Rela Mazali (4/10/11)
Military men and institutions enjoy enormous privilege in Israel. Just take a look at the CV's of Israeli Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers. In the past decade, every Chief of Staff of the Israeli army has become a government minister within a year after leaving the army. In the last and the upcoming (2003) elections, both candidates for Prime Minister were/are ex-generals. Security, so-called, is prioritized in the national budget. In 2002, security spending in Israel amounted to 12% percent of the Gross Domestic Product; one of the highest figures in the world. In the US, for instance, it is 3.5%. In the major NATO countries it never exceeded 3%, even at the height of the cold war. Forty percent of Israel’s security budget is spent on the salaries of career soldiers, almost exclusively men, who are entitled to retire with full pension rights at age 45, and who then go on to a second career in politics or business, through the “swinging door” leading from the army to high-power jobs.
militarization, Occupation
Army training for West Bank civilians as Palestinians push for UN recognition
settlers, Occupation