ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

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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: Ginor & Remez,Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ginor, Isabella, and Gideon Remez. “Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Fluctuations in Their Appearance and Character With Political Change in Post-Soviet Russia.” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 29.2 (2016): 279-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13518046.2016.1168136

 

Abstract

Shortly before and after the USSR’s demise, a new literature emerged: memoirs by veterans of the Soviet Union’s massive military intervention in the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1960s and ’70s. Resurgent Russian pride, coupled with condemnation of its corruption by Soviet crimes, permitted startling disclosures. Tools we developed to evaluate these sources found them remarkably reliable and necessitated a reassessment of existing historiography. The Putin administration marked a reversal. Russian nationalism now stressed continuity with the USSR’s great-power status. ‘Falsification of history against Russian interests’ was criminalized. Some veterans resorted to purported ‘fiction’, which if challenged could be disclaimed. But under even stricter scrutiny, these narratives generally proved to reflect the authors’ actual experience, providing significant pointers for further research.

 

 

 

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).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836716640837

 

Abstract

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.

 

 

 

Lecture: Morris, A New Look at the 1948 War (Georgetown, April 20, 2016)

The Department of Government  invites you to

The 201​6 Goldman ​Lecture

“A New Look at the 1948 War”

Benny Morris, Professor of History
Middle East Studies Department, Ben-Gurion University

Wednesday, April 20
5:00 pm6:30 pm
Copley Formal Lounge

Please RSVP by ​Monday, April 18
at the Eventbrite page

Benny Morris is Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba, Israel, where he has taught since 1997. He was born in Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh and was brought up in Jerusalem and New York. He earned his BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Cambridge University. Between 1978 and 1991 he was a journalist and diplomatic correspondent at The Jerusalem Post. 

He has been a fellow at the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, St Antony’s College in Oxford and at Oxford’s Centre for Hebraic and Jewish Studies, Yarnton Manor. In addition, he has taught at the University of Florida, Dartmouth College, the University of Maryland, Munich University and Harvard University.

Professor Morris has published ten books, including The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (1988); The Roots of Appeasement, the British Weekly Press and Nazi Germany during the 1930s (1991); Israel’s Border Wars 1949- 1956 (1993); Righteous Victims (1999); and 1948, A History of the First Arab Israeli War (2008) – winner of the Jewish National Book Award. He is currently completing a book on Turkey’s relations with its Christian minorities, 1876-1924. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of BooksThe New RepublicThe National InterestThe GuardianThe ObserverThe Daily Telegraph, and other newspapers and journals in Europe.

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.

 

 

 

New Article: Rein & Ofer, Jewish Volunteers from Palestine in the Spanish Civil War

Rein, Raanan, and Inbal Ofer. “Becoming Brigadistas: Jewish Volunteers from Palestine in the Spanish Civil War.” European History Quarterly 46.1 (2016): 92-112.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265691415620956

 

Abstract

Nearly two hundred men and women left Mandatory Palestine between the years 1936–1938 in order to defend the Second Spanish Republic. Despite the expressions of solidarity with the Spanish Republic, most of the political parties in the Jewish Yishuv were against sending youth from Palestine to join the International Brigades. The goal of strengthening the Jewish presence in Palestine was given priority over and above international solidarity or the anti-Fascist struggle. Therefore, most of the volunteers were Jewish members of the Palestine Communist Party.

This article relies on autobiographical writings, individual testimonies and personal correspondence, analysed here for the first time. It is here that the private voices of the Jewish men and women who left Palestine in order to fight against the nationalist rebellion in Spain ring more clearly. The paper examines the history of these Jewish volunteers, their motivations, and the process that they went through from the time they left Palestine until they became active members of the International Brigades.

As Communists, most volunteers who left Palestine to fight in Spain tended to emphasize the international solidarity of the working class and similar universalistic motivations. The idea of affirming their Jewish identity was alien to them. Reading their letters and testimonies, however, it becomes clear that their ethnic identity as Jews was certainly a key factor in their decision to risk their lives in the Spanish fratricide.

 

 

 

New Article: Orkaby, The 1964 Israeli Airlift to Yemen and the Expansion of Weapons

Orkaby, Asher. “The 1964 Israeli Airlift to Yemen and the Expansion of Weapons Diplomacy.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.4 (2015): 659-77.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09592296.2015.1096691

 

Abstract

Based on oral history accounts of surviving members of Israel’s first International Squadron and organisers of the military airlift to Yemen in 1964, this analysis examines the origins of the squadron, its mission to Yemen, and its impact on Israeli foreign policy in Africa. The founding of the International Squadron in 1963 incorporated the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser into the Israeli air force and gave the military and Foreign Ministry the country’s first long-distance transport capability. The initial successful military airlift to Yemen in May 1964 opened the possibility for additional clandestine military aid missions to sub-Saharan Africa and Kurdistan and marked the beginning of an era of Israeli “weapons diplomacy.” The Squadron’s incorporation of more advanced transport planes during the 1970s presented the Foreign Ministry with the capability of reaching Latin America and Asia, an essential factor in Israel’s expanding global arms market and later humanitarian missions.

 

 

 

New Article: Tauber, The Arab Military Force in Palestine Prior to the Invasion of the Arab Armies, 1945–1948

Tauber, Eliezer. “The Arab Military Force in Palestine Prior to the Invasion of the Arab Armies, 1945–1948.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.6 (2015): 950-85.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1044896

 

Abstract

The article examines the size, structure, composition and modi operandi of the Arab military forces which fought the Jews in the 1948 war, before the invasion of the Arab regular armies, based first and foremost on the Arab sources themselves. An attempt is made to assess the substantial reasons behind the Arab defeat in the first ‘civil war’ phase of the campaign, including a comparison of the number of combatants, which also explains the outcome.

 

 

New Article: Simpson, Superpower Involvement in the War of Attrition in 1970

Simpson, George L., Jr. “Cold War, Hot Summer: Superpower Involvement in the War of Attrition in 1970.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.2 (2015): 103-23.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21520844.2015.1051884

 

Abstract

Using U.S. archival documents as well as insights gained from Israeli historians who made excellent use of Soviet sources, this article examines the diplomacy and military developments that occurred late in the Egyptian-Israeli War of Attrition. Understanding that Moscow was pursuing a more forward policy than Washington officials understood at the time, it becomes clear that Soviet military intervention began earlier than American and Israeli decision-makers then recognized or than historians have understood until recently. Likewise, the operational deployment of Russian air defense forces and fighter pilots challenged Israeli air superiority in the skies over the Suez Canal, which separated Egyptian and Israeli troops. While American diplomats were willing to help the Israelis with equipment and countermeasures to deal with the new threat, they put enormous pressure on Jerusalem not only to accept the ceasefire that ended the conflict but also to not respond militarily to Egyptian violations of the agreement. Thus, Israel found itself in a fundamentally more vulnerable position when the shooting stopped in August 1970.

 

 

New Article: Orkaby, Israel’s International Squadron and the “Never Again” Mentality

Orkaby, Asher. “Israel’s International Squadron and the “Never Again” Mentality.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.2 (2015): 83-101.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21520844.2015.1051449

 

Abstract

Israel’s International Squadron 120, founded in 1964, embodied the “Never Again” post-Holocaust imperative of Israel’s identity ahead of its adoption on a national level. Beginning with an airlift mission to Yemen’s northern highlands in 1964, the squadron emerged as the long arm of Israel’s foreign policy during the nation’s “golden era” of the 1960s and subsequent decades. Through the continued influence of its early members, many of whom were survivors of the Holocaust, the squadron assumed the forefront of international humanitarian aid and rescue efforts. This article tells the story of this squadron through the oral histories of five of its original members.

ToC: Israel Studies 20.3 (2015) | Special Issue: Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

Israel Studies 20.3 (2015)

Special Issue—Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

 

 

  1. Introduction (pp. v-vii)
    Natan Aridan and Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
  2. Gabriel Sheffer
  3. Yaakov Sharett

New Article: Cox, Britain and the Origin of Israeli Special Operations

Cox, Stephen Russell. “Britain and the Origin of Israeli Special Operations: SOE and PALMACH during the Second World War.” Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict 8.1 (2015): 60-78.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17467586.2014.964741

 

Abstract

This article explores the British influence on the origins of Israeli Special Operations and elite units before and during the Second World War. Specifically, it brings to light the roles Captain (later Major-General) Orde Wingate and the British Special Operations Executive played in the creation of the Special Night Squads and the PALMACH, respectively. It concludes with an examination of the consequences of this military and philosophical influence for the British in Palestine and for the creation of the state of Israel. The primary source material for this article comes principally from Wingate’s personal papers at the Imperial War Museum and the SOE’s declassified documents in the National Archives, both in London.

 
 
 

New Article: Rodman, Combined Arms Warfare in the Yom Kippur War

Rodman, David. “Combined Arms Warfare: The Israeli Experience in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.” Defence Studies 15.2 (2015): 161-74.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14702436.2015.1043114

 

Abstract

Traditional combined arms warfare is premised on the assumption that a symmetrical mix of different kinds of units and weapons offers an army the best prospect of achieving optimal results on the battlefield. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been accused by critics over the years of essentially abandoning the practice of traditional combined arms warfare before the 1973 Yom Kippur War in favor of a nontraditional (asymmetrical) variant that relied much too heavily on tanks and aircraft. While this criticism certainly has substantial merit, the IDF’s reverses in the early days of the war were not due solely to a lack of emphasis on traditional combined arms warfare, but rather also to a “perfect storm” of circumstances that obtained at the outset of hostilities. To its credit, the IDF learned rapidly from its prewar mistakes in force structure and war-fighting doctrine, reverting within days to a traditional approach to the practice of combined arms warfare, at least on the ground. Though not a battlefield panacea by any means, traditional combined arms warfare clearly contributed to the IDF’s eventual victory in the war.

 

New Article: Naor, Israeli Mobilization and the Overseas Volunteers in the Six-Day-War

Naor, Moshe. “Israeli Mobilization and the Overseas Volunteers in the Six-Day-War.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13.3 (2014): 442-58.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14725886.2014.954350

 

 

Abstract

This article examines the mobilization of the Israeli home front and the overseas volunteering movement that began in May 1967 and continued through the summer of 1968. The mobilization in the Six-Day War included manifestations of solidarity and volunteering in diverse fields. The Israeli government and the Histadrut sent volunteers to frontier communities and raised funds from the public to finance the war. The movement included World Jewry, which also participated in fundraising through an emergency campaign and sent thousands of volunteers to Israel. The goal of the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency to transform the volunteering movement into a Jewish immigration movement to Israel and to strengthen the bond between Israel and World Jewry, shaped the character of this movement. The article examines the character of this movement and discusses the nature of the encounter between the overseas volunteers and Israeli society.

New Book: Siniver, The Yom Kippur War. Politics, Legacy, Diplomacy

Siniver, Asaf, ed. The Yom Kippur War. Politics, Legacy, Diplomacy. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

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URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-yom-kippur-war-9780199334810

The Yom Kippur War was a watershed moment in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the modern Middle East more broadly. It marked the beginning of a US-led peace process between Israel and her Arab neighbours; it introduced oil diplomacy as a new means of leverage in international politics; and it affected irreversibly the development of the European Community and the Palestinian struggle for independence. Moreover, the regional order which emerged at the end of the war remained largely unchallenged for nearly four decades, until the recent wave of democratic revolutions in the Arab world. The fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War provides a timely opportunity to reassess the major themes that emerged during the war and in its aftermath, and the contributors to this book provide the first comprehensive account of the domestic and international factors which informed the policies of Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan, as well as external actors before, during and after the war. In addition to chapters on the superpowers, the EU and the Palestinians, the book also deals with the strategic themes of intelligence and political of the war on Israeli and Arab societies.

 

 

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

1. Introduction
Asaf Siniver

2. Dominant Themes in the October War Historiography: Blame and Historical Analogy
Carly Beckerman-Boys

3. Israel and the October War
Jacob Eriksson

4. The October War and Egypt’s Multiple Crossings
Yoram Meital

5. Syria and the October War: The Missed Opportunity
Eyal Zisser

6. US Foreign Policy and the Kissinger Stratagem
Asaf Siniver

7. The Soviet Union and the October War
Galia Golan

8. Jordan’s War that Never Was
Assaf David

9. Palestinian Politics in Transition: The Case of the October War
Philipp O. Amour

10. Faraway Causes, Immediate Effects: The War and European Consequences
Rory Miller

11. Oil and the October War
David Painter

12. Ashraf Marwan and Israel’s Intelligence Failure
Ahron Bregman

13. Evolving a Diplomatic Legacy from the War: The US, Egyptian and Israeli Triangle
Kenneth W. Stein

14. Clashing Narratives of the October War: Collective Memory and Group Perspective
Claudia De Martino

15. Gone But Not Forgotten? The Occasional Lessons of the October War
Clive Jones

New Article: Bunyan, The Jewish Brigade and the Establishment of the Jewish State

Bunyan, James. “To What Extent Did the Jewish Brigade Contribute to the Establishment of the Jewish State?” Middle Eastern Studies 51.1 (2015): 28-48.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00263206.2014.934227

 

Abstract

Whilst the desperation of key international Zionist leaders, such as Chaim Weizmann, to field a fighting force against the Nazis consisting entirely of Palestinian Jews is evident in their correspondence, it is difficult to ascertain just how significant the practical contribution of the Jewish Brigade was to the Zionist project. The political effect of activities such as facilitating illegal immigration and, post-war, quietly training Jewish underground forces in Palestine cannot by their very nature be evaluated. Yet perhaps the Brigade’s most important contribution to the embryonic state of Israel was the huge leap in political and cultural strength that boasting such a force represented.

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.

 

URL: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14702436.2014.901663

 

Abstract

Abstract

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.