motives: "We went to the schunot, not as a cause in itself, but with the motive to change the women's political views, to recruit them, to get them out to demonstrations, to vote accordingly, and to join the peace camp. But when the budget to daycares was cut in development towns, or factory workers went out on strike, we did not support them; social activities were always secondary.12 These ethnic and racial tensions in the Israeli women *s peace movement illustrate the ongoing and contradictory necessities of diluting the agenda on cross-national partnership with the Palestinians to attract more mainstream support while at the same time maintaining strong relations with Palestinian women, particularly during periods of political turbulence when mainstream Israelis regard Palestinians as enemies. These differences within the Israeli women's movement represent the ongoing negotiation of gender identities based on class, race, ethnicity, nationalism, and so on, which will need to be addressed for a truly comprehensive peace — one that includes a variety of different interests — to one day be realized.

6

Women in the National-Religious Camp

National-religious women in Israel do not have a history of independent organizing as women, having traditionally mobilized through mixed-gender organizations throughout the development of the national-religious camp as a whole. For this reason, a case study of Women for Israel's Tomorrow, also referred to as Women in Green, is a useful basis for analysis. The group was nicknamed, Women in Green by the media on account of the green hats worn to represent the 1967 Green Line, the eastern boundary delineating the areas controlled by Israel before it took over the West Bank in 1967. This organization is the first instance in which women have organized independently within the Israeli national-religious camp. Women in Green was established in 1993 as a grassroots, non-profit organization committed to the "security and Jewish heritage of historic Israel," and espousing a militant foreign policy. The group identifies broadly as mothers, grandmothers, wives, and daughters, both secular and

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religious,1 professionals and housewives, united in their support for the Jewish nation. Their nationalist sentiment is articulated neither in terms of women's independence nor women's equal status within Israel, but in terms of women's "love, devotion, and concern for Israel.™8 By prioritizing the nation, Judaism, and territory over gender issues, and by embracing women's traditional roles in nation building, the group dissociates itself from the feminist movement in Israel. However, Women in Green's independent political organizing as women sheds light on some of the opportunities and challenges before women involved in national-religious struggles, thus challenging traditional assumptions about nationalist women and opening vistas to uncharted areas of women's complex relationship to the nation in a zone of conflict. Very litde academic consideration has been paid to nationalist or national-religious women's political organizing (see Klatch 1987; Orleck 1997; Koonz 1997). This lack may have resulted from the predominant commitment of women's studies in the West to progressive feminist struggles and women's peace and/or pacifist movements, which tend to be of a secular nature. However, women's nationalist and religious mobilization has increased in recent years as a result of the rise of "conservative" movements and political parties the world over since the 19805 and iggos. This movement constitutes a force that must be reckoned with in feminist literature. Nationalist women represent an enigmatic form of women's politics that does not identify as "feminist" but contests symbols of womanhood in support of specific political objectives. The case of Women in Green begs questions about the nature and consequences of women's nationalist organizing. For example, what is the unique contribution of women to nationalist/religious agendas? How do women

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interpret their role in sustaining communal boundaries and ethnic continuity within the nation? To what extent does sexism in the broader political movement constitute a reason for embarking upon a separate women's activism? To what extent does gender identity exist in the movement in relation to other collective affiliations in the broader national-religious camp? How do women reconcile their political activism with their rejection of the label of "feminism"? And to what degree do nationalist/ religious women benefit as women from their mobilization within larger mainstream structures? These questions serve as a guiding analytical framework for this case study. The national-religious camp in Israel is characterized by such movements as GushEmunim (Bloc of the Faithful), the Land of Israel Movement (LIM), BneiAkiva Youth, and political parties including the right-wing of the Likud, the National Religious Party (NRP), Techiya (Renaissance) and Mokdet. While these groups differ with respect to politics, institutions, and religion, they all coalesce to one degree or another within the national-religious camp. National-religious women have grown up within this larger environment and represent the feminine side of the political platforms of their malestream predecessors. The ultranationalist legacy in Israel dates to the prestate period and the Revisionist Movement associated with Vladimir Jabotinsky, which advocated a maximalist state on both sides of the Jordan River based on the biblical claim to reconstructing the Hebrew kingdom after 2,000 years of exile in its home in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) (Sprinzak 1991: 23). The revisionist movement was largely militaristic and prioritized the model of the fighting Jew over the socialist farmer, the primary figure of mainstream Zionism. The combination of a religious ideology and a militant posture with respect to land was

Women in the National-Religious Camp



reinforced in the early 19205 and 19305 by the philosophical teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, who perceived Israeli statehood in the whole ofEretz Israel as a stage in the process of Jewish redemption and the beginning of the Messianic era. The principles of Kook's philosophy were interpreted by his son Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Hacohen Kook, and were disseminated through his leadership of the Yeshivot Merkaz Harav (religious college bearing his name), founded in 1924 in Jerusalem. The Yeshiva inculcated a generation of male Torah scholars affiliated with the Bnti Akiva youth and religious settlement movement, in the practical applications of Torah, deep love for all fellow Jews, and the sacredness of the Land of Israel. Although women were considered integral to this nationalist vision, in their domain as keepers of home, culture, and children, they did not have a clearly defined role in military conflict and were not educated in the Yeshiva, since there is no biblical obligation for women to study Torah (Henry and Taitz 1978: 7). For this reason, women were excluded from prominence in Torah study institutions although they did study separately in female Michlalot (religious study colleges). As a whole, and despite its strong ideological commitments, the Zionist Right remained a marginal political phenomenon in the State of Israel until 1967. The Six Day War of 1967 fundamentally altered the political landscape and carved out a new role for the national-religious camp, while creating new opportunities for women's nationalist activism. The changes resulted from the rapid military victory in response to a united Arab surprise attack. Many interpreted the acquisition of "holy territory" and the unprecedented military victory by Israel in 1967 as nothing short of a miracle. Adding to the already ambiguous relationship that had existed between

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religion and state in Israel since the founding period, the Six Day War precipitated a further "religionization of politics" that encouraged attribution of greater religious significance to national policy issues (Horowitz and Lissak 1989: 142). The war was followed by an extensive drive by national-religious families to settle the whole territory that was captured, with particular emphasis on the biblical Judea and Samaria (West Bank). During this period, widespread support for religious settlement of the land was reinforced by a series of events that consolidated the national-religious camp and the Eretz Yisrael Front in the Israeli Knesset (parliament). The Land of Israel Movement (LIM) (Hatmua Lemaan Yisrael Hashlema), established in 1967, disseminated the tenets of the new territorial maximalisni in its manifesto, and established a front organization, Labor for the Whole of Eretz Yisrael, in 1973. At the extreme right of the political spectrum, Rabbi Meir Kahane, who foretold a new Holocaust lest all Jews return to Israel, immigrated to Israel in September of 1971. Although he was eventually banned from running for office, his tenets of Jewish strength and power inspired a large group of people. The 1973 War and the Gamp David Accords of 17 September 1978 caused a further radicalization of the settlement movement. The devastating effects of the war, resulting from military unpreparedness and heavy casualties, broke the long-held assumption of Israeli military invincibility and initiated feelings of self-doubt and existential fear in Israeli society. In reaction to the territorial concessions proposed at Camp David, large segments of the Israeli public became determined not to relinquish territory, whether for religious or security purposes. As a whole, these events had a significant ideological impact on Israeli politics and served to render fertile the grounds for the religious settlement drive.

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The most significant constituent of the Jewish settlement movement was Gush Emtmim (Bloc of the Faithful), formed in March 1974 by a group of former students of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav. It was described as one of the most innovative dissident groups in Israeli history (Schnall 1979: 139), and Gush activists were characterized by their fervent devotion to Israel, their love for the land, and their propensity for deep personal sacrifice that set a precedent for future generations of religious Zionists. During the 19705 the core Gush ideology was defined by its commitment to the Kookist political theology and its covenantal reformulation of Zionism into concrete political action. Gush politico-theology embodied a critique of the Zionist theory of normalization, which, in the early statebuilding period, had predicted that Israel would eventually become "a nation like all other nations." Instead, Gush members believed in the Jewish people as "irrevocably abnormal" (Lustick 1988: 75), an am segula (a unique people) unlike any other. For Gush Emunim, the most fundamental imperative for the Jewish people was settlement of their inherited biblical land. Because every inch of this land was perceived as holy, it was only within a complete Bretz YismelthsA the full redemption of the Jewish people could take place. Therefore, land was considered an incontestable and inalienable right that could neither be bartered nor forfeited (Schnall 1979: 146). Although commentary on Gush Emunim does not tend to accord any particular distinction to its women apart from the men, it is known that Gt«A-affiliated women were accorded a respect "not typical of women in other Jewishreligious commxmMes" (Sprinzak 1991:108). This respect may arise partly from women's necessary role in raising large families, which were necessary for fulfilling the commandment to settle the land. Indeed, Jewish settlers tend to have a high birthrate. The large settler family is highly

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politicized and mobilized as a means of fighting the "demographic struggle," that is, against the Arab birthrate in Israel, But in this struggle, women are also respected for being equally as devoted as men in their spiritual contribution to the settlement cause. Moreover, women occupy prominent positions as activists and spokespersons within the movement itself (Schnall 1984: 63). For example, Daniella Weiss served as director of Gush Emunim for four years.3 This leadership position of a woman is unusual for the national-religious camp, in which women would not identify their positions in terms of their own struggle for gender equality. Women in the national-religious camp made their most prominent mark in the realm of extra-parliamentary protest and illicit settlement. This form of female activism goes against typical assumptions that religious and/or nationalist women are limited to guardianship of the home. In the spirit of the early pioneering Zionists, Gush commanded a "stockade and watchtower"4 method of establishing new settlements, whereby small groups of squatters would create a spontaneous and irreversible physical presence in undeveloped areas of the West Bank. A successful focus of this tactic was Hebron, the burial place of Abraham, whose Jewish sector had been wiped out by an Arab pogrom in 1929. Women have been key to the resettlement of Hebron, although in the initial stages women filled traditional feminine roles. For example, on 4 April 1968, on the eve of Passover, a group of sixty Israelis led by Rabbi Levinger (one of Rabbi Kook's most devoted followers) and posing as Swiss tourists, occupied the Park Hotel in Hebron (Falah 1985). The women prepared the hotel kitchen to comply with Jewish dietary laws (Kashruf) and at the end of the seven-day festival, announced that their real intention was to reclaim the Jewish quarter of Hebron. The women refused to vacate the building but

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were subsequently transferred to the military government building. In this sense, national-religious women participated in a bold act of illicit settlement, although their contribution took a politicized form of their traditional realm. On 19 October 1968, the government approved the establishment of the city of Kiryat Arba as an alternative home for the settlers. This tactic became a successful precedent for future land settlement schemes by men and women in all parts of historic Israel, although women's contribution in later years extended beyond both their traditional domain and their fulfillment of the female halakhic (Jewish canon law) duty. Women's second participation in illicit settlement, almost a decade later, was more pivotal and comprehensive. On 19 April 1979, twelve GttA-affiliated women and thirty-five children staged another act of illicit settlement, which has since become legendary in the annals of Jewish settlement history. Miriam Levinger, the wife of Rabbi Moshe Levinger, together with a group of women from die adjacent city of Kiryat Arba, moved into the building known as Beit Hadassah. The idea of placing women, on their own, at the forefront of the struggle for Jewish presence in Hebron, was instrumental for the movement insofar as the government was at dial time unwilling to confront women with force. Ehud Sprinzak confirms that the women played upon the "gentlemanly manners" of then Prime Minister Menachem Begin as a survival tactic (1991: 90). Consequently, the women were not evacuated and the government permitted several families to live in Hebron and set up a small yeshiva in Beit Hadassah. The women of Beit Hadasmh, as they are now known, set an important precedent for subsequent generations of women settlers to take the lead in the national-religious struggle for land. The image of "frontier women" occupying the front lines of the Arab-Israeli War underpins this enhanced role in settlement activity.

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The role of national-religious women differs fundamentally from the role of religious women who do not participate in nationalist struggles. For example, in comparison to women's domain in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where women are excluded from Torah study and expected to tend to home and family, national-religious women tend to he highly politically active in the public sphere. However, this activism is for the benefit of the entire community rather than for women's independence from men. Indeed, at Beit Hadassah, it is unclear whether women themselves took the initiative or whether they were explicitly sent by their men to occupy this position. Nevertheless, the significance of the second Hebron affair was that it was women, and not men or male soldiers who took centre stage on the battlefield in the struggle to occupy the land. Their success is evidence of women's ability to occupy strategic positions in nationalist-religious struggles. The case of the squatting actions of women in Hebron gives an important historical point of entry for exploring the case of Women in Green. Women in Green was established in the autumn of 1993 in opposition to the signing of the Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on 13 September 1993. With neither institutional origin nor overlapping personnel from other previous women's organizations, this autonomous women's movement represents a unique phenomenon not subject to conventional paradigms. The founding symbol of Women in Green reinvents the symbol of Gush Emunim, which represents the Land of Israel, for the People of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel. Neither women nor the state are featured in this tripartite symbol. Like the Gush, Women in Green regards the interests of the Jewish nation in its biblical land as a paramount concern. While the female contribution to the national religious camp has

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tended to lie in the preservation of culture, religious continuity, and ancestral lineage, Women in Green politicizes these spheres in ways that extend the domain of women's dissent and offer distinct perspectives on the intersections of women and the nation in Israel, Although they represent different women at different periods of Israeli history, both generations of national-religious women express similar motives for activism and use similar modes of female representation. The Hebron women and Women in Green are examples of women leading the struggle for land and Jewish settlement, although Women in Green represents the evolution in women's role in the national-religious camp from participation to leadership. Two decades after the women of Hadassah, it was a demonstrative protest similar to theirs that first brought Women in Green to public attention. However, what distinguishes the Dagan protest is that it was led, organized, and executed explicitly by women. On 20 July 1995, Belgianbom Nadia Matar, co-chairperson of Women in Green, assembled thirty women from the Jewish community of Efrat in the West Bank, along with ten men as guards, and set out on a secret mission to settle Givat Hadagan^(Hill of Grain), a hill bordering the Arab village of Artas.5 Like a military unit, the group equipped itself with sleeping bags, food, water, tents, chemical toilets, and a generator for light. The next day, families joined the women and set up for the Sabbath (day of rest) in three tents. The purpose of this act was to create a. fait accompli, to ensure that the area surrounding Efrat would not be returned to the Palestinians as part of the 1993 Oslo Agreements. This settler campaign has been referred to as the "women-and-childi'en-first struggle for the Land of Israel" because women and children took the initiative and acted as prominent players, while men constituted their network of support.6

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Women in Zones of Conflict

The Dagan affair drew a novel image of the politics of national-religious women that was reminiscent of the Hebron affair. More militant and radical than their female predecessors and faced with numerous evacuation attempts by the Israeli military, some of the women chained themselves to the tents, while others chained themselves to water tanks and each other. However, the tacit official acceptance given in Hebron was not forthcoming in this case. The soldiers first sent in bulldozers to destroy the structures that had been erected. Then police on horseback carried female demonstrators forcibly down the hill and arrested 213 individuals, including children as young as twelve. It was significant that the women activists in this event were religious and traditional, and had little, if any, previous political experience. This image of nationalreligious women was atypical. Several soldiers, both male and female, reportedly wept under the emotional stress of having to evict such women from the hill. However, the reality of this female militant protest challenges traditional assumptions about women as passive, serene, or vulnerable bystanders in the arena of political conflict. Women in Green organized this bold act of protest on their own, in secrecy, many without the prior knowledge or consent of their husbands. The battle at Dagan was a violent clash, predominantly between women and children and the military, ending in the forcible removal and arrests of some of the female settlers.17 The confrontational tone of Givat Dagan, when compared to the cordial relationship between the Hadassah women and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, reflects the growing intolerance for illicit settlement activity in the 19905 in Israel, and the increasing conflictual terrain of female settler activists from the national-religious camp, The Dagan event sustained extensive media coverage and was dubbed "Battle of the Hills," while Nadia Matar

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became referred to as "Queen of the Hills." The media's response, however, was highly gendered and indicative of contradictory attitudes toward women, particularly national-religious women, in the Israeli public conscience. The fact that women led the battle for land aroused public curiosity, but die major focus of the press was not their politics but their physical appearances. For example, journalists demeaningly described the women as "looking wonderful,"8 and Nadia Matar as having a "fabulous smile."9 A reporter from Maariv magazine admitted that he had expected to find "ultra-Orthodox women in kerchiefs, with flashing, terrifying eyes, uttering the term 'Eretz YisraeF fifty times a minute." Instead, he discovered young mothers that "might have been residents of any North American suburb, who were well dressed, well read, articulate."10 Other media reports, also had a questionable focus. An article in the New York Times, for example, downplayed the women's initiative at Dagan, and highlighted the presence of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a prominent male American Jewish leader and veteran civil rights activist.11 In this article, the fact that women led the struggle was summarized in a single statement; the remainder was devoted to the Rabbi's political background. Whether ignored or described in patriarchal terms, women's political activism of the national-religious camp, as exemplified at Dagan, was perplexing and contradictory to the Israeli public eye. Following Dagan, Women in Green became a visible force, spearheading Israeli opposition to the 1993 Oslo Accords. A leading Hebrew daily newspaper depicted the group as "the most authentic and exciting popular resistance movement to have arisen [in Israel] over the last few years."12 The most striking aspect of Women in Green is the very fact that it is the first movement in the Israeli national-religious camp to be organized and run exclusively

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Women in Zones of Conflict

by women. This feet begs the question: Why women? How do national-religious women reconcile their independent political organizing with their adherence to a traditional gender identity? Members of the group unequivocally insist that they are "not feminists." The prioritization of group over self (or nation over woman) has always been a staple ingredient of the national-religious stream in Israel. For women, this means emphasizing that home and family are more important than struggling for their own independence or rights. A common knee-jerk reaction to the "why women?" question was: "We have the support of our husbands," in order to demonstrate that they were campaigning not against men but for the common good of men and women. The rejection of the feminist label derives partly from an interpretation of Western feminism as "anti-male," a largely distorted perception to which women struggling for the unity of the nation in Israel would not subscribe. Some of the women would not even admit to being involved in a women's movement per se, suggesting that it was purely incidental that Women in Green organized independently. The response to the "gender" question was to immediately reorient the discussion away from gender issues toward the more "important" nationalist issues such as land, security, and Jewish statehood. On one hand, the case of Women in Green emphasizes the feminine value of women's organizing in a zone of conflict. As Nadia Matar suggests: "Women generally have a noticeable presence and a sixth sense which enable them to get across messages softly but sharply."13 Due to their "greater emotional investment, determination, and sensitivity," she insists, women lend a human face to the nationalreligious cause and in so doing, increase its authenticity. In this sense, the significance of the female gender is that it empowers and legitimizes the national-religious camp as

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a whole in its struggle to strengthen Israeli settlement and Israeli power vis-a-vis the Arabs. On occasion, however, Women in Green does draw from feminist symbols. For example, Nadia Matar explains that in the beginning she was opposed to the group being exclusively women, until the following incident occurred: "I was afraid that they [would] call us a bunch of dosiot (religious women). At first only women showed up at the meeting I organized in Efrat, but then suddenly a man appeared, and asked, ' Can someone make me a cup of coffee?' It was then I decided that we [would] be exclusively women."14 While anecdotal, this statement nevertheless represents a challenge to male dominance and to any limitation on women's political role in the national-religious camp. Gemma Blech, the Women in Green's photographer and a central participant, further argues that relations between men and women in the group do not coincide with those of traditional gender boundaries and constitute the very opposite of those of other national-religious organizations. For example, she suggests: "Women lead, make the decisions, and represent the group to the media, while men do all the 'dirty work' behind the scenes such as, handling the computers, obtaining press releases, building props for demonstrations, frequenting governmental offices, and significantly, baby-sitting the children while women are out of the home."15 While this statement reflects a feminist division of labour, it emphasizes the existence of gender harmony, depicting the movement as "a good Jewish family" in which men and women work together toward common goals. Therefore, while Women in Greens flirts on occasion with feminist symbols and rhetoric, the group does not campaign for conventional feminist goals such as equal rights, even though its members may individually support

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these goals. This absence of feminist consciousness results in part from the group's belief that nationalist issues in a zone of conflict are existential and are thus of utmost importance for both men and women. Adherence to a nationalist rhetoric may also stem from an awareness of the boundaries that limit national-religious women's activism and a reluctance to alienate malestream support. Women in Green's model of organization is also atypical, characterized by a grassroots nature and novel forms of political expression. Women in Green has no apparent, official administrative apparatus or formal organization. Although the group is registered as a non-profit organization with a board of directors and an executive, few meetings take place and all work is done on a volunteer basis. Most information on the group must be gleaned from newspaper articles and personal interviews, since written material (for example, protocols of meetings, budgets, proposals for activities) is not readily available, and there is no institutionalized location, such as an open library or archives, which might provide information to outsiders. A list of members is said to exist, although it was unavailable upon request. Women in Green's activities evolve around public demonstrations and mass rallies, organized solidarity trips to Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a Women in Green radio program broadcast on Arafe-7 (a nationalist pirate radio channel), a website address, and numerous opinion letters to the press, most of which are signed by "Nadia" or "Ruth." Demonstrations are publicized by a phone pyramid or by word of mouth, rather than in written notices. Women in Green both plans and finances its own activities with the help of donors from abroad.16 This absence of a structural link or an a priori commitment to an official party platform is typical of other grassroots women's movements the world over, which use their

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distance from governmental agendas to carve out a viable space for women's political involvement. Women in Green's most notable form of expression is the public demonstration. The group has made its most visible mark by inventing creative political stunts, some of which border on the bizarre, and using costumes and sketches in a form of street theatre. For example, during a visit to Israel of U.S. president Bill Clinton, members of Women in Green carried a coffin to greet him and staged a mock funeral to represent the Jewish lives sacrificed during the peace process. In May 1994 Women in Green held a public trial for then prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, in the Mashbir square in Jerusalem, with posters depicting Rabin washing his hands in a basin full of blood. The use of street theatre has given the group a visible media presence that affirms typical assumptions that women are more inventive or artistic than men. This creativity carves out a novel space for women's protest. However, despite the feminine character of its expression, the most unanticipated aspect of Women in Green's activism has been the brutal, confrontational atmosphere of its demonstrations, particularly the high level of violence between female protesters and police. During the period of Labor rule, from 1992 until the assassination of Rabin in 1995, relations between the government and the settler movement were at best cold, and at worst, hostile. The prime minister referred to the settlers as "propellers" and claimed that he was "not the Prime Minister of this 2 per cent of the population." Perceiving Jewish settlement as an impediment to the peace process, Rabin sought to quell settlers' dissent, sometimes forcibly. The government's show offeree was most obvious in the behavior of police during Women in Green's public demonstrations. The first confrontation with the police was a

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protest march in Jerusalem in October 1994 when ten members of Women in Green marched behind a coffin covered by the Israeli flag. The group was confronted by the police, taken forcefully to the paddywagon, and charged for demonstrating illegally. The indisputable enmity between Women in Green and the police transgresses the conventional courtesies of men to women in a patriarchal society such as Israel. Images of unarmed female protesters, some elderly, facing heavily armed, mounted policemen defy traditional gender stereotypes and establish women as a militant oppositional force vis-a-vis the government's agenda on peace and security. To overcome negative media coverage and present their objectives in ways that conform to public opinion in Israel, Women in Green have employed the symbol of motherhood. However, in contrast to women's peace groups, Women in Green use motherhood as a means to campaign for national security and setdement. This perspective on motherhood is parochial and limited to Jewish children, using the nationalist boundary as a point from which to resist making the transition from caring for one's children to caring for all children (Orleck 1997). One particular use of the motherhood symbol by Women in Green is the politkization of bereavement. In a letter to the press, for example, Joyce Boim, a sympathizer of the group, whose sixteen-year-old son was killed by Palestinian terrorists on 13 May 1996, established the sacredness of a bereaved mother's plea as a means to promote Jewish settlement in Hebron and the Israeli military's right to pursue terrorists. Using her authority as bereaved mother, Boim articulates the gravity of the situation by rendering all Jewish parents subject to the potential loss she experienced: "What happened to our family could happen to any Israeli family, wherever they may live."1'

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While some members of Women in Green express sympathy for Palestinian victims, particularly children, the situation of warfare arouses in others an exclusive mothering sentiment that does not extend to recognize the suffering of children and families beyond the border. Some members of Women in Green insist that their "brutal enemy" does not express the same kind of love and warmth for their children because they are more "willing to sacrifice a child's life." This sentiment is expressed in one member's words: "Palestinian children are being indoctrinated by the new Palestine Authority with hate, revenge, and enmity."18 Insisting upon the difference with respect to parental obligations in Israeli and Palestinian communities, one woman claims: "We don't go by the same rules, we don't hide weapons under kindergartens. We don't get that down and dirty."19 This statement dehumanizes the other by denying the innocence of children within the adversarial population. The negative image of the children of the other offers an escape from feeling sympathy or responsibility toward the enemy. As one member of die group admits; "I have no sympathy for a Palestinian child that got hurt or killed. It is an act of war. Someone is teaching them."20 On the basis of these exclusionary attitudes toward the Jewish nation and family, Women in Green defines peace as reconciliation, coexistence, and amity at the grassroots level, but only within the nation. This perspective on peace resonates, to some extent, with the discourse of the Israeli women's peace movement on "cultural peace," defined as social interaction among people outside established political structures. However, Women in Green reserves its efforts for interaction among Jewish Israelis and not among Palestinians. The group has used this cultural component of peace within the nation as a political strategy in which

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Women in Zones of Conflict

women have played a central part in their role in organizing communal activities and familial participation. For example, on 10 December 1996, Women in Green coordinated an annual Gala Family Hanukkah Party. The social component of this event included entertainment for the children, such as puppet shows, a balloon maker, and a candle-lighting ceremony. However, having taken place in disputed territory, the event was enacted in the service of the broader nationalist context. Women in Green accepts the conventional understanding of Israeli security as spatial control, political and economic domination, military superiority, non-intervention in Israeli sovereignty, and protection of Israeli boundaries from external threat. In fact, the group does not hesitate to glorify the militarized masculinity of the Israeli state and affirm the male predominance within the Israeli armed forces. However, Women in Green does not campaign for women's entry into combat positions as a component of this Israeli power. In fact, many of the members did not themselves serve in the Israeli Defense Forces as a result of an exemption on the basis of having immigrated later in life, having married and had children during the recruitment age, or claiming to a religious lifestyle. For Women in Green, women's contribution to Israeli security does not lie in the realm of the military. This relative indifference to the issue of women in combat does not, however, preclude an exaltation of an image of the "woman warrior." But for Women in Green, the female fighter is not the female soldier in uniform, but the female settler in disputed territory. This image is referred to as the "frontier woman," who lives in the settlements and thus at the forefront of the battlefield in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Indeed, the presence of Jewish settlers has paradoxically contributed to an escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence in disputed regions of the West

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Bank, Historically, the government has responded to this dilemma by granting settlers partial responsibility for their own security. For example, during the late ig6os and early 19708, large numbers of Jewish settlers were transferred from their regular army units to units in the West Bank to protect their own settlements. Due to the designation of the occupied territories (or what Women in Green would refer to as "liberated territories") as "high risk areas," the settlers, both men and women, were authorized to carry arms and shoot in self-defence. This system of regional self-defence strengthened the idea that settlers cannot depend on ordinary law enforcement (Israeli police and defence forces) for their protection, and has opened the doors, in extreme cases, to justifying instances of violence that border on vigilantism (Sprinzak 1991: 91; Weisburd 1989). Women in Green regards female Jewish settlers as central participants in their own self-defence. For example, Yael Amiel, a member from the Jewish settlement of Tekoah in the West Bank, articulates her special position as an armed settler woman: "In the settlements, you feel the danger more. We have special windows on our cars, we have to make sure they are rolled up. I carry an uzi and my husband carries an M-i6.1 use a GPS (global positioning system) to inform the army when [the Arabs] are throwing stones."21 The settler women of the group clearly live under the threat of violence in their day-to-day lives and are experienced in the practical dilemmas of life in a conflict zone. Women in Green express great admiration for these "frontier women," who they describe as "selfless, strong people who live in accordance with their convictions."22 This image of the armed "wroman warrior" constitutes an analytical challenge to traditional assumptions that women are vulnerable and need protection by men, and thus destabilizes the conventional dichotomy in

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international conflict between the woman on the home front and the male combatant soldier in uniform. Women in Green's perspective on women's role in national security is underpinned by a second, albeit perhaps more important, religious definition. Like the discourse on security of Gush Emunim, members of Women in Green argue that the ultimate justification for the security of Jews in the Land of Israel originates not in the state, but in the Bible, Time and again, respondents have insisted that God will ultimately protect them, and that the legitimacy of Jewish presence in Israel is the biblical covenant between God and Abraham. While most members of the group do not adhere to the Messianism or level of religious observance that characterized the core group of idealists from Gush Emunim, they nevertheless broaden their strong conviction through the biblical justification for national-religious struggle and its potential to override state policy. This religious argument lends the group a platform for opposition to governmental policy through its journey to fulfill transcendental imperatives. In this way, while the members of Women in Green identify as nationalist, they do not necessarily, or at all times, ally with the state. Their positioning on the margins is a key distinguishing feature of national-religious women. For example, Women in Green members draw from Gush's original distinction between what is "legal" and what is "legitimate" (Sprinzak 1991: 67), arguing that while the state determines the law, God is ultimately responsible for determining whether certain actions are morallyjustifiable or unjustifiable in this sacred land. In this sense, if the government legislates a policy (such as territorial concessions) which Women in Green believes is contrary to the "will of God," or unrepresentative of the Jewish people (as they interpret these to be), they feel they can disobey either by breaking the law

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(for example, in illegal demonstrations) or by perpetrating acts of civil disobedience against the government. While the group avows deep respect for political institutions of the state and has tended not to stray from the legal boundaries of extra-parliamentalism, they nevertheless claim that "all agreements are reversible," except for the original covenant with God.23 This independent perspective on the law embodies a fundamental gender component, which places Women in Green in an interesting position vis-a-vis the state. Conventionally, religious precepts draw from a realm of belief interpreted only by male Torah scholars. However, in the case of Women in Green, religion provides a basis for a female critique of a predominantly patriarchal secular leadership. While the women themselves would not claim access to biblical authority (in fact, they are aware of and accept the roles for women delineated in Orthodox Jewish law), the religious justification nevertheless provides them with a platform from which to criticize the state on the basis of women's claim to being the "conscience of the Jewish nation." In this sense, religious arguments for security do indeed allow access to spiritually sanctioned political action and thereby potentially empower the group as women in their struggle against the state. Religion inadvertently provides Women in Green a way to undermine secular, male authority, while disclaiming the feminist label as a model for their struggles.

7

The Campaign for Women in Combat in Israel

The struggle for equal opportunity of women in Israel is inextricably linked to the campaign for women's "right to fight." Because the role of the military in Israel is central, on account of the persistent state of belligerence in the region, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have an enormous influence both on Israeli foreign policy making as well as on Israeli society. For this reason, and the fact that Israeli women undergo compulsory conscription, the Israeli military has been a primary target in women's struggles for advancement, promotion, and equality with men. The logical outcome of this struggle would undoubtedly be the equal opportunity for women to bear and use arms, fight wars alongside men, and engage in direct combat with enemy forces. This potential result has problematic implications for feminist theory and for women's peace activism in Israel when considered against the background of the campaign for women in combat. The "woman warrior," or female combatant, has presented a peculiar figure for feminist theory which has yet

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to be subjected to comprehensive examination. Sharon Macdonalcl notes that, with the few exceptional figures such as the Amazons, Joan of Arc, and Elizabeth I, bellicose women continue to represent uncharted territory in the study of feminism and international conflict largely because of hegemonic representations of women's natural affinity with pacifism (1988: i). The feminist peace ethic based on symbols of motherhood, caregiving, and female morality has dominated accounts of women and international relations (Chodorow 1978; Gilligan 1982; Ruddick 1989; Reardon 1993). However, history has demonstrated that women have occupied a variety of positions in conflict zones as military soldiers, combatants, guerrilla fighters, terrorists, and so on. Women do not necessarily abstain from support for militaristic policies and thus do not necessarily reside within the Western feminist norm. Since the entry of women into combat positions has formally dismantled the last preserve of male privilege in the modern world, feminists have increasingly debated the gendered significance of women's role in warfare. Proponents of the "right to fight" suggest that women's liberation and attainment of full civic rights depend upon their equal representation in all domains, and that to occupy leadership positions, women must be present everywhere crucial decisions about war are made. This perspective is defined as feminist realism or liberal feminism, and is represented in Israel by the Israel Women's Network (a lobby and advocacy group for women in Israel) and the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women (in the Israeli Knesset). By struggling for women's "right to fight," these organizations promote full participation of women in practices of war, although one of their main concerns is to monitor the circumstances of women's inclusion in male-dominated domains in ways that promote gender equality.

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The underlying motives for women's struggles for the "right to fight" are diverse and at times contradictor}'. For example, some female soldiers are motivated by their loyalty and their willingness to serve the nation in times of crisis without any attempt to construct a gender consciousness. However, other female fighters are explicitly motivated by considerations of gender equality. For example, some women perceive the military as a potentially transformative realm that holds out promise of a better life and the opportunity to overcome limitations in the domains available to women in civil society and the home. This argument is made by female soldiers struggling to "empower themselves both physically and emotionally" (Yuval-Davis 1997: 102). Whatever the underlying reason for women's struggle for the "right to fight," their contribution to and role in feminist agendas have been vigorously debated, Critics of the "right to fight" are skeptical about the implications for equality of women's participation in combat. Some argue that female combatants simply replicate the image of the male soldier, as women train and master traditional war-fighting strategies and modes of behaviour just like men, and in a sense strive to become "masculine." A woman in the Israeli military described the pressure on women to replicate male behaviour: "For a woman, being a 'good soldier' essentially means pretending to be a man. In my commanding course, we were repeatedly told that we were the toughest and best of the women soldiers supposedly self-evident, given that we would be among the lucky few to work with 'real soldiers' (men). But I was warned not to raise my voice when speaking to soldiers, as it would go up in pitch and would sound 'like a girl' - as if my soldiers would suddenly discover that I was female after all, and their respect for me would vanish."1

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This so-called equality in the military can inadvertently be counter-productive for women if it does not challenge patriarchal norms and does not allow women to "be themselves," so to speak. Women's equality in the military may even be achieved at the expense of a transformationoriented agenda for women because "token women" are often used as a way to argue that the problem of feminism has already been solved. As a former woman soldier in Israel noted, "opportunities to join combat and combat support units does not necessarily translate into equality for women or an appreciation of what women traditionally have to offer."2 Consequently, there is no reason to reconsider the dominant forms of patriarchal authority and power that render women marginal and subordinate. As Rebecca Grant argues, combat renders the experience ofwomen soldiers an "ambiguous model for reform," (1992: 93) because it merely reproduces the masculine givens of militaristic systems that restrict and repress many other women and devalue modes of behaviour associated with femininity. Others also suggest that women's admission into the military does not necessarily remove the informal barriers that women face. For example, the high rate of sexual harassment in the military has become a serious issue as women enter more military domains in mixed-gender units. Sexual harassment seriously affects women's self-esteem and confidence and thus strips their professional achievements of meaningful value. On the other hand, in many military units, women continue to be trained separately from men. This separation legitimizes women's being given positions that reflect traditional female domains such as providing moral support, serving refreshments, and taking care of the soldiers (Yuval-Davis 1997: 101). Nor does the personal success of female soldiers necessarily eradicate the

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gendered structures, both formal and informal, that continue to characterize the imposition of sexual difference in the military and in society at large. Therefore, the gendered significance and experience of women in combat is contradictory and provides only limited insight for purposes of a feminist agenda. In Israel, compulsory conscription ensures that all women (with the exception of those who are pregnant, married, or who claim a religious lifestyle) become soldiers. However, since the 1948 War of Independence (and until recently), Israeli women were excluded from combat duty. For this reason, the struggle for the right to fight (to be women in combat) is a crucial dimension of the struggle for gender equality in Israel. The first instances of women's campaign for the right to fight in Israel occurred during the 19708. A period of parliamentary activity took place after the devastating 1973 War. During her term in the Israeli Knesset, Marcia Freedman, a veteran of the Israeli feminist movement, campaigned vigorously on issues of gender equity. Her efforts, along with increased public debate about the gender division of labour in the post-war period, and the willingness of the military to fully utilize the available womanpower for future military operations, led to a gradual broadening of the professions available to women in the Israeli military. For example, in 1978 women were authorized to instruct male soldiers in combat courses such as tank and artillery, and could occupy other jobs traditionally reserved for men. Since the 19708 efforts to promote a more comprehensive inclusion of women in the Israeli military have employed both mainstreaming and independence strategies, with campaigns from both inside and outside the military establishment. Parliamentary activity has been a crucial component of this struggle. In the year 2000, the Israeli

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Knesset approved an amendment to the Defense Service Law, initiated by MK Naomi Chazan from the Meretz Party, which officially opened all military professions — including combat to women. The amendment to the Defense Service Law made it possible for women to serve in the police force, the border police (such as paramilitary border police in combat positions), border patrols and post inspectors along the Israeli-Egyptian border, anti-aircraft units, and all land-based units such as the armoured corps, artillery, engineering, and infantry. Women went from instructing men in these courses to being fully prepared to engage in battle themselves. Since the summer of 2 001, female recruits have become integrated in the anti-chemical warfare and routine security maintenance units along the Jordanian and Egyptian borders. Restructuring efforts have also been initiated within the military. These changes have been designed to promote greater efficiency, although they also encourage gender equality and opportunities for women to reach a broader range of positions in all services and units with an emphasis on promotion to higher ranks. Former chief women's corps officers Orit Adato and Israela Oron were heavily involved in seeking changes to military policy and attitudes toward women from within the system. After the completion of a comprehensive research project aimed at evaluating the tasks and goals of the Women's Corps, a major reorganizational process was initiated in 1997 in relation to the system of women's service. The basic motive for these changes was to improve the management of issues unique to women's service in the IDF by upgrading the level of responsibility for these issues to that of Women's Corps officers on the command and corps levels.3 The reconstituted mission of the Women's Corps involves consulting with the General Staff on ways to achieve the full potential of women soldiers in the IDF by integrating the

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needs of the army with the individual abilities and qualifications of the female conscripts. As well, the Women's Corps is directed to manage issues specific to women's service, which include - but are not limited to - sexual discrimination and harassment, inequality in promotion, non-egalitarian directives, and gynecological issues. On i August 2001, the Women's Army Corps was dismantled and replaced by a body headed by the Advisor for Women's Affairs to the IDF Chief of Staff. From then on, Chen, the women's Corps, became incorporated into the General Staff and ceased acting as an independent unit. The policy of the IDF Chief of the General Staff toward women was expressed in terms of five major objectives. First, the service of women would be based on the principles of partnership and equality. Second, the duration of women's service in identical roles would be adjusted to equal that of men's service. Third, the service of women would be broadened to include the variety of possible roles. Fourth, the placement of petty female officers would take place in operational units and central roles. And finally, the appointment of senior female officers would be conducted according to their quality and not their service course.* The equal service time of male and female conscripts is a significant change that counters efforts since the early 19908 to curtail the time of women's service. The service time of women recruits was reduced from 24 to 21 months as part of a larger program designed to cut military expenditures. However, the campaign for gender equality in the military has ensured that women recruited for combat units serve 30 months and do reserve duty until the age of 38 (previously 24). In Israel women's right to fight has relied heavily on the judicial system, the courts (the Supreme Court in particular), and prominent lobby groups. A primary target for judicial activity has been the Israeli Air Force (Chel Avir),

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one of the fundamental pillars of Israel's defence strategy. In 1994 Alice Miller, a native South African, immigrated to Israel and applied to train with the air force as a pilot. Despite the fact that she was an experienced aeronautical engineer and held a civil pilot's license, she was rejected automatically on the grounds that women were not allowed to serve in combat units. Miller submitted a precedent-setting appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court under the representation of two key lobby groups, the Israel Women's Network (IWN) and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The IWN was established in 1984 as a non-profit and voluntary organization that advocates for women's rights in Israel in government, law, education, the workplace, and the private sphere. The network operates through a variety of legal and legislative activities, empowerment and leadership training programs, and consciousness-raising and education. It represents a group of non-partisan women from different political perspectives, religious affiliations, and ethnic backgrounds, united toward the objective of raising the status of women in Israeli society. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has campaigned since 1972 for Israel's commitment to civil liberties and human rights through litigation, education, counselling, and public outreach. With the aid of these two groups, the Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that Miller could participate in the course. Although she did not pass the pilot's admission procedures, which includes a written and physical exam and an interview, her case opened the doors for subsequent women to pursue a career in the Israeli Air Force with the amendment of the Defense Service Law in 1995. Since then, over 100 women conscripts have enlisted in the pilot's training course. Of the three female graduates to date, all were trained as navigators capable of operating the highly sophisticated navigational systems on F-i6 and

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Women in Zones of Conflict

Phantom jet fighters. On 29 June 2001, Lt. Roni Zuckerman became the fourth woman to complete the Israeli Air Force's pilot course and the first to reach the status of fighter pilot.5 A similar campaign for women's integration has taken place in the Israeli navy. The navy is widely regarded as the military branch most hesitant about integrating women into its ranks, particularly on account of the tight living quarters, lengthy periods of time spent at sea, and the potential ramifications of mixed-gender relations on board fighting ships. Recently, however, the Israel Navy opened its prestigious Naval Officers Course to women. As of 2001 Liza Isacovich was enrolled as a cadet in the naval officers' training course, whose career goal is to enable command of an IDF vessel. Isacovich is one of just two women (from the five who began the course) to succeed in reaching the final stage of her training program, in the sailing and navigation track. In the first five years after the course was first opened to women in 1999, a single female sailor had graduated and was employed in regular service on an Israeli naval vessel; one woman completed the ship captain's course.6 The navy also decided to place women in its diving repair unit and in shallow-water diving endeavours.7 Other women board ships on an occasional basis to accomplish specific tasks, but only for limited periods of time.8 Finally, one of the most controversial achievements in the campaign for women in combat in Israel has been the acceptability of women's entering enemy territory. Israel is surrounded by Arab states, all of which have at one point since 1948 been at war with Israel. In 2000 the IDF - in consultation with the Air Force and the Human Resources Branch - decided for the first time to allow women to cross into enemy territory while on military missions. This decision was directed specifically at airborne female physicians. However, one woman campaigned for

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a key negotiating position on the international monitoring committee in Israel's "security zone" in southern Lebanon (prior to Israeli's withdrawal on 24 May 2000) to address violations of agreements reached between Israel and the Hizbullah (Party of God) in 1996. Having graduated from law school prior to her conscription, Lt. Gabby Blum was suited to the job, although because of the necessity of entering enemy territory, she had to campaign vigorously: "There was a lot of hesitation about agreeing to send me. It took a lot [to convince] the other commanders. No one was questioning my ability as a woman or as a lawyer to do the job; the problem was the location/'^ In Israel die traditional rationale behind the prohibition of women in combat is related to the issue of female casualties. The most serious factor in this regard is the anticipated devastating effect on national morale should a woman be captured by the enemy. Indeed, when Hani Abramov, a new female recruit to the border police unit, was shot and seriously wounded by Palestinian gunfire on a patrol in July 2001, questions were raised about the protection of women serving on active fronts.10 This type of tragedy reaches to the very heart of a society that regards women as holders of its cultural values and bearers of responsibility for social reproduction. The desire to protect women stands as a basic pillar of Jewish national selfdetermination in Israel. In recent years, women entering combatant corps have slowly contributed to the co-ed environment of the Israeli military. Corporal Odelia, from Zichron Y'akov, joined the ranks of an Engineering Corps Company on i g August 2002 to use her specialization in chemical and biological warfare to disinfect a chemically and biologically poisoned area. Commenting on the increase in mixedgender training and specialization in the Israeli military, Lieutenant Dudi, commander of the co-ed company,

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states: "The number of women wanting to enlist in combatant Corps is increasing. Every four months, at least ten women join the Corp. There are many women who are willing to give so much, they prove time and time again that they are just as good as anyone else."11 Tamar, another female soldier who serves alongside male soldiers, agrees: "Participating in training with men allows women to prove they are equally capable, both physically and psychologically, of getting the job done."12 Despite the gains made by individual women soldiers and the restructuring efforts either initiated by the military or enforced by the Supreme Court, informal barriers nevertheless continue to prevent women's equal inclusion in military service. First, the military has been gradually moving toward a system of selective service in order to deal with a surplus of conscript-age citizens. There has been strong bipartisan support (from both the far Left and the religious Right) for eliminating this surplus by cancelling women's conscription altogether.13 This sentiment was not supported by the mainstream however. Another major issue has been the incorporation of high technology information and weapons systems into the IDF (Cohen, Eisenstadt, and Bacevich 1998). Despite the fact that such systems operate without the upper body muscular strength that is necessary for more conventional weapons, patriarchal attitudes continue to envisage women as the reserve army of unskilled labour in the military and thus a group incapable of such sophisticated and highly skilled tasks. These attitudes originate within the military itself. For example, in his statement to the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, Brigadier General Gil Regev articulated the patriarchal sentiment common in the military that "the air force cannot cope with large numbers of female soldiers." To reinforce the view that women are not as capable as men, he asked, "Do you know what it

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takes to fly an F-i6?" (Ha'aretz, 29 December 1998). Major General Commander-in-Chief of the Israeli Air Force, Dan Halutz, made a comparable statement with reference to women in the air force, drawing attention to their reproductive roles: "It is clear that women have the talent and abilities, but psychologically and biologically we have to see if they meet IAF demands. Let's assume, in a Utopian situation, that 50 per cent of the airforce was women. Statistically, we can't allow ourselves to get to a situation where some of our commanders and pilots are grounded because they are pregnant."14 Intense opposition continues to infuse the military culture in Israel with a reluctance to see women serving in combat. The integration of women challenges more than stereotypical and chauvinistic attitudes such as the notion that women's presence would interfere with the camaraderie and battle readiness of male soldiers. Women's integration would also necessitate major structural changes to institute gender-sensitive training and selection processes, which require time, effort, and financial resources. With women entering more military professions, a direct dilemma for female conscripts has been that of sexual harassment. As in relation to other areas of the Israeli labour force, Israel has developed one of the most comprehensive and progressive legal frameworks in the world for dealing with and investigating cases of sexual harassment. In March 1998, the Knesset passed the Sexual Harassment Prevention Law, the result of a collaboration between Dr Orit Kamir from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, legal advisor Rachel Benziman of the Israel Women's Network, and the Israeli Ministry of Justice. This legislation defines sexual harassment in the broadest terms, covering acts and insinuations ranging from obscenities toward women, sexual insults and innuendo, sexual objectification, and indecent proposals.15 In addition to this law, the Knesset Committee

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on the Status of Women developed new guidelines on sexual harassment in areas of employment, business, academia, and consumer relationships. In cases involving minors defined by law, patients, or situations when the harasser is in a position of authority over the victim, the conduct is prohibited even if consensual. Not only does this law define sexual harassment as criminal activity but it also provides clear channels through which women can file complaints, allows civil suits for damages, and makes employers responsible for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. When seen in comparison to its prevalence in other areas of the labour force and society targeted by this law, sexual harassment has been a key concern in the military. According to Dafna Izraeli, head of the gender studies division at Bar-Ilan University: "The Israeli military is a hothouse for exploitative sexual relationships. It has been common for pretty young female soldiers to become 'trophies' of the commanders."16 Carmela Menashe, military correspondent for the Voice of Israel, has described the fighting culture in the IDF as one of "rampant licentiousness," in which male warriors represent an aura of potency and thus a corresponding "sense of entitlement."17 The atmosphere of permissive license in the military is related to the structure of authority in which young female soldiers normally serve under an older male of higher rank who has enormous control over his subordinates. Although Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz declared a policy of zero tolerance in 1998, it is not surprising that the highest number of complaints of sexual harassment in the country has been filed in the Ministry of Defense. In 1997, for example, 280 women soldiers filed complaints of sexual harassment, demonstrating a rise of 20 per cent from the previous year. The number of complaints increased after the new legislation; the IDF received an average of one

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complaint per day in iggg.18 In 1998 and 1999, fifty-four officers and non-commissioned officers were discharged from the military for sex-related offenses. Others found guilty either by a disciplinary officer or by a military court were subject to demotion and even imprisonment. A number of high profile cases have raised the issue of sexual harassment in the military to the top of the public agenda. For example, former defence and transportation minister and retired IDF general, Yitzhak Mordechai, was charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of harassment. Once considered a likely candidate for future prime minister of Israel, Mordechai was accused of indecently assaulting a female officer under his command when he was a leading general in 1992. Also, a female Likud party activist complained that he sexually harassed her when he was the country's defence minister in 1996. Although, under Israeli law, Mordechai faced a maximum sentence of 10 years, on 30 April 2001, he ultimately received an 18-month suspended sentence from the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for indecent assault of two women and an acquittal in relation to the third woman. The light sentencing of Mordechai was considered an outrage by public protestors, who objected that it was at least partly a result of the court's consideration of Mordechai's decorated military career.19 The positive role that military experience can play, even in a criminal court case, demonstrates the prestige attributed to combat in Israeli society - at the expense of women's rights. While the Mordechai trial prompted an angry public reaction, it also raised political awareness of the issue of sexual harassment in Israeli society. Sexual assault crisis centres in Israel received 15,000 complaints in the year 2000, nearly double the 8,000 cases reported in 1999, as women "drew courage about challenging what had once been

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accepted practice in the workplace and in the army, which has been accused of tolerating abuses of young women soldiers by generals and senior officers."20 The media attention generated by the Mordechai case was followed by an equally heated public debate over the promotion of Brigadier General Mr Galili to Major General after he was accused by a young female recruit of engaging in intimate sexual relations with her while acting as commander of her base. The Israeli High Court of Justice ultimately blocked the promotion.21 Currently, new recruits - both male and female - participate in a program of empowerment and awareness to counteract harassment in the military, including a course specifying how to file a complaint. One of the major remaining obstacles to women's right to fight in Israel is the intangible social pressure in Israeli culture that dissuades women from pursuing a military career in the first place. Women's lack of interest in investing in a military career can result from the perceived or real incongruence between military and familial responsibilities, and from the subtle pressures exerted by friends and family against such a combination. Women interested in raising a family are more pressured than men as a result of the time limitations on their reproduction systems. For example, as stated, women who are married or pregnant are exempt from the military; in addition, the military pays for abortions for women who do become pregnant during their service. The lack of space for parenting in the military makes it difficult to combine service with childcare. Upon completion of service, soldiers are recalled to reserve duty at least one month a year — men to the age of 51 and single women to the age of 24 (now 38 for women in combat). This difference in reserve duty promotes the traditional family by ensuring that women are available for childrearing while men are called away to duty. These boundaries coexist uneasily with

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recent gains made by women in their "right to fight," and critics argue that they maintain a diminished status for women in the IDF (Women in Israel 1996: 77). Another, and more pronounced, source of opposition to women in combat derives from the religious sector in Israel. Since the founding of the State of Israel, religious parties in the government coalition have continuously and vehemently opposed women's conscription on moral grounds. Since the 19705 men who identify with the national-religious camp have served the IDF in a special framework, the Yeshivot Hesder, in which military training is alternated with religious study over a period of four to five years. In developing this program, the military has sought to meet the special needs of this category of conscripts in terms, for example, of Sabbath and dietary restrictions. However, the March 2000 law sponsoring the integration of women in combat has raised serious questions about the ramifications of women's military service for that of religious men. The two major concerns, as expressed by members of the National Religious Party (NRP) and rabbis from the religious-Zionist military schools and pre-military yeshivot (religious study schools), are that mixed-gender combat units involving men and women intermingling physically in close quarters would violate the halachic (Jewish law) principles of n'gia (physical contact among the sexes) and norms of modesty (tsniut) in relation to dress and codes of behaviour.22 The Orthodox religious community in Israel is concerned that close contact with women, especially secular women, would expose their religious men to moral influences that offend the principles of their own closed community and way of life, in which men and women do not touch outside of marriage and during days of the female menstrual cycle, described as "impure." This objection to mixed service was expressed by the

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Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, who made a psak-halacha (public halachic ruling) ordering hesder students to refuse military service altogether if their rabbis could not confirm that their standards of modesty in the military would be upheld.83 Although Israeli women in combat do not tend to describe their efforts in feminist language, religious opposition forces the issue of feminism. Orthodox pronouncements against women in combat do not refer only to the practical issues involved in daily contact; they relate to broader principles in Israeli society involving the nature of the Jewish family and the role played by the Orthodox establishment in formulating codes of conduct for men and women in the state. The resolution of the issue of women and religious men in the IDF will depend on how the relationship between religion and state in Israel develops in the future and the extent to which women and the Orthodox establishment can reconcile their different goals. Thus far, the formal campaign for women in combat in Israel has been successful insofar as the administrative barriers to women's entry into combat units have been removed. In the early years of the twenty-first century, Israeli women are slowly moving into all areas of the Israeli military after successfully completing their training courses. However, informal barriers such as religious opposition, cultural norms, discrimination, and sexual harassment continue to impede women's advancement in combat corps. The breaking down of informal barriers will depend on women's capacity to control the conditions of their own inclusion and to promote gender issues and women's rights within the framework of their military service.

8 Conclusions

In examining some of the complex circumstances surrounding women's resistance in Israel, we have focused on the dynamic interplay of gendered structures and women's agency. Gendered structures present themselves in two ways: in institutionalized forms of patriarchal authority, in which men hold power directly or indirectly over women in political, legal, economic, or military institutions; and in less institutionalized forms of patriarchal authority, in which "masculinity" (associated with the male) is defined in opposition to and prioritized over "femininity" (associated with the female) in symbols, discourses, myths, social norms, and codes of conduct. Patriarchal representations outside of formal institutions consist of the manifestations of society in which women are either objectified, domesticated, or differentiated from men in a variety of ways. Women's agency, on the other hand, refers to ways in which women organize, mobilize, politicize, and struggle within and beyond these structures for rights, status, and equality. Women's agency

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is diverse, in practice, despite the unity through which the woman is represented in symbols and ideology. This assumption of unity imposes limitations on female organizing, as women must navigate through the restrictions of gendered structures, and negotiate with patriarchal authority in their political strategies. The fact that the three types of women activists in Israel - the Israeli women's peace movement, women in the national-religious camp, and the campaign for women in combat - occupy diverse political positionings in the Israeli political system demonstrates that feminism is an internally fractured category in that country. The dynamic between structure and agency in women's protest in a zone of conflict is a complex interaction that contributes to feminist knowledge about gender and difference in a cross-cultural context. This analysis has revealed that the practice of women's activism reinforces feminist theoretical revisioning in international relations by demonstrating that the boundaries and political structures of a zone of conflict are restrictive for women, yet subject to contestation and potential transformation. The immediate context for this project was sites of resistance among Israeli women, not only with respect to their political perspectives on foreign policy (peace, land, borders, and statehood), but also with respect to their identities as women citizens of Israel. Political structures such as statehood, nationalism, war, the military, and religious institutions are profoundly gendered; they affect men and women differently. Thus, men and women have different opportunities and limitations in their capacity to influence the contours of these structures and their places within. As in other parts of the world, women in conflict zones face common manifestations of the so-called mobilization-marginalization phenomenon, the process in

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which women are mobilized to support and/or legitimize political structures, but only in ways that do not threaten patriarchal authority. Gender structures are fundamentally different in conflict zones than in other contexts, however. In peaceful democratic societies, political structures are more stable and thus can develop in ways that are more inclusive of different social groups, allowing men and women greater opportunities to experiment with gender roles and their accompanying rights and obligations. Political structures in conflict zones, on the other hand, are threatened and strained. In a society's struggle for survival and legitimacy, these structures come to rely on more rigid notions of biological differences between the sexes. This gender dynamic occurs because, in crisis situations, nation building is regarded as existential and is seen to depend on social harmony vis-a-vis the outside world. Within a society in a conflict zone unity is particularly linked to harmonious relations between men and women, the symbolic core of social reproduction and continuity, tasks that need to remain stable and consistent while social energies are diverted toward the waging of war. The relationship between the sexes is, (lien, linked to the fulfillment of designated male and female roles, particularly those related to acceptable notions of masculinity and femininity, and to the continuity of the traditional patriarchal family. When women struggle for equal rights within a nation in arms, they are often seen to be jeopardizing the existential nationalist project. Divisions within the nation are considered unacceptable at a time when society must band together against a common enemy. Social unity, on the other hand, tends to accommodate those in power because it reinforces the status quo. However, a gender perspective reveals that upholding the nationalist project in conflict

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zones often inadvertently supports the foundation for male decision making and authority in the nation because those who occupy positions of power are men. Consequently, as in other areas of the world, women in zones of conflict face the difficult choice between mainstreaming and independence; that is, working with men toward common goals or working autonomously as women toward gender-specific goals. This study has considered the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies. While mainstreaming offers women access to institutionalized structures and resources with which to acquire political authority, it often comes at the expense of co-optation or dilution of feminist content. Independence, on the other hand, while it may deprive women of resources and legitimacy, often increases the opportunities for gender consciousness as women experiment with alternative models of organizing that are unique to women and more representative of women's socially constructed experiences and sensibilities. The tensions between mainstreaming and independence are represented by the incongruous relationships that characterize women and the nation, or women's individual rights and society's collective rights. In a zone of conflict, the tension between individual and collective identities is even more problematic for women than in peaceful democratic societies. On one hand, war may provide political opportunities for women that would not otherwise be available, as women's contribution in military service, labour, or nationalist settlement projects becomes necessary. However, war does not automatically provide women with gender equality. In war, a variety of gendered structures combine to marginalize, segregate, discriminate against, and restrict women as they contribute to nation building. As demonstrated by the cases in this book, political structures in crisis impinge more heavily on private lives and transfer burdens of conflict to the traditional

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family. War also places greater emphasis on the need to struggle for equality of duties over equality of rights. When women demand the right to be equal with men, this demand is perceived as incompatible with their duty to the nation. Women are instead expected to conform to the traditional roles as domesticated wives and mothers of male fighters, regardless of whether they stay within the traditionally denned private sphere or they politicize this role through public institutions. This segregation of women takes place both inside and outside institutionalized structures. Therefore, the gendered restrictions of war extend across the lines that traditionally divide public and private, military and civilian, and battlefield and home front. As well, war and militarized societies create circumstances that render women vulnerable, not only to armed conflict but also to domestic violence and sexual assault or rape in their homes and families. These structures and accompanying restrictions on women undoubtedly limit the opportunities for gender activism and women's liberation, broadly denned. The case studies presented here have highlighted four contextually specific gender structures in Israel which affect the contours of relations between the sexes and act as centres for contestation among men and women: Jewish nationalism, the military, religion, and the family. Israeli society of today evolved out of a history bound up in a particular affinity among the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and biblical territory. This lack of separation between religion and state in Israel has constituted a focus of community, as well as a point of contestation among different social groups, particularly women. Since the founding period, national selfdetermination in Israel has relied upon the notion of a "melting pot." This model of society has encouraged Jewish immigrants from different parts of the world to assimilate into the new Israeli figure, a model of strength and determination that would overcome generations of vulnerability in

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the Diaspora. As a result of conditions of warfare and hard labour on the land, this model of citizenship developed in a largely militaristic manner and became closely associated with the "masculine" immigrant. In times of crisis, women struggled to be recognized as full contributing members of this construct by transforming themselves and adopting more masculine traits such as physical endurance, militarism, and independence. However, women tended to be excluded from the dominant institutions of the nation because femininity, and all that it came to represent, was devalued in the nation's dominant narratives. Therefore, while women sought to "mainstream" in the early period, they were marginalized in the founding institutions of Israeli nation building. There was one exception, however, in which women were included as central members of the nation, and that was in the symbolic figure of the "heroine mother," the woman who gave birth to new generations of soldiers to sacrifice for the good of the collective. This model of the "nationalist woman" was women's prominent point of entry into nation building. Patriotic mothering also coincided with the ideal of the traditional family in Israel, which was seen as a site of sanctuary from the conditions of conflict and a source for the renewal of the nation, whether in terms of providing soldiers or cultural survival. The nationalist mother has served as a predominant, albeit contested, model for women's involvement in nation building into the state period, which has been employed variously - and sometimes cautiously - by different women's movements. In later periods, women shed the objective of conforming to male roles and began to develop a feminist consciousness. In the 19705 the feminist movement in Israel introduced issues of gender equity, abortion, and violence against women into the arena of public discourse. However, during this time, while war provided the opportunity for

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women to make demands on the state and further the goals of gender equity, public responses to feminism remained hostile. The latest period of gender activism has occurred in response to a series of events that began with the 1982 War in Lebanon, the Palestinian Uprising against Israeli Occupation (Intifada) in 1987, and the Middle East Peace Process since 1991. These events transformed the arena for gender activism and provided new restrictions and opportunities for women. As compared to the early pre-state period and the 19705, the current context is more open to women's dissent and experimentation with alternative identities above and beyond the state level. However, there is no single conclusion to be drawn from this new era of women's organizing, as women are fundamentally divided on issues such as peace, statehood, nationalism, and womanhood. The continued reality of protracted conditions of war and the failure to achieve concrete results from the peace process have perpetuated the predominant role of the military in Israeli politics and society, and thus the problematic context for women's equality in Israel. In the realm of the military, "the right to fight" in Israel has been the object of major debate among women because combat serves as a mechanism of inclusion for women in the nation and provides a measure of involvement in civic life. However, for women, the "right to fight" is an ambiguous model for reform, since women's involvement in the military results in the exaltation of masculinity, which glorifies the male soldier and relegates the female soldier to the margins either through occupational segregation or blatant sexual discrimination. The more accepted role for women in the military is in the clerical sector, where women are positioned to support and service men of higher rank. Again, women are domesticated in the military as a result of pervasive assumptions in Israel about appropriate roles for the female citizen in a conflict zone.

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The Israeli case has shown that not only are women marginalized within the military in a direct sense but they are also victimized in a more structural way as a result of the militarization of society. In Israel, so-called legitimate violence committed by the military against the "enemy" tends to spill over as illegitimate violence in the private sphere. Feminists have revealed through ample evidence in Israel that there are strong connections between war and domestic violence and sexual assault/rape. This connection demonstrates that a society in which the military acts as a prominent institution and male soldiers are exalted as the model for citizenship is one in which women are vulnerable to male violence both directly and indirectly, both on and off the battlefield. The ambiguous positioning of women in the family is made more problematic by the role of religion in the State of Israel and in its legal system. The affinity of religion and the state in a zone of conflict creates a particularly equivocal gender structure for women. Conflict zones are often pervaded by the politicization of fundamental belief systems as individuals seek spiritual solace from the ravages of war and then mobilize politically on the basis of their religious affiliation. In Israel, as a result of the conflict situation, nation building has relied for legitimization on the idea that the state was reclaimed for the Jewish people after they had been exiled from their homeland for 2,000 years. Although this religious claim has always been highly contested, it continues to stand so long as the State of Israel remains embroiled in conditions of conflict in which the right to a homeland for the Jewish people is considered under threat. This model of statehood has implicated Israeli society, and particularly its legal system, in a realm of authority and decision making derived from scripture and biblical commentary. The deference to religious authority

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in Israel has given a monopoly to the stream of Orthodox Judaism, based on Jewish canon law (Halakha), over all aspects of personal status law. As a result of the deeply patriarchal nature of Orthodox Jewish law, women's lives in Israel have been problematized in relation to all areas of personal status in which women are regarded as secondary to, or dependent on, men. By imposing religious doctrine on personal relations between the sexes, Orthodox personal status law acts as a key mechanism for controlling the contours of Israeli society. Orthodox Judaism supports the traditional male-headed household, and in so doing, jeopardizes women's capacity to struggle for rights in areas ranging from marriage, divorce, and inheritance to child custody. This intrusion of religion into the familial arena has coincided with the pro-natalism of the State of Israel against the background of the so-called "demographic struggle" with the Palestinians. Threatened by decreased fertility in land that was intended for Jewish settlement, the state encouraged an increase in Jewish reproduction, particularly after the 1967 War and the acquisition of territory populated by Arabs. While Jewish men were expected to contribute to reproduction, it was ultimately Jewish women who were targeted for control in their personal sphere of procreation. Since fertility was the ultimate political objective for settlement, women who did not reproduce, and particularly women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy, were regarded not only as undesirable but also as a threat to the continuity and survival of the Jewish nation. This intrusion of the state into women's sexuality and reproduction as a result of perceived wartime objectives has limited the options available to women and circumscribed their opportunities for independence from men. The legacy of Israeli pro-natalism continues to exist in the public conscience despite the fact that after the influx of Russian

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and other Eastern European immigrants in the 19905, Israel no longer has a need for population growth. These boundaries define the Israeli context and have been highly contested by Israeli women throughout their history. Since the founding period, despite heavy pressures on women to conform to nationalist narratives, women have increasingly challenged restrictions on their labour and their inclusion in military operations, and have mobilized their own independent organizations vis-avis the malestream nationalist movement. In addition, women have struggled both inside and outside political institutions for rights to abortion, for attention to the issue of violence against women and sexual assault/rape, and for solutions to issues of personal status law and rabbinical authority, as well as for the "right to fight," that is, to be included in combat duty. Women activists have been relatively successful at penetrating the parliamentary arena and campaigning on these issues through lobby groups such as the Israeli Women's Network (the main women's lobby group) or the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women. However, women have made a prominent mark on Israeli foreign policy in areas outside the formal political process, as well, through grassroots and extra-parliamentary protest. Through protest, not only have women contested gender structures in Israel but, more importantly, they have offered alternative ways to think about and practise nation building. The following section assembles the findings of the empirical discussions of the three Israeli women's movements: the Israeli women's peace movement, women in the national-religious camp, and the campaign for women in combat. The emphasis is on the contestation among these groups over political discourses and gender symbols and the ways in which they use these as a way of

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challenging established political structures in Israel. The analysis ends with some concluding remarks about the implications of women's diversity in zones of conflict. In Israel, women who actively support a variety of political perspectives represent political discourses and symbols that differ from those of their malestream counterparts within the limited space available for women's agency. The three cases reviewed here represent women organizing as women separately from mixed-gender movements, and operating on the basis of their experiences as women. That these three groups of women represent ongoing, albeit disputed, women's identities in Israel is demonstrated by their continued activism in the context of political turbulence. Since the failure of the Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David in July 2000, the political spectrum in Israel has undergone many shifts. For example, the AlAqsa Intifada marked a return to violence as protests and riots spread throughout the Palestinian areas; a series of suicide bomb attacks threatened Israeli citizens; and Israeli army incursions into Palestinian territories in search of terrorist networks led to a reoccupation of the major population centres in the West Bank. Ariel Sharon from the right-wing Likud Party was elected to the office of prime minister on 6 February 2001, and again on 28 January 2003, with the largest margin ever in Israeli politics and a dedication to a strong platform of national security. This shift to the right in the Israeli electorate marked a departure from efforts at peaceful conflict resolution and a tone of increasing intransigence on both sides of the conflict. At a time of severe crisis on the Israeli Left,1 the Jerusalem Link nevertheless continued its activities in solidarity with Palestinians and against the Israeli Occupation. The two boards of the Jerusalem Link did not meet for over

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three years due primarily to restrictions on movements across the Israeli-Palestinian border, differences with respect to the Palestinian refugee issue, and disappointments in each other during periods of violent conflict.2 Nevertheless, The Jerusalem Link resumed its common board meetings in the summer of 2003 and has staged ongoing demonstrations against the separation fence, participating with other groups within the framework of the Women for a Just Peace coalition, and in conjunction witii Machsom Watch (Checkpoint Watch) ,3 New Profile (Movement for the Civilization of Israeli Society,4 Kvisa Schora,5 and the Fifth Mother movement,6 among others. These groups actively promote support networks for draft resisters, a relatively new phenomenon in Israeli politics. The Jerusalem Link presented its views at the United Nations Security Council in May 2002, demanding the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which called on all states to improve the protection of women in conflict zones.7 On 13 March 2003, Bat Shalom launched the Women's Emergency Network in response to concerns about local consequences of die war in Iraq on the Palestinian people, and has actively engaged in a variety of political action campaigns against the Israeli military policy of home demolitions and closure, as well as a boycott of Jewish settlement products. Although Women in Green stands to benefit from a right wing government, the group has continued to be very active in recent years, demonstrating against such policies as the United States - sponsored road map,8 administrative detention of right-wing Jewish activists, and prisoner releases of Palestinian militants and terrorists. The movement has organized memorials, letters to the media, and walks around the walls of die City of Jerusalem, as well as maintaining an active website with updated news and commentary. As well, Women in Green continues to support a

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Jewish presence in the West Bank through tours of the land as well as social campaigns designed to bring toys and playground equipment to the children in Jewish settlements. Finally, the campaign for women in combat has become more intense in recent years, as women entering combatant corps have slowly contributed to an increasingly mixedgender environment in the Israeli military. In response to the opening of all professions in the Israeli Defense Forces to women, female recruits have entered the land forces, the air force, and the navy in ever larger numbers, even training in chemical and biological warfare, an increasing focus for military preparedness into the twenty-first century. The number of women wanting to enlist in combatant corps is also increasing. As long as the Israeli-Palestinian and IsraeliArab conflicts continue, there will be a need for this womanpower to respond to the needs of the Israeli national security agenda.9 The most significant aspect of the case studies in this book is their continued and ongoing contestation over gender consciousness, in particular, what role Israeli women should occupy in Israeli nationalism and national security. For example, while the Israeli women's peace movement is moving away from support for the Israeli military, as witnessed in its new campaign for conscientious objection, the campaign for women in combat in Israel is increasingly focusing on the Israeli military as a target for women's equality. While these campaigns both promote women's interests, their ultimate political objectives are fundamentally irreconcilable - that is, support for and rejection of the military. As well, while Women in Green increasingly promotes Jewish settlement in Palestinian areas, Israeli female combatants will find themselves more and more drawn into such disputed territories of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The potentially divisive implications of these encounters may kindle antagonism among the different groups of women

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that will play themselves out both in the official political process and in protest activities. In a zone of conflict, the political spectrum is polarized around policy options, and this polarization creates a more divergent space for the expression of women's political opinions. A prominent arena of contestation for women in conflict zones is their domestication during warfare, particularly in the context of ethnic or national conflict, during which the state places the onus of demographic struggle and the reproduction of culture and soldiers on women and female fertility. The glorification of militarized masculinity in zones of conflict is often balanced by the glorification of a militarized model of motherhood. For women, the ideal of motherhood is both a structure of authority over women that restricts women's contribution to the nation, as well as a strong symbol of women's activism and attempts to regain control over their own lives. However, as the case studies show, motherhood is characterized by profound divergence of interpretation when it is transformed into a basis for activism. These contradictions result from the merging of motherhood with other collective affiliations and identities. In response to the question asked at the outset of this project, that is, whether women represent a single constituency upon which to base a feminist politics, the answer is an unequivocal "no." Women who are active in a cross-cultural context identify with gender, but they also align themselves with other collective affiliations based on class, race, ethnicity, religion, nationhood, and so on. The influence of the "other" collective affiliations prompts women to contest the symbols associated with womanhood in order to render their gender identity consonant with their different political agendas and struggles alongside their men toward common goals. On this basis, the case studies posit neither a singular womanhood nor a singular feminist perspective

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upon which to base knowledge about gender. In this sense, the contribution of this book does not lie in furthering the notion of a "global sisterhood" because it does not focus on unity among women. Rather, it contributes to furthering feminist knowledge about women's differences in a crosscultural context and clarifying the specific opportunities and restrictions women face in zones of conflict. There has been no attempt to homogenize the women's movements, but only an effort to point out the common threads that link women who are otherwise fundamentally incommensurate in their politics. For example, the interest in women-only organizing is, in all the three cases presented, prompted by discrimination and marginalization of male-only institutions. However, the emphasis on division and differences among women is intended to promote discussion about women's lived realities and all the accompanying complexities and dilemmas these bring to bear. This relatively contained focus on women's difference within a nation may be enhanced in future research by a comparison of women in different zones of conflict across a broader range of geographical contexts. Making sense of the constraints and opportunities these differences entail will constitute the indispensable vocation of many feminist generations to come.

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Notes

CHAPTER ONE 1 With reference to feminist political science, "patriarchy" refers to an institutionalized male dominance in which men are dominant in all state institutions and favoured by the balance of power in other important social institutions (Vickers 1997: 200). 2 See Singer and Wildavsky, 1993. 3 The focus is on Israeli Jewish citizens. Other groups in Israel, such as the Arab population and other non-Jews, or the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, embody rights and duties that are fundamentally different and not within the scope of this study. 4 "Malestream" refers to male-dominated or patriarchal structures. 5 The Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women 1985: paragraph 13, quoted in Reardon 1993: 4. 6 Horowitz and Lissak (1989) describe the cleavages in Israel in relation to the Jewish-Arab division, the religious-secular

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Notes to pages 43-70 division, the ethnic division, ideological divisions, status, and class divisions, among others. CHAPTER THREE

1 Women who identify with the national-religious camp serve in the regular corps or do national service, called Sherut Leumi, in hospitals, social services, and development areas. Ultra-orthodox women do not serve. 2 "In Uniform: Social Encroachments," Israel Yearbook and Almanac 1996, see http://www.iyba.co.il/96/soldiers.htm 3 For full report see http://www.un.org/esa/gopher-data/ conf/fwcw/natrep/NatActPlans/israel.txt 4 Women for a Renewed Society, a publication of the Israeli feminist movement, 1974. CHAPTER FOUR

1 Purim celebrates the story of the Megilla; it tells how in Persia, Human, the advisor to the king of Persia tried to get the king to kill all the Jews, and how Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai defeated him. 2 Passover is a festival recalling the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The highlight of the holiday is the seder, the ritual evening meal. 3 Israel Women's Network information package 1996: 19. 4 For example, the first known domestic murder in Israel took place on 23 May 1948 when Yaffa Cohen was shot dead by her husband (Israel Women's Network 1996: 60). CHAPTER FIVE

1 Naomi Chazan, quoted in The Israeli Woman: Myth and Reality 1989: 12; see also Swirsky 1996: 2.

Notes to pages 71-99

147

2 Rinat, a member of Women in Black; personal interview, Jerusalem, 23 July 1997. 3 "Parlor talks for peace," The Jerusalem Post, March 1990. 4 Rene Ann Gutter; personal interview, Jerusalem, 22 December 1997. 5 Israel Women's Network, wnn.iwn.org.il. 6 Quoted in "Jerusalem Link - A Women's Joint Venture for Peace", Ruth Heiges. 7 Lily Galilee, "Rendezvous in Brussels," New Outlook, June/ July 1989: 28. 8 Naomi Chazan, Knesset member, personal interview, Jerusalem, 29 December 1997. 9 Susan Techner, member of the Jerusalem Link; personal interview, Jerusalem, 11 December 1997. 10 Hava Keller, head of Women for Women Political Prisoners; personal interview, Tel Aviv, 23 November 1997. 11 For more on the ethnic/racial gap in Israel see Arnone, Alcalay and Obadyah 1986: 5. 12 Molly Malekar, staff of Jerusalem Link; personal interview, Jerusalem, 16 December 1997, in Hebrew. CHAPTER SIX

1 During fieldwork, I found few, if any, secular and/or nonreligious women affiliated with Women in Green. There are different shades of "religious" in this camp, but secular women who do not identify as religious are simply not involved. 2 Women for Israel's Tomorrow, Brochure, 1993. My emphasis. 3 Daniella Weiss profile, "Mayor Kedumim," http:// www.kedumim.org.il/daniella.html 4 "Jewish Setdement in the Land of Israel," http:// www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.aspPMFAHo 12 80 5 Steve Rodan, "Efrat Women Execute Secret Mission for Land of Israel," The Jerusalem Post. 4 August 1995, 8.

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Notes to pages 99-109

6 Lisa Frydman, "Nadia's Theme," In Jerusalem, 11 August 1995.47 See Greer Fay Cashman, "Efrat Protesters Vow to Struggle On," The Jerusalem Post, 4 August 1995, 2. 8 Ron Meiberg, "These Are Girls," Maariv, Friday, 4 August 1995; translated from the Hebrew. 9 Bili Moskona-Lerman, "Nadia, Eve and Marilyn Conquered the Mountain," Maariv, Friday, 38 July 1995; translated from the Hebrew. 10 Emil L Fackenheim, "Zionists Without Apology," The Jerusalem Post, 30 October 1995, 6. 11 "Rabbi Takes U.S.-Style Protest to Israel," The New York Times International, Monday, 7 August 1995, A5. 1.2 Meiberg, "These Are Girls." 13 Nadia Matar, quoted in, Dalia Karpel, "She Must Cry Out in Warning," Haaretz, 27 January 1995, 3; translated from the Hebrew. 14 Matar, quoted in Dalia Ben-Ari, "Yigal Amir Also Killed Something Within Us," La 'Isha (Israeli weekly magazine), 20 November 1995, 24; translated from the Hebrew. 15 Gemma Blech, personal interview, Jerusalem, 18 November

199716 Emunah Elon, "Who's Afraid of the Women in Green?" Maariv, 4 April 1995; translated from the Hebrew, also appeared in The Jewish Press Magazine, Friday, 2 June 1995, Ml. 17 Joyce Boim, "A Bereaved Mother's Plea: Don't make Hebron another refuge for KILLERS !" The Jerusalem Post, 22 November 1996. 18 Esther Wachsman, "Moral of the Story: Terror Pays," The Jerusalem Post, Friday, 14 February 1997. 19 Eve Harrow, original activist at Dagan, personal interview, Efrat, 3 December 1997. 20 Judy, member of Women in Green, personal interview, Jerusalem, 29 November 1997. 21 Yael Amiel, Tekoah settlement in West Bank, personal interview, 20 November 1997.

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2 2 Matar, commenting on the residents of the Netzarim settlement in the West Bank, in an e-mail address on Tuesday, 30 September 1997. 23 Matar, quoted in "Two groups plant trees in Hebron," The Jerusalem Post, Friday, 24 January 1997. CHAPTER SEVEN

1 Lital Levy, quoted in "Women Soldiers Embattle Entrenched Enemy," Slant: Features, 20 September 2001. See http:// www.columbia.edu/cu/sipa/pUBS/SLANT/FALL96/levy.html 2 Tamar, former Israeli soldier, personal interview, Jerusalem, 16 July 1998. 3 For more information see Israel Women's Network website at http://www.iwn.org/ 4 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) website, see http://www.idf.il/ resources/ppt/yohalan_eng.PPT 5 See Ellis Shuman, "Israel's first female combat pilot," Dateline, 25 June 2001. http://israeliculture.miningco.com/library/ weekly/aao625Oia.htm or Jerusalem Post, 29 June, 2001. 6 See Israel Women's Network website: http://www.iwn.org.il/ iwn.asp?subject=army.mdb&topic=Main%2oIssues&cName= Military 7 See Jewish Virtual Library website at: http://www.usisrael.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/femcom.html 8 See Maia Ridberg, "She's in the navy now," The Jerusalem Post, 8 June 2001, or Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, lojune 2001 http:/ /j post.com/Editions/ 2 oo 1/06/1 o/Features/ Features.2785O.html 9 Lt. Gabby Blum, quoted by Ilene R. Prusher, "Can a Glass Ceiling be Olive Drab?" Special to the Christian Science Monitor, Wednesday, 13 May 1998. http://www. csmonitor.com/durable/1 gg8/O5/13/p iS5.htm 10 See Ellis Shuman, "In the IDF, It's Combat Girls Vs. Yeshiva Guys," Dateline, 20 August 2001, http://israeliculture. about.com/library/weekly/aao82OOia.htm

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Notes to pages 122-8

1i See IDF Spokesperson's unit at http://www.idf.il/newsite/ english/1124-5 .stm 12 Personal interview with Revital, Jerusalem, 2 5 July, 1997. 13 "In Uniform: Social Encroachments," Israel Yearbook and Almanac 1996, see http://www.iyba.co.il/g6/soldiers.htm 14 Air Force commander Dan Halutz, quoted in Ellis Shuman, "Israel's first female combat pilot," Dateline, 25 June 2001. See http://israeliculture.miningco.com/library/weekly/ aao6a5oia.htm 15 See description of sexual harassment law on Israel Women's Network website at http://www.iwn.org/law/#employ 16 Izraeli quoted in Helen Schary Motro, "Indicting Inappropriate Behaviour: Israeli law counters sexist culture, gets tough on sexual harassment," The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, a 1 April 2000. 17 Menashe, quoted by Lisa Beyer, "War on Harassment: Israel cracks down on sexual harassment within its army," Time Europe, 3 July 2001, Vol. 155. No. 25. 18 Lisa Beyer, "War on Harassment: Israel cracks down on sexual harassment within its army," Time Europe, 3 July 2001, Vol. 155. No. 25. 19 "Anglos spearhead anti-Mordechai demo," Haaretz special for the on-line edition, 11 May 2001, see http://www2. haaretz.co,il/special/mordechai-e/a/363653.asp 20 Suzanne Goldenberg, "Two Steps Forward, one back for Israel's Women," Guardian Unlimited: World Dispatch, Friday, 23 March 2001. 21 See Haaretz, Friday, 26 March 1999. 22 Eetta Prince-Gibson, "Religious leaders attack IDF on the gender battlefield,"/ea>w/j Bulletin News of Northern California, 16 March 2001, see http://www.jewishsf.com/bkoiO3i6/ iidfwomen.shtml 23 "Gender skirmishes in the IDF," The Jerusalem Post internet edition, Monday, 6 August 2001.

Notes to pages 139-41

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CHAPTER EIGHT

1 The left-wing Meretz party obtained only six seats in the i6th Israeli Knesset (2003) compared to ten in the previous Knesset. 2 Lily Taubman of the Jerusalem Link; personal interview, Jerusalem, lojune, 2003. 3 Machsom Watch is a group of women who monitor human rights violations at Israeli army checkpoints, which separate the State of Israel from the Palestinian territories, 4 A group of feminist men and women who support demilitarization of Israeli society and the right to conscientious objection. 5 "Kvisa Shchora" (Black Laundry) is a direct action group of lesbians, gays, and transgenders against the Israeli Occupation and for social justice. 6 The Fifth Mother was founded by women long active in movements to withdraw the Israeli army from Lebanon, "The Four Mothers" and "Women in Black." 7 Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, "A Guide to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security," International Alert, December 2000. 8 The roadmap is the most recent permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict presented in U.S. President George W. Bush's speech of 24 June 2003 and welcomed by the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements. Press Statement, Office of the Spokesman, Washington, D.C., 30 April 2003. See http://www.cmep.org/ documents/roadmap.htm 9 See Israeli Defense Forces Spokesperson's unit at http:// www.idf.il/newsite/english/1124-5.5011

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Index

Abortion, 63-5 Abramov, Hani, 121 Adato, Orit, 117 Advisor for Women's Affairs to the IDF Chief of Staff, 118 Agudat Israel, 64 Agunot ("anchored women"), 58 Aloni, Shulamit, 50 Al-Aqsa Intifada, 139 Aliyah (wave of Jewish immigration), 32, 34 Anthias, Floya, 29 Arutz-'j, 104 Ashkenazi, 86 Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 119 Bakshi-Doron, Rabbi Eliahu, 128

Bat Shalom,, 79; and outreach, 87-9 Battlefield, 40—2 Begin, Menachem, 70 Beit Hadassah, 97-8 Ben Gurion, David, 61 Binyan Ha'aretz (land settlement), 34 Blum, Gabby, 121 Boirn, Joyce, 106 BTselem, 84 Carnp David, 70, 94 Chazan, Naomi, 83, 117 Citizens' Rights Movement, 50 Clinton, Bill, 105 Cockburn, Cynthia, 78 Combat, 49; and women, 112-28. See also Women in Combat, 112-28; religious

164

Index

opposition to, 127—8; and halachic principles, 127 Compulsory conscription, 46 Council of Women Workers, 36,37 Dagan, gg—101 Dai L'Kibbmh, 74 Defense Service Law, 117 Demographic struggle, 60, 137; demographic policies, 61; and Gush Emunim, 96 Domestic Violence, 66-7. See also Violence against Women, 42, 65 Drive-discharge model, 13 Elshtain, Jean Bethke, 39, 62 Enloe, Cynthia, i o Eretz Yismel Front, 94 Ethiopian Jewish women, 88 Extraparliamentary protest, 96 Feminism, 23; and difference 23; and demilitarized concept of citizenship, 41; methods, 24-5 Feminist peace ethic, 113 Fieldwork, 24 Fifth Mother movement, 140 Fogiel-Bijaoui, Sylvia, 36 Freedman, Marcia, 50, 65, 116 Freud, Sigmund, 13 Frontier women, 97, 108 Galili, Nir, 126 Gaza-Jericho Agreement, 78 Gender, 3, 7—8: and mainstreaming, 9-10, 132

Gesher (the Bridge), 74 Gilligan, Carol, 12 Golan, Galia, 46 Grant, Rebecca, 40, 115 Green Line, 90 Greenham Common, 14 Gulf War, 66 Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful), 92, 95, 110; and women, 95 Haganah, 45 Halakha (Jewish canon law), 55» !37> on abortion, 63 Halutz (pioneering male), 35 Handelman, Don, 62 Hashomer, 44 Hatikvah, 33 Hebron, 96; and Park Hotel, 96 Herzl, Theodor, 32 Higher Women's Council, 75 Histadrut (General Federation of Hebrew Labour), 35 Hizbullah (Party of God), 121 Home front, 40-2 Honig-Parnass, Tikva, 65 Independent organizing, 10-11; and women workers' movement, 35; and Israeli Women's peace movement, 74-5; and Women in Green, 91, 103 International Relations, 11-12: and exclusion of women 15—16 Intifada, 19, 68, 71, 135; and the Israeli women's peace movement, 73-4

Index Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, 66 Irgun, 45 Isacovich, Liza, 120 Israel, 5: and democracy, 5; armed conflict, 6-7; politics of resistance, 19—20; Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, 60 Israeli women's peace movement, 68-89, and crossnational partnership, 69 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), 7, 43; and role of parents, 59; and Air Force (Chel Avir), 118-19; and navy, 130; incorporation of hightechnology, 122; and sexual harassment, 123—6 Israel Women's Network, 48, 113, ng, 123, 138 Israeli Feminist Movement, 50 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, 78 Izraeli, Dafna, 124 Jabotinsky, Vladimir, 92 Jerusalem Link, 79-89, 13940; alternative organization model, 80-1; and sharing Jerusalem, 81, idea of cultural peace, 82; and dialogue group, 82-3; and redefining security, 83, on ethical dilemmas of security, 84; and motherhood, 85; and social justice, 85 Kahane, Rabbi Meir, 94 Kaskrut (dietary laws), 56

165

Ketuba, 7 Kibush Ha 'avoda, 34 Kibbutz galuyot (ingathering of the exiles), 32 Kiryat Arba, 97 Knesset (Israel's parliament), 50,61,63,75, 113, 116; and abortion issue, 65; and Sexual Harassment Prevention Law, 123 Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, 122,123-4. See also Parliamentary Cornmitte on the Status of Women, 113, 138 Kook, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen, 93 Kook, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Hacohen, 93 Kvisa Schora (Black Laundry), 140 Labour Party, 78 Land of Israel (Eretz Yurael), 92,93 Land of Israel Movement (LIM) (Hatenua Lemaan Yisrael Hashlema), 92, 94 Lebanon War, 19, 44, 135. See also Invasion of Lebanon, 44, 68, 69-70 Lechi, 45 Levinger, Miriam, 97 Levinger, Rabbi Moshe, 96-7 Likud Party, 78, 92, 139 Macdonald, Sharon, 113 Machsom Watch (Checkpoint Watch), 140

166

Index

Magen David, 32 Malestream, 8 Marcaz al-Quds la I'Nissah (The Jerusalem Center for Women), 79 Matar, Nadia, 99-103 Mechitza, 57 Meir, Golda, 7 Menashe, Carmela, 124 Menorah, 32 Meretz Party, 117 Middle East Peace Process, 19, 135 Miller, Alice, 119 Mizrahi, 86—9. See also Sephardi, 6, 43, 86 Mobilization-Marginalization phenomenon, 8, 17, 21 Mofaz, Shaul, 124 Moledet, 92 Mordechai, Yitzhak, 125 Motherhood, 12, 18; and pioneering women, 36; "heroine mothers," 61; patriotic mothering, 61-2; and the Jerusalem Link, 85; and Women in Green, 106-7; domestication of during warfare, 142 Movement of Democratic Women in Israel (Tandi), 74 Na 'amat, 66 National-Religious camp, 90; and women, 91 National Religious Party (NRP), 64, 92, 127 Nationalism, 28: progressive and regressive forces in, 29;

and control over women, 29-30 Naval Officers Course, 120 New Profile (Movement for the Civilization of Israeli Society), 140 Noga, 74 O'Connor, Sinead, 81 Oron, Israela, 117 Orthodox Judaism, 17-18, 53-7- 6 7> !37; and gender, 55-6; and divorce, 57 Oslo Agreements, 98. See also Oslo Accords, 79 Ottoman Millet system, 55 Pacifism, 12: and women's peace movements, 14 Pale of Settlement, 33 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 70 Palestinian National Authority (PNA), 98 Palmach, 45 Parents against Moral Erosion (Horim Neged Schika), 76-7 Parents against Silence (Horim Neged Shtikah), 72—3 Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women, 113, 138. See also Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, 122 Passover, 58 Patriarchy, 3; and patriarchal authority, 5 Patriotic motherhood, 8

Index Peace, 13; women's definition of, 13, 82; and Israeli women's peace movement, 68-89 Peace Now, 70; and Intifada, 76 Peace Quilt, 75 Personal status law, 53; and the Israeli family, 58 Peterson, V. Spike, 41 Postcolonial studies, 11; and feminism, 16 Poststructural feminism, z 2 Purim, 58 Rabin, Yitzhak, 105; assassination of, 105 Reardon, Betty, 13 Revisionist Movement, 92—93 Right of Return, 24, 54 Right to Fight, 113, 135, 138; critics of, 114—15 Riskin, Rabbi Shlomo, 101 Ruddick, Sara, 12; and ethic of care, 12 Safir, Marilyn, 50 Scud missile attacks, 66 Seeking Common Ground, 83 Sejera, 35 Sephardi, 6, 43, 86. See also Mizrahi, 86-8 Shamgar-Handelman, Lea, 62 Sharia (Islamic canon law), 55 Sharon, Ariel, 139 Shohat, Manya Wilbushewitz, 35 Six Day War, 93

167

"Status Quo," 54 Steans, Jill, 30 Svirsky, Gila, 73-4 Tallit, 32 Techiya (Renaissance), 92 Testosterone argument, 13 Tickner, J. Ann, 42 Token women, 115 Torah, 93; and Women in Green, 98 Unconventional vantage points, 10, 14 United Nations Security Council, 140; and Resolution 1325, 140 United States, 140; and Road Map, 140 Violence against women, 42, 65. See also Domestic Violence, 66-7 War of Independence, 116 Weiss, Daniella, 96 Wolf, Diane L., 25 Woman warrior, 109, 112 Women Against the Invasion of Lebanon, 70-2 Women Against the Occupation (Shani), 70, 75, 79 Women for Israel's Tomorrow, 90-111; and symbol of motherhood, 106-7. See Women in Green Women for Women Political Prisoners, 75, 79

i68

Index

Women in Black, 14, 75-6; hostility toward, 77—8, 79 Women in Combat, 112-28, 141; religious opposition to, 127-8. See also Combat, and women, 112—28; and halachic principles, 127 Women in Green, 90-111, 140; model of organization, 104; and symbol of motherhood, 106-7; and definition of peace, 107; and security, 108, regarding Jewish settlers, 109; and religious arguments, 110-11. See Women for Israel's Tomorrow. Women's Corps (Chen), 47-8, 117 Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 75 Women's International Zionist Organization (wizo), 66

Women's Party, 50-1 Women's peace movements, 14-15 Women's Peace Net (Reshet), 75. 79. 82 Yeshivot Hesder, 127 Yeshivot Merkaz Harav, 93, 95 Yishuv, 33—4, 46

Yom KippurWar, 49-50. See also 1973 War, 19,44,94 Yuval-Davis, Nira, 29 Zion, 31, 32 Zionism, 28, 31, Zionist Congress, 32: melting pot ideology, 32-3, and religious symbols, 54 Zones of Conflict, 4 Zones of Peace, 4 Zughayar, Ghada, 80 Zukerman, Roni, 120