ToC: Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Table of Contents

Articles

Reviews

  • Uri Ram, The Return of Martin Buber: National and Social Thought in Israel from Buber to the Neo-Buberians [in Hebrew].
  • Christopher L. Schilling, Emotional State Theory: Friendship and Fear in Israeli Foreign Policy.
  • Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby, Popular Protest in Palestine: The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance.
  • Erella Grassiani, Soldiering under Occupation: Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Assaf Meydani, The Anatomy of Human Rights in Israel: Constitutional Rhetoric and State Practice.
  • Yael Raviv, Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel.
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ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

Bulletin: Military and Soldiers

Articles

Bulletin: Religion in Israel

Books:

Articles:

Reviews:

 

94263

New Article: O’Connell, The ‘Lessons Learned’ Trap and the Israeli Armoured Experience

O’Connell, Damien. “The ‘Lessons Learned’ Trap and How to Avoid It: Drawing from the Israeli Armoured Experience, 1948-1973.” Journal on Baltic Security 2.1 (2016): 117-28.

 

URL: http://www.baltdefcol.org/files/files/JOBS/JOBS.02.1.pdf#page=121 (PDF)

 

Abstract

The following essay explores some of the problems with “lessons learned.” It offers a few tentative observations on the limitations and dangers of lessons. To illustrate these (but not necessarily prove them), it then looks at the experiences of the Israel Defence Forces, particularly its armoured forces, from 1948 to 1973. Finally, three recommendations discuss how military organizations might reduce the danger of lessons leading them astray.

 

 

 

New Article: Weiss, How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance

Weiss, Erica. “Incentivized Obedience: How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance.” American Anthropologist 118.1 (2016): 91-103.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aman.12501
 

Abstract

In this article, I offer an ethnographic examination of neoliberal techniques of control through absence by the Israeli military, the state institution most associated with discipline, indoctrination, and direct coercion. I highlight the ways that the apparent withdrawal of the state from practices of indoctrination and the punishment of conscientious objectors are accompanied by a shift in recruitment and training that emphasizes self-advancement and social mobility above national and ideological commitments. While in the past the Israeli state and military focused exclusively on shaping self-sacrificing citizens, today it invests a great deal of its effort in structuring the calculated choices of self-interested individuals toward favorable outcomes. I explore the uneven but strategic deployment of incentivized governance and consider some of the effects of these techniques for the meaning of engaged citizenship and the politics of state violence in a militarized society. Further, I demonstrate that the lightening of disciplinary sanctions in favor of individual freedom is an effective form of weakening dissent and that it confounds efforts to constitute organized resistance to militarism, leaving activists floundering to find effective ways to express their political concerns.

 

 

 

New Article: Watkins & James, The Sophisticated Tunneling Network of Hamas

Watkins, Nicole J., and Alena M. James. “Digging Into Israel: The Sophisticated Tunneling Network of Hamas.” Journal of Strategic Security 9.1 (2016): 84-103.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.9.1.1508

 

Abstract

By the end of Operation Protective Edge in August 2014, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) claimed to have discovered and destroyed more than 30 tunnels spanning from beneath Gaza into Israeli territory. Hamas officials have praised these tunnels as an innovative approach to fighting an asymmetric war with a far more conventionally powerful Israel. The purpose of this case study is to examine the complexity of Hamas’ vast tunneling network by assessing the motivations behind the group’s decision to construct the network, to identify the factors that enabled Hamas to engage in such a complex engineering task, and to assess the level of effectiveness of the tunnel network both strategically and tactically against the IDF.

 

 

 

Thesis: Gilichinskaya, IDF Soldiers in Recent Israeli and Palestinian Cinema

Gilichinskaya, Yulia. All Sides of a Soldier: Representation of IDF Soldiers in Recent Israeli and Palestinian Cinema, MFA Thesis. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2016.

 

URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/10/01/10013504.html

 

Abstract

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is a powerful military structure that defines social and cultural discourse in addition to existing as a military body in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories. Cinematic representations of IDF soldiers in recent Israeli and Palestinian cinema are emblematic of the social and cultural processes accompanying the development of the conflict. Responding to the events following the Second Intifada, Israeli and Palestinian films began to represent IDF soldiers in new ways. Soldiers depicted as victims, as members of marginalized groups, or in the background of the narrative appear in recent Israeli films. Palestinian cinema after 2000 offers representations of the IDF as the military machine and on the periphery of the plot.

 

 

 

New Book: Natanel, Sustaining Conflict

Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

 

9780520285262

 

Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.

 

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Everyday of Occupation
    • 2 Bordered Communities
    • 3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
    • 4 Embedded (In)action
    • 5 Protesting Politics
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

 

KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

New Book: Kahanoff, Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering Their Identities

Kahanoff, Maya. Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering Their Identities. Transformations in Dialogue. Lanham and London: Lexington Books and Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute, 2016.

 

1498504981

 

Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering their Identities reveals the powerful potential of inter-group dialogues to transform identities and mutually negating relations. Using meetings with Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arabian students who attend the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as case studies, Kahanoff examines the hidden psychological dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and illustrates how each participant’s sense of identity shifted in response to encounters with conflicting perspectives. Kahanoff contends that an awareness of the limitations of dialogue, without the renunciation of its value, is the most realistic basis upon which to build a sustainable agreement. This book is recommended for scholars of psychology, sociology, religious studies, political science, and communication studies.

 

Table of Contents

  • Part I. Center Stage Conversations
  • Chapter One: Split Discourse: Jews and Arabs Converse
  • Part II. Behind the Scenes
  • Chapter Two: Internal Jewish-Israeli Dialogues
  • Chapter Three: Internal Palestinian-Arab Dialogues
  • Part III. Inner/Hidden Dialogues
  • Chapter Four: Jewish Israeli Dilemmas
  • Chapter Five: Palestinian Arab Dilemmas

  • Chapter Six: Theoretical Aftertalks: Dialogical Transformations

 

MAYA KAHANOFF is lecturer at the Swiss Center Graduate Program for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution and associate research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Thesis: Olafsdottir, The Druze and the Zionists in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Olafsdottir, Gunnhildur Eva. The Druze and the Zionists in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: An Inter-Ethnic Alliance, BA Thesis. Haverford, Pa.: Haverford College, 2015.
 
URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/26366/
 
Abstract

The Druze community is an Arab minority with populations inhabiting Israel/Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. They are distinct from other Arabs in the region due to their religion and culture, yet in Israel/Palestine, they participate in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) alongside Israelis. In 1956 the Druze Conscription Agreement was passed into law requiring all non-religious Druze males to participate in the IDF. However, the Druze fought alongside the Zionists long before 1956, and even before the establishment of the Israeli State in 1948. The Druze have a unique history in the region unlike the histories of other Arabs and the Zionists, and this unique history is an element that has had a major influence on the relations with the Zionists and other Arabs. The Druze are the only Arab minority in Israel/Palestine that are required to participate in the IDF. What is puzzling about this fact is that at first glance the Druze have far more in common with other Arabs than they do with Zionists in terms of their shared Arabic language and Arab ethnic origins. The goal of this thesis is to understand why the Druze have a generally good relationship with the Zionists and a bad relationship with other Arabs. In addition, this thesis will focus on the puzzle of why this Arab minority participates in the IDF by analyzing the Druze-Zionist/Israeli alliance that emerged before 1948 and has continued through the present.

 

 

 

Conference: Israel and the Media (Brandeis, April 3-4, 2016)

Israel and the Media

A public conference
 
Sunday, April 3 – Monday, April 4, 2016


Brandeis University

Sunday, April 3rd – Olin-Sang Auditorium

Monday, April 4th – Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center
Keynote speaker Ethan Bronner, senior editor at Bloomberg News and former Jerusalem bureau chief at The New York Times, will deliver the inaugural Ilan Troen Lecture on Contemporary Israel Affairs.  The program includes a roundtable discussion with leading journalists and panels on “The Changing Landscape of the Media,” “Israeli Media and Portrayal of the Conflict,” and “Coverage of Israel by Jewish Newspapers.”  Click here for Program and registration.
 
Cosponsored by the Israel Institute.

PROGRAM

SUNDAY APRIL 3: Olin-Sang Auditorium, Mandel Quad

3:00 PM Coffee

3:30 PM Welcome
Lisa M. Lynch, Interim President, Brandeis University

3:35 PM Introduction and Inauguration of the Ilan Troen Lecture on Contemporary Israel Affairs
David Ellenson, director of the Schusterman Center and visiting professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

3:40 PM The Ilan Troen Lecture on Contemporary Israel Affairs
Inaugural Speaker: Ethan Bronner, senior editor at Bloomberg News and former Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times

5:00 PM Coffee Break

5:15 PM Roundtable discussion: Israel and the Media
Ethan Bronner, senior editor at Bloomberg News
Jodi Rudoren, deputy international editor, The New York Times
Jeff Jacoby, Op-Ed columnist, The Boston Globe

6:45 PM End of Sunday’s program

MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2016: Sherman Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

8:30 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Changing Landscape of the Media
Joshua Benton, director, Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University
Aliza Landes, Captain (Reserve), IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, and a dual MBA/MPA student at Harvard and MIT Universities
Anne Herzberg, legal advisor to the NGO Monitor

10:30 AM Coffee Break

10:45 AM Israeli Media and Portrayal of the Conflict

Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, founding director, Wasatia Academic Graduate Institute, Jerusalem; Visiting Weston Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Yoram Peri, Jack Kay Professor of Israel Studies and director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, University of Maryland
Shlomi Eldar, columnist for Al-Monitor’s “The Pulse of the Middle East” and research fellow at the Taub Center for Israel Studies, New York University

Menahem Milson, professor emeritus of Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and co-founder and academic adviser of MEMRI

12:15 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Coverage of Israel by Jewish Newspapers
Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Forward
Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York
Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief, Tribe Media Corporation – producer of The Jewish Journal and Jewish Insider
Liel Leibovitz, senior writer for Tablet Magazine and co-host of the podcast Unorthodox

3:00 PM Conference Conclusion
Rachel Fish, associate director of the Schusterman Center

3:30 PM End of Program

New Book: Feldman, A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land

Feldman, Jackie. A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 
Feldman

 

For many Evangelical Christians, a trip to the Holy Land is an integral part of practicing their faith. Arriving in groups, most of these pilgrims are guided by Jewish Israeli tour guides. For more than three decades, Jackie Feldman—born into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York, now an Israeli citizen, scholar, and licensed guide—has been leading tours, interpreting Biblical landscapes, and fielding questions about religion and current politics. In this book, he draws on pilgrimage and tourism studies, his own experiences, and interviews with other guides, Palestinian drivers and travel agents, and Christian pastors to examine the complex interactions through which guides and tourists “co-produce” the Bible Land. He uncovers the implicit politics of travel brochures and religious souvenirs. Feldman asks what it means when Jewish-Israeli guides get caught up in their own performances or participate in Christian rituals, and reflects on how his interactions with Christian tourists have changed his understanding of himself and his views of religion.

 

Table of Contents

  • 1. How Guiding Christians Made Me Israeli
  • 2. Guided Holy Land Pilgrimage—Sharing the Road
  • 3. Opening Their Eyes: Performance of a Shared Protestant-Israeli Bible Land
  • 4. Christianizing the Conflict: Bethlehem and the Separation Wall
  • 5. The Goods of Pilgrimage: Tips, Souvenirs, and the Moralities of Exchange
  • 6. The Seductions of Guiding Christians
  • 7. Conclusions: Pilgrimage, Performance, and the Suspension of Disbelief

 

JACKIE FELDMAN a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is author of Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity. He has been a licensed tour guide in Jerusalem for over three decades.

 

 

 

New Article: Kavaloski, Exploring Homeland through Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!

Kavaloski, Laini. “Contested Spaces in Graphic Narrative: Exploring Homeland through Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!: An American Girl’s Adventures in the Israeli Army.” Studies in Comics 6.2 (2015): 231-51.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/stic.6.2.231_1

 

Abstract

‘Contested spaces in graphic narrative’ argues that spatiality in graphic narratives is conducive to restructuring fraught landscapes. Through an exploration of the contested homelands of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!: An American Girl’s Adventures in the Israeli Army (2008), this article argues that graphic narratives have a unique ability to depict geographical spaces through lines, panels and various artistic devices. Like maps, such lines and boxes on a page physically create borders and represent corresponding location as bounded; they may represent existing political divisions, or they may subvert and push state-drawn boundaries. These devices within the graphic form open up a recognition of the ways that boundaries obfuscate the multifaceted representations of identity that include multiple nationalisms, ideological discontinuities, as well as human-centred spatial connections. Graphic form, then, becomes a landscape that allows for a complex visual understanding of affective attachment to the state through possibilities of graphic, bordered texts that cut across traditional understandings of territoriality and occupation. Libicki’s status as an outsider and as a woman in the Israel Defense Forces emphasizes her position of precarity in traditional conceptions of the Biblical Jewish homeland as well as in Israel, the modern Jewish state.

 

 

 

New Article: Harel-Shalev & Daphna-Tekoah, Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet, and Shir Daphna-Tekoah. “Gendering Conflict Analysis: Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences.” In Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace. Challenging Gender in Violence and Post-Conflict Reintegration (ed. Seema Shekhawat; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 69-83.

 
9781137516558
 

Abstract

Catharine MacKinnon, in her oft-cited article, portrays an imaginary heavenly encounter between a female combat soldier and a feminist activist — … ‘a dialogue between women in the after-life: The feminist says to the [female] soldier, “we fought for your equality.” The soldier says to the feminist, “oh, no, we fought for your equality”…’ In their dialogue, both fight for acknowledgement of their relative contribution to promoting women in society. As Barak-Erez pointed out, “military service has traditionally been considered one of the most distinctive signs of full citizenship, and the exclusion of women from military service has been inseparable from their lower civic status”. Nevertheless, women’s struggle for equal participation in the military and for equality is often criticized. Scholars have indicated that this process has many negative side effects, including reinforcing militarism, encouraging the militarization of women’s lives and even legitimizing the use of force.

 

 

 

New Article: Rosman-Stollman & Israeli, Transition of the Israeli Soldier’s Media Image from the Collective to an Individual

Rosman-Stollman, Elisheva, and Zipi Israeli. “‘Our Forces’ Become Alexei, Yuval and Liran: The Transition of the Israeli Soldier’s Media Image from the Collective to an Individual.” Res Militaris 5.2 (2015).

 
URL: http://resmilitaris.net/ressources/10223/04/res_militaris_article_rosman-stollman___israeli_our_forces_become_alexei__yuval_and_liran.pdf [PDF]
 
Extract

This article will look at the complex idea of identity and examine the transition from collective to individual representation through the media image of soldiers in Israel. Soldiers, and the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in general, enjoy a uniquely central position in Israeli society, as will be described at length below. Civil-military scholars in Israel agree that soldiers are a source of public pride and national ethos. Few images in Israel attract as much public attention as soldiers do. For this reason, examining the identity of soldiers is telling of social trends in Israeli society at large and can serve as a litmus test for more general changes in Israeli identity.

 

 

 

New Article: Shelef et al, An Effective Suicide Prevention Program in the IDF

Shelef, L., L. Tatsa-Laur, E. Derazne, J.J. Mann, and E. Fruchter. “An Effective Suicide Prevention Program in the Israeli Defense Forces: A Cohort Study.” European Psychiatry 31 (2016): 37-43.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.10.004

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness of the IDF Suicide Prevention Program, implemented since 2006.

Design

Quasi-experimental (before and after) cohort study.

Participants

Two cohorts of IDF mandatory service soldiers: the first inducted prior to (1992–2005, n = 766,107) and the second subsequent to (2006–2012, n = 405,252) the launching of the intervention program.

Exposure

The IDF Suicide Prevention Program is a population-based program, incorporating: reducing weapon availability, de-stigmatizing help-seeking behavior, integrating mental health officers into service units, and training commanders and soldiers to recognize suicide risk factors and warning signs.

Main outcome measure

Suicide rate and time to suicide in cohorts before and after exposure to the Suicide Prevention Program.

Results

Trend analysis showed lower suicide rates in the cohort after intervention. The hazard ratio for the intervention effect on time to suicide was 0.44 (95% CI = 0.34–0.56, P < .001) among males. Lower risk was associated with: male gender; born in Israel; higher socio-economic status; higher intelligence score; and serving in a combat unit (HR = 0.43: 95% CI = 0.33–0.55).

Conclusions

There was a 57% decrease in the suicide rate following the administration of the IDF Suicide Prevention Program. The effect of the intervention appears to be related to use of a weapon, and being able to benefit from improved help-seeking and de-stigmatization. Future efforts should seek to extend the program’s prevention reach to other demographic groups of soldiers. The success of the IDF program may inform suicide prevention in other military organizations and in the civilian sector.
.

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Affairs 22.1 (2016)

Israel Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2016 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles Sixty-two years of national insurance in Israel
Abraham Doron
Pages: 1-19 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111632

Rethinking reverence for Stalinism in the kibbutz movement
Reuven Shapira
Pages: 20-44 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111640

Making war, thinking history: David Ben-Gurion, analogical reasoning and the Suez Crisis
Ilai Z. Saltzman
Pages: 45-68 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111638

 
Military power and foreign policy inaction: Israel, 1967‒1973
Moshe Gat
Pages: 69-95 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111636
Arab army vs. a Jewish kibbutz: the battle for Mishmar Ha’emek, April 1948
Amiram Ezov
Pages: 96-125 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111633
Lip-service to service: the Knesset debates over civic national service in Israel, 1977–2007
Etta Bick
Pages: 126-149 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111630
State‒diaspora relations and bureaucratic politics: the Lavon and Pollard affairs
Yitzhak Mualem
Pages: 150-171 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111637
Developing Jaffa’s port, 1920‒1936
Tamir Goren
Pages: 172-188 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111634
University, community, identity: Ben-Gurion University and the city of Beersheba – a political cultural analysis
Yitzhak Dahan
Pages: 189-210 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111631
The Palestinian/Arab Strategy to Take Over Campuses in the West – Preliminary Findings
Ron Schleifer
Pages: 211-235 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111639
Identity of immigrants – between majority perceptions and self-definition
Sibylle Heilbrunn, Anastasia Gorodzeisky & Anya Glikman
Pages: 236-247 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111635
Book Reviews
Jabotinsky: a life
David Rodman
Pages: 248-249 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.112095

Ethos clash in Israeli society
David Rodman
Pages: 250-251 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120967

Nazis, Islamists and the making of the modern Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 252-254 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120968
The new American Zionism
David Rodman
Pages: 255-257 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120969
Rise and decline of civilizations: lessons for the Jewish people
David Rodman
Pages: 258-259 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120970

New Article: Cochran, Israel in Lebanon (1982–1985)

Cochran, Shawn T. “Israel in Lebanon (1982–1985).” In his War Termination as a Civil-Military Bargain. Soldiers, Statesmen, and the Politics of Protracted Armed Conflict (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016): 71-93.

 
war termination
 
URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137527974_4 
 

Abstract

The Lebanon War of 1982–85, generally recognized as the sixth Arab-Israeli conflict, was the longest and most divisive war in Israel’s history, producing “a level of polarization in Israeli society not seen since the birth of the state.” Israel did not anticipate a lengthy war at the outset nor did this appear likely in the early stages of the conflict. After only a week of fighting, Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon announced to the Knesset Defense Committee, “The job is done in Lebanon,” a claim with some parallels to President George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” statement made in relation to Iraq two decades later. Contemporary observers were quick to claim Israeli victory and tout the operation as a military success. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) General Avraham Tamir would later recall, “Nobody in Israel could imagine at that moment that the IDF would withdraw only three years later after what was meant to be a swift operation.” Over the next few months, however, Israel became embroiled in a protracted struggle with guerilla forces and terrorists as it tried to translate early military gains into desired political objectives. Pundits labeled the war a “quagmire” and “morass.” One popular Israeli commentator likened the IDF in Lebanon to Napoleon’s army in Russia. Whatever the reference, apparent by the fall of 1982 was that “Israel was in for a long and dark nightmare from which there was no simple escape.”

 

 

 

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.

 
9781137513755

Abstract

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.