New Article: Niv-Solomon, An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006

Niv-Solomon, Anat. “When Risky Decisions Are Not Surprising: An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006.” Cooperation and Conflict (early view; online first).





On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah operatives crossed into Israel and attacked a military patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two more. In retaliation to this incident Israel launched a military operation that resulted in 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. The Israeli retaliation has been deemed to be severe and surprising. Furthermore, a public investigation commission established by the Israeli government implicated key decision-makers, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, as guilty of hasty and irresponsible decision-making. This article views this case through the lens of prospect theory, showing how the decision was made at the framing stage, and suggesting that this decision was not hasty but, rather, was consistent with the logic of loss-aversion.




New Article: Elbaz & Bar-Tal, Dissemination of Culture of Conflict in the Israeli Mass Media

Elbaz, Sagi, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Dissemination of Culture of Conflict in the Israeli Mass Media: The Wars in Lebanon as a Case Study.” Communication Review 19.1 (2016): 1-34.

Societies involved in intractable conflicts develop cultures of conflict because of experiences that have lasting effects on every aspect of collective life. One product of these cultures is conflict-supporting narratives that provide illumination, justification, and explanation of the conflict reality. These narratives are selective, biased, and distortive, but play an important role in satisfying the basic sociopsychological needs of the society members involved. In these societies, journalists often serve as agents in the formulation and dissemination of these conflict-supporting narratives. The present study analyzes the presentations of narratives of the culture of conflict among Jewish Israeli journalists during Israeli wars in Lebanon. It elucidates the dominant themes of the narratives by content analysis of the news published in newspapers and broadcast on television. In addition, in order to reveal the practices used by journalists in obtaining, selecting, and publishing the news, in-depth interviews with journalists and politicians have been conducted.




New Article: Marcus, The Israeli Revolution in Military Affairs and the Road to the 2006 Lebanon War

Marcus, Raphael D. “The Israeli Revolution in Military Affairs and the Road to the 2006 Lebanon War.” In Reassessing the Revolution in Military Affairs: Transformation, Evolution and Lessons Learnt (ed.Jeffrey Collins and Andrew Futter; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 92-111.



In the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel launched an investigative committee known as the Winograd Commission to analyze the factors that contributed to the relatively lackluster performance of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Commission identified three dominant trends that affected the IDF’s operational concept and modus operandi in 2006 and that may have contributed to the IDF’s shortcomings.1 (1) The influence of the “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA), the American-formulated military concept that emerged in the 1990s that espoused the perceived benefits of advances in military technology, intelligence, and precision targeting for military operations. The RMA was viewed in Israel as having unique attributes that correlated with the IDF’s distinct operational and social circumstances, and would improve its overall warfighting capabilities. (2) The prevalence of “asymmetric” opponents with access to technologically-sophisticated weaponry, embedded in dense urban environments, and focused on waging attritional warfare brought new operational challenges that made the achievement of traditional “battlefield decision” more difficult. (3) Deep societal shifts were affecting the IDF’s role in Israeli society as the “people’s army” — made up of conscripts and a large reservist force. Increased risk aversion in society and a lower tolerance for large-scale military operations due to fear of incurring casualties had a subtle but significant effect on the role of the army in society, the IDF’s fighting spirit, and willingness to utilize reservist units.




New Article: Bodas et al, Perception of the Threat of War in Israel

Bodas, Moran, Maya Siman-Tov, Shulamith Kreitler, and Kobi Peleg. “Perception of the Threat of War in Israel – Implications for Future Preparedness Planning.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).





It has been recently reported that the preparedness of the Israeli public to a war scenario is mediocre. These findings suggest a need to study the psychosocial mechanisms behind individual motivation to engage in preparedness behavior. One component of these mechanisms is the perception of threat. The purpose of this study is to portray the perception of the threat of war by the Israeli public and to deduce possible implications for resilience-promoting policies.

Portions of the data accumulated in a telephone-based random sampling of 503 households (representing the Israeli population) performed in October 2013 were utilized to examine the perception of the threat of war by Israelis. The questionnaire was used to examine the level of household preparedness, as well as attitudes toward perception of threat, preparedness responsibility, willingness to search for information, and sense of preparedness. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlations between different components of threat perception, and to evaluate the preparedness promoting features of specific perception factors.

The data suggest that the perception of threat is influenced by different socio-demographic factors. In particular, age, religion and education seem to play an important role in the perception of threat. Compared to data collected almost a decade ago, the likelihood perception and threat intrusiveness rates were significantly reduced. The regression analysis suggests that perception of the severity of the impact on a family’s routine and willingness to search for information, two known preparedness promoting factors, can be predicted by various socio-demographic and threat perception components.

The data suggest that the Israeli public, post the Second Lebanon War (2006) and the Gaza conflicts of 2009 and 2012, perceives the probabilities of war and being affected by it as diminished. The Israeli public demonstrates what can be considered as the unique characteristics of a war-victimized population. Implications for a future resilience-promoting policy were discussed.



New Article: Ben-Moshe, Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel

Ben-Moshe, Liat. “Movements at War? Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel.” In Occupying Disability. Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability (ed. Pamela Block et al.; Dordrecht and New York: Springer, 2016): 47-61.





At the time of the first major disability protest in Israel in 1999 and then in 2000-2001, there were already many anti-occupation and peace organizations at play in Israel/Palestine. While participating in this budding disability movement, I began reflecting on my experiences of simultaneously being an Israeli anti-occupation activist and disabled activist publically fighting for the first time for disability rights. In the summer of 2006 I conducted research in Israel, trying to assess any changes that occurred since 2000 in the connections between the movements and within the disability movement itself. And then the war on Lebanon began. My intention in writing this chapter is to highlight the connections between disability activism and anti-war and anti-occupation activism, which seems to be at war with one another but in fact intersect in important ways. I hope this narrative and analysis will be useful for material resistance as well as a reflection on our current states of exclusion in activism and scholarship.



New Article: Marcus, Military Innovation and Tactical Adaptation in the Israel–Hizballah Conflict

Marcus, Raphael D. “Military Innovation and Tactical Adaptation in the Israel–Hizballah Conflict: The Institutionalization of Lesson-Learning in the IDF.” Journal of Strategic Studies 38.4 (2015): 500-28.





This article highlights a pattern of military adaptation and tactical problem-solving utilized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while engaged in protracted conflict with the Lebanese militant group Hizballah. It discusses the IDF’s recent attempts to institutionalize their historically intuitive process of ad-hoc learning by developing a formal tactical-level mechanism for ‘knowledge management’. The diffusion of this battlefield lesson-learning system that originated at lower-levels of the organization is examined, as well as its implementation and effectiveness during the 2006 Lebanon War. A nuanced analysis of IDF adaptation illustrates the dynamic interplay between both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ processes of military innovation.


New Article: Freilich; National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl

Freilich, Charles (Chuck) D. “Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl.” Comparative Strategy 34.2 (2015): 117-32.





The article is a first attempt to systematically assess the impact of leaks on Israeli decision-making. Five major cases were studied on three levels: whether leaks affected the process, policies adopted, and outcomes. Leaks had a strong impact in two cases, but not on the policies adopted, or outcomes, in any of the cases analyzed. As a tentative conclusion, most leaks are about Israel’s broad strategic thinking and the politics thereof, rather than hard information. The primary impact is on process, important in itself, not substance.


Reviews: Craig, International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security

Craig, Alan. International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security. The Strategic Deployment of Lawyers in the Israeli Military. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2013.





Bendor, Ariel. “Review.” Israel Studies Review 29.2 (2014): 155-157.

Belge, Ceren. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.1 (2015): 179-180.

New Article: Henkin, Multidirectional Warfare in the Second Lebanon War

Henkin, Yagil. “On Swarming: Success and Failure in Multidirectional Warfare, from Normandy to the Second Lebanon War.” Defence Studies 14.3 (2014): 310-32.






In recent years, the idea of ‘swarming’ – that is, simultaneous multidirectional attack or maneuver by large number of independent or semi-independent small units – became a subject of a heated debate. Some believe this is the future of warfare, while others see this belief as ridiculous and dangerous. In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), specifically, swarming was heralded as the new way of war before the 2006 Second Lebanon War. But during and after the war, the word itself was turned into a derogatory term, symbolizing all that was wrong with the IDF’s performance: relying on new, untested and unrealistic concepts to pretend that the Army has a silver bullet which will solve its problems quickly and easily, ignoring reality in the process. This article draws on six historical case studies, from the American airborne operation in the Normandy Invasion to the Second Lebanon War, to examine the method of swarming, its relevance and its uses. Finally, the article concludes that Swarming is not a revolutionary method, and not ‘The future of conflict’. However it is a very useful method in certain situations, provided that commanders know and understand its possibilities and limitations.

New Article: Naber and Zaatari, Feminist and LGBTQ Activism in the Context of the 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

Naber, Nadina and Zeina Zaatari. “Reframing the War on Terror: Feminist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Activism in the Context of the 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon.” Cultural Dynamics 26.1 (2014): 91-111.





This article seeks to expand the kinds of questions we ask about the diverse militarized campaigns referred to collectively as the “war on terror,” the grassroots resistance to these wars, and efforts committed to creating a world without destruction and killing. Shifting the focus of this feminist critique of war away from the center of power (the empire) to the everyday lives of feminist and queer activists living the war on terror from the ground up, this article examines a distinct feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social movement that worked to respond to and resist the US-backed Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. We argue along with our interlocutors in Lebanon that asymmetrical systems of gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and family are entangled in the historical conditions of transnational capital, empire, and war, and necessitate an intersectional approach that refuses to impose false binaries or hierarchies on a complex social reality. We conclude by arguing the importance of reframing the war on terror and reimagining feminist and LGBTQ policies as a critique of the post-racial discourse, beyond dominant imperialist and nationalist discourses, which are exclusionary, sexist, and homophobic in different ways.

Reviews: Levy, Israel’s Death Hierarchy

Levy, Yagil. Israel’s Death Hierarchy. Casualty Aversion in a Militarized Democracy. New York: NYU Press, 2012.



ToC: Israel Affairs, 19.4 (2013)

Israel Affairs: Volume 19, Issue 4, 2013


Anatomy of decline: Anglo-Soviet competition in the Middle East, 1956–67

Moshe Gat
pages 603-622

The impact of the cold war on the Thatcher government’s Middle East policy

Azriel Bermant
pages 623-639


Ending the Second Lebanon War: the interface between the political and military echelons in Israel

Shmuel Tzabag
pages 640-659

The ‘Annapolis Process’: a chronology of failure

Amira Schiff
pages 660-678


War and peace in Judaism and Islam

Moshe Cohen
pages 679-692


A reassessment of the 1967 Arab oil embargo

Joseph Mann
pages 693-703


Paradigmatic changes in perceptions of disciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching in Israeli higher education system: fad or challenge?

Nitza Davidovitch
pages 704-712


Election year economics and political budget cycle in Israel – myth or reality

Tal Shahor
pages 713-730


Review Essay

The politics of the Israeli Pantheon

Nissim Leon
pages 731-734


Book Reviews

60 years: Israel navy

David Rodman
pages 735-736


Legacy: a genetic history of the Jewish people

David Rodman
page 736


Mossad; Spies against Armageddon: inside Israel’s secret wars

David Rodman
pages 737-738


Moshe Dayan: Israel’s controversial hero

David Rodman
pages 738-739


Abdullah al-Tall, Arab Legion officer: Arab nationalism and opposition to the Hashemite regime

David Rodman
pages 739-740


Israel: the will to prevail

David Rodman
pages 740-741


The promise of Israel: why its seemingly greatest weakness is actually its greatest strength

David Rodman
pages 741-742


Judah in the Neo-Babylonian period: the archaeology of desolation

David Rodman
pages 742-743


Struggling over Israel’s soul: an IDF general speaks of his controversial moral decisions

David Rodman
pages 743-744


Asset test: how the United States benefits from its alliance with Israel

David Rodman
pages 744-746


Editorial Board

Editorial Board

Cite: Samaan, The Dahya Concept and Israeli Military Posture vis-à-vis Hezbollah Since 2006

Samaan, Jean-Loup. “The Dahya Concept and Israeli Military Posture vis-à-vis Hezbollah Since 2006.” Comparative Strategy 32.2 (2013): 146-59.





Since 2008, the Dahya concept has been portrayed by journalists, independent experts, and scholars as an official policy of Israel to address the threat of Hezbollah in Lebanon. However, there has been no official Israeli document formulating a Dahya strategy. Although this Dahya concept is not officially endorsed by the Israeli Defense Forces, it is a key reflection of the state of the Israeli military vis-à-vis Hezbollah debate since the 2006 war. This debate reflects a significant evolution of Israeli threat assessment and the remedies for these challenges. It acknowledges not only the political support and military strength of the Lebanese organization, but also its rationality. Conceding the extreme difficulty of dismembering Hezbollah’s power, the Dahya concept postulates a deterrence system that, as a matter of fact, finds its roots in traditional Israeli strategic doctrine.

Cite: Ghosn and Khoury, The 2006 War in Lebanon: Reparations? Reconstruction? Or Both?

Ghosn, Faten and Amal Khoury. “The Case of the 2006 War in Lebanon: Reparations? Reconstruction? Or Both?.” International Journal of Human Rights 17.1 (2013): 1-17.



The Lebanese government took an interesting path to recovery after the July 2006 War. It embarked on a mission to both compensate the victims of the war – a challenge to the traditional reparation model – and to rebuild the country. This article examines the Lebanese case by presenting the path the national government took in the aftermath of the war, analysing Lebanon’s decision to create a unique scheme – the adoption method – in its road to recovery, investigating the advantages and disadvantages of their approach, and last but not least providing some lessons learned on how individual reparations can be provided for victims of international humanitarian law in cases where there is no agreement in place.

Cite: Tidy, The Social Construction of Identity: Israeli Foreign Policy and the 2006 War in Lebanon

Tidy, Joanna. “The Social Construction of Identity: Israeli Foreign Policy and the 2006 War in Lebanon.” Global Society – ahead of print.



This article uses a constructivist analysis to consider the social construction of identity and the Israeli military action in Lebanon in 2006. Strands of meaning, constructive of a collective sense of self, emerged out of historical continuities, interacted and were made meaningful in relation to each other around the issue of the Hezbollah threat in 2006. They framed, contextualised and constituted that policy issue to form a situated and contingent identity of the possible, within which the policy decisions that produced the second Lebanon War were taken. Whilst a body of work has resulted from engagement with this conflict, and a well established literature discusses Israeli identity, little has been done to bring the two together and consider in detail the role of identity in constructing the 2006 war as possible and desirable for Israel. This is the focus and contribution of this article. Domestically, the institutional context of the 2006 Knesset elections revealed a national identity in which the multi-faceted vulnerability identity and Fighting Jew identity were salient, interacting strands. The narratives of ordeal, existential threat, and self-reliance acted to increase the power of the Fighting Jew identity, predicated on a faith in military solutions to threats. These ideas came up against and were rearticulated in the context of the global “War on Terror” to make the war in 2006 both possible and desirable.

Cite: Dakhlallah, The Arab League in Lebanon: 2005–2008

Dakhlallah, Farah. “The Arab League in Lebanon: 2005–2008.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 25.1 (2012): 53-74.





Contrary to expectations, the Arab League has emerged as an active player in the Middle East region over the past decade. The League’s roles in negotiations to end the 2006 Israel–Lebanon War and in the brokering of the 2008 Doha Agreement between warring Lebanese factions present two instances of ‘partial’ and ‘direct’ contributions to success in resolving major extra-systemic and minor internal conflicts. These developments are part of a global trend of the regionalization or decentralization of security in the post-Cold-War context.

ToC: Bustan (Middle East Book Review) 2 (2011)

Several Book Reviews of interest in Bustan: The Middle East Book Review, issue 2, 2011:


– Itamar Rabinovich on Laura Zittrain Eisenberg and Neil Caplan, Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: Patterns, Problems, Possibilities (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), 45-47.

– Josef Joffe on George W. Bush, Decision Points (New York: Crown Publishing, 2010), 51-54.

– Itamar Rabinovich on Neil Caplan,The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories (Contesting the Past Series; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 59-61.


You can see full Table of Contents here:


Also, note that the first issue is offered for free browse, and includes, among others, the following reviews:


– Itamar Rabinovich, “Making Peace and Writing about It,” 21-28.

– Eyal Zisser, “Israelis Confront the Second Lebanon War,” 29-43.

– Eyal Zisser on Yigal Kipnis, The Mountain that was as a Monster: The Golan between Syria and Israel (Heb.); Michael Milstein, Mukawama, The Challenge of Resistance to Israel’s National Security Concept (Heb.); Götz Nordbruch, Nazism in Syria and Lebanon: The Ambivalence of the German Option, 1933-1945. 45-46

– Asher Susser on Marwan Muasher, The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation; Benny Morris, One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict. 47-49

– Ephraim Lavie on As’ad Ghanem, Palestinian Politics after Arafat: A Failed National Movement. 54-57

Cite: Lahav, Women in the Israeli TV Coverage of the Second Lebanon War

Lahav, Hagar. "The Giver of Life and the Griever of Death: Women in the Israeli TV Coverage of the Second Lebanon War (2006)." Communication, Culture & Critique 3,2 (2010): 242-269.


This article discusses gender aspects of the journalistic coverage of the Second Lebanon War by Israeli TV. The findings reveal that, in the social reality presented in the TV news during the war, women were relegated to the periphery by a complex process of exclusionary representation. Three primary subprocesses produced this exclusionary representation of women: concealing, transparency, and constructing women’s presence and gendered images. This representation framed the war as "men’s business," and unjustly legitimizes as well as normalizes their marginal position in the context of the Israeli–Arab conflict. An analysis of the symbolic reality devised by the media exposes the gender and ethnic components of Israel’s inclusion (and exclusion) regime.




Keywords: 2006 War, Israel: Media, Israel: Culture, Gender, Femininity, Israeli-Arab Conflict, Israel: Society, Ethnic Divide, Television, הגר להב

New Publication: Pedahzur, Israeli Secret Services

Ami Pedahzur. The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.


Keywords: Israel: Security and Defense, Israel: Secret Services, Mossad, Shabak, Terrorism, Hostages, Lebanon, West Bank, Gaza, Iran, Hezbollah, 2006 War, Second Lebanon War, עמי פדהצור