"By your sword you shall live." This was God's ambivalent blessing to the biblical figure of Esau. And though the Jewish people should primarily be the descendants of Jacob, they still live by the sword, and not only metaphorically. In the history of the Jewish people this specific prophecy was unfortunately realized all too soon, becoming further manifested following the renewal of the Jewish people on their land at the beginning of the twentieth century. Not only did wars become an inherent part of Israel's history, but also the involvement of its citizens in the military became a critical turning point in the nation's mentality and behavior, as if the military had overwhelmed society and contaminated even the tiniest of Israel's citizens' practices. During the state's early days it was customary to contend that "all the country is [made up] of soldiers," as if to point at the nation's highest strength-its solidarity. But as time went by solidarity weakened and the concept of blind patriotism was revised, leaving the individual soldier alone on the nation's symbolic and concrete battlefield.
|Title of host publication
|Narratives of Dissent
|Subtitle of host publication
|War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture
|Wayne State University Press
|Number of pages
|Published - 2012
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2013 by Wayne State University Press. All rights reserved.
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