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Yagil Levy

In March 2016, Elor Azaria, an Israeli conscript soldier, was filmed shooting and killing an immobilized Palestinian attacker (Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif) in the West Bank city of Hebron. The decision by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to

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Shifra Mescheloff

Rabbi Shlomo Goren (1918–1994) served as the first Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 1948 to 1971 and as Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1972 to 1983. In his youth, he studied the Torah in the institutions of the ‘old Yishuv’ in

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Looking Out from the Tent

Internal Social Research at the IDF

Yehudith Sher and Hadass Ben-Eliyahu

In this article we investigate the unique position of intra-military social research units in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). These units, associated with the IDF's Behavioral Sciences Department, have conducted social research on a vast range of topics for more than five decades. By analyzing developments in the studies on reserve service over the years, we have identified three phases of research. Each phase reflects changes in research questions, theoretical concepts, and definitions of issues to be explored. According to our analysis, researches conducted during the first two phases have similar characteristics and derive from the same theoretical discipline and research paradigm. It is mainly during the third phase that theoretical and paradigmatic changes are evident. The researches carried out in this most recent phase are rooted in critical episte- mology, which enables us to discuss the implications of critical intra-social research within the military and in comparison to the academic world.

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Randy Friedman

Whether refusal is an act of civil disobedience meant to challenge the state politically as a form of protest, or an action which reflects a deep moral objection to the policies of the state, selective conscientious objection presents the state and its citizens with a number of difficult legal and moral challenges. Appeals to authority outside of the state, whether religious or secular, influence both citizenship and the behavior of the government itself. As Israel raises funds to defend IDF officers from charges of human rights violations in the United Kingdom, it may find itself in need of a better defense against those citizens hesitant to be placed in harm's way, militarily and legally. At some point in the future it may find itself unable to field soldiers for whom service in the Occupied Territories is prohibited by inviolable secular or religious law. And for those who will continue to argue that they cannot abide service in an army of occupation, an expression sounded in 1968 by Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the moral crisis of an individual conscience rent between obligations to the state and obligations to self, will linger along with the pain of a conscience nurtured and then rejected by this democratic society.

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Chava Brownfield-Stein

(IDF). When it comes to managing external and internal borders, the IDF faces challenges from conventional military forces, militias, civilians who directly participate in hostilities, organized armed groups, mass order violations, hostile civil

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(Not) Becoming the Norm

Military Service by Religious Israeli Women as a Process of Social Legitimation

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

country. 1 Quite a few are women, all in uniform. They are also religious, and while such women have always served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as part of universal conscription, the Chief Rabbinate officially opposes this service. This paradoxical

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Unintended Securitization

Military, Medical, and Political-Security Discourses in the Humanitarian Treatment of Syrian Casualties in Israel

Hedva Eyal and Limor Samimian-Darash

a website run by the Israel Defense Forces ( IDF 2019 ) that contains films, pictures, and reports about the humanitarian project, as well as soldiers’ testimonies about their experiences with it. While we acknowledge that all the documents we

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Nir Gazit and Yagil Levy

Strip. The first contribution, by Ofra Ben-Ishai, explores the attitude of the Israeli military's higher echelon regarding the discourse of policing and, more specifically, its absence from the Israel Defense Forces's (IDF) doctrinal writing. Through

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Yoram Peri

heroism, and have adopted a physical view in its stead. Even the former psychologist of the IDF division serving in the West Bank refers to the Israeli ‘belligerent identity’. We are no longer forbidden to utter the word ‘militarism’. This process of

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Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Refugees

Ideology, Morality, and Praxis

Yossi Goldstein

Defense Force (IDF), intentionally created the refugee problem. Morris (1987) accentuated this charge (but later retracted some aspects of it), and since the publication of his landmark book many have denounced Ben-Gurion's attitude and actions, although