“I Refused to Join the IDF”

 Although loosely related to the medical humanities, I think the ‘blob’ is quite interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it appropriates one of the most spiritual and holy remnants of Judaism (the Western Wall, ‘Kotel’) and ascribes a completely different meaning to it, a humanistic connotation which calls for social equality and anti-militarism/anti-violence in the Jewish State (‘Leftern’ wall).

I originally picked up from the post that the idea of reflecting on memory changes during the transition from childhood to adulthood; a (hyper-masculinised) rite of passage which you are socialised into can seem perfectly normal and indeed desirable when you are young, but then attitudes can change quite radically when the dice is rolled and life-directions change.

IDF recruits and hyper-masculinised posters Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/6476614247

IDF recruits and hyper-masculinised posters
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/6476614247

However, then I scratched beneath the surface and saw something quite remarkable that I am not sure receives due attention in my home department (Anthropology) or the Medical Humanities. Rothman used physical and mental health grounds to be exempt from obligatory military service after imprisonment for being a conscientious objector,which really illustrates how health, religion and identity can become bound together in the most unlikely scenarios.

via “I Refused to Join the IDF” (An Interview with Vice Magazine).

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