The people’s army “enemising” the people: The COVID-19 case of Israel

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were deployed extensively relative to other democracies’ militaries to combat the coronavirus during 2020–1. Ostensibly, the military’s engagements are instrumental in addressing the pandemic due to its resources and hierarchical discipline, and especially in light of its centrality in Israel. However, problems remain concerning this deployment, the most prominent and relevant to the case of Israel being the high legitimacy that the Israeli public afforded this policy, especially given the alternative options available to the government. Motivated by this conundrum, I present a circular argument: securitisation legitimised the deployment of the military and in turn, this deployment, constitutive of the discourse of securitisation, further legitimised securitisation. Consequently, Israel could legitimately adopt an enemy-oriented approach to deal with the crisis, an approach that ‘enemises’ the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-123
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of International Security
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Discourse
  • Militarisation
  • Role Expansion
  • Securitisation


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