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Avoidance of Military Service in Israel

Exploring the Role of Discourse

Oren Livio

This study examines the use of the derogatory term mishtamtim (literally, 'shirkers') for Israeli citizens who do not serve in the military, as employed in a variety of widely circulating cultural texts and in several focus group discussions. I suggest that in addition to revealing and reflecting Israeli society's dominant views and opinions on military service and its relation to civil society, the inherent ambiguity of the mishtamtim label enables interlocutors to construct different notions of the Israeli collective, which are then translated into different patterns of inclusion and exclusion, hierarchies of citizenship, and disciplinary meas ures. In addition, the discursive construction of non-service as avoidance of participation in a symbolic, non-violent, civilianized, and benevolent contribution to the collective conceals the military's own tendency to discharge conscripts, as well as its inherently violent nature and the role that violence plays in providing the glue that keeps society together.

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Introduction

Textbooks in Periods of Political Transition after the Second World War

Kira Mahamud Angulo and Anna Ascenzi

Democracy and Islam in Indonesia , Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan, eds. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 90. 19 Samuel Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-military Relations (Cambridge and London: The

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“Clear and Present Danger”

The Legacy of the 1917 Espionage Act in the United States

Petra DeWitt

America: Civil-Military Relations during World War I (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2008), 35–37. 20 Pub. L. no. 24, Ch. 30, 40 Stat, 217 (1917), in Civil Liberties in Wartime , vol. 1. 21 Scheiber, Wilson Administration and Civil

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Naomi Chazan, Morad Elsana, Ian S. Lustick, Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Gideon Rahat, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Daphne Inbar and Oren Barak

are noted and briefly discussed by the authors). However, this criticism, which, parenthetically, applies to much of the literature on Israel, including works on its pattern of civil-military relations, should not detract from the significance of the