Major contemporary trends in civil-military relations in Israel

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Crises in civil–military relations in Israel have led to an attenuation of the army’s resources, reduction in its political support, decline of its symbols and even its gradual abandonment by social elites. I argue that the key to understanding this process lies in changes to the IDF’s model of recruitment that generated a social realignment of the military’s makeup and, in turn, shaped major trends in civil–military relations. These trends include the emergence of a submissive bereavement discourse that made sacrificing Israeli soldiers less tolerable; religionization of the IDF with the tensions that it created between religious and secular segments of society; remilitarization of Israeli-Jewish society following the second Intifada (2000); struggle for control over the IDF that emerged between the old, secular elites and those of the new religious right; creation of the policing army in the West Bank as distinguished from the entire “official army”; and changes in civilian control that created tensions between the increased level of such control and the militarization of society.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on Contemporary Israel
EditorsGuy Ben-Porat, Dany Filc, Julia Mirski, Yariv Feniger, Paula Kabalo
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000591149
ISBN (Print)9780429281013, 9780367236526
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2022

RAMBI publications

  • Israel -- Tseva haganah le-Yiśraʼel -- Public opinion
  • Israel -- Tseva haganah le-Yiśraʼel -- Political activity
  • Civil-military relations -- Israel -- History
  • Israel -- Social conditions


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