Who Controls the Israeli Policing Army?

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Yagil Levy 1
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  • 1 Open University of Israel yagil.levy@gmail.com
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Abstract

Since the 2000s, a fundamental structural change has led to the development of two armies within the IDF. In co-existence with the ‘official’ army, a ‘policing’ force has emerged in the West Bank. Ostensibly subordinated to political authority, it has evolved into a quasi-militia force, enacting policies that often deviate from the official line. The question of who controls this policing army is central to this article. I argue that this policing army, unlike the official army, is controlled by a matrix rather than a hierarchical structure. Characterized by a web of mostly extra-military mechanisms, it is embedded within the civilian communities of the Jewish settlers, and this embeddedness shapes the form of control by creating several control mechanisms. Therefore, this policing army is only partially controlled by the official echelon of command.

Contributor Notes

YAGIL LEVY is a Professor of Political Sociology and Public Policy at the Open University of Israel. His research focuses on the theoretical and empirical aspects of relations between society and the military. He has published eight books, the most recent of which is Whose Life Is Worth More? Hierarchies of Risk and Death in Contemporary Wars (2019). E-mail: yagil.levy@gmail.com

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