Haim Bresheeth-Žabner



Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar Haim Bresheeth-Žabner discusses his latest book, An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Force Made a Nation (2020) analysing the IDF within the larger project political project of Zionism. Reflecting upon his parents who survived Auschwitz, his birth in Cinecittà in a displaced persons’ camp, to his childhood and formative years in Israel growing up in an Arab house in Jaffa, Bresheeth-Žabner explains how his life and family heritage have informed his political values with a deep understanding of being displaced. Bresheeth-Žabner criticises the unnecessary formation of the Israeli state to resolve the refugee crisis after the Second World War while contending that the creation of Israel was emblematic of a state “where the value system of the army becomes the value system of a nation” noting that the IDF was never a defensive army but instead one of aggression. Discussing how international powers led to the dispossession of an entire nation of its home and the conterminous destruction that is connected to the Nakba (النكبة‎), Bresheeth-Žabner notes how Zionism was implemented to control power bases within the Middle East. Discussing recent accusations of anti-Semitism within the British Labour Party, Bresheeth-Žabner ridicules the tactics of aligning criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and details how he reported himself to the Labour Party as “anti-Semitic” according to its regulations two years before resigning from the party.