We proudly present the English edition of our biannual report that provides an update on the evolving knowledge in the Association’s field of interest. The report is based on an analysis of journals and the websites of research institutions and government organizations in Israel and abroad. We believe that members of the Association will be able to find in the report current information that will assist them in developing their research.

The current issue includes most of the abstracts and references to articles, research reports, and books published between January and December 2022. in Israel, as well as a selection of sources from around the world. The current issue includes abstracts of 103 articles and books, compiled, and edited by Mr. Matan Kenigsbuch and Dr. Itamar Rickover. Our next issue will cover articles published between January and December 2023.

This review was conducted with the support and collaboration of Ariel University and is distributed to research institutions and universities abroad that engage in the Association’s fields of interest.

This file is also available on our website.

We appreciate any comments on additional information and important fields of interest that our readers believe should be included in our reviews. To send your comments, please contact us here.



Prof. Uzi Ben-Shalom
Chairman of the Association of Civil-Military Studies in Israel

Dr. Itamar Rickover
Director of the Association of Civil-Military Studies in Israel

About the Association of Civil-Military Studies in Israel

The Association of Civil-Military Studies in Israel was established in 2012. All members of the Association are researchers in various disciplines whose academic research focuses on civil-military relations, including communications, political science, sociology and anthropology, history, economics, the law, education, and psychology. The Association’s researchers represent very diverse political outlooks and strategic approaches yet share the recognition of a need for objective research of the activities of security institutions, their interface with other government institutions, and their societal controls.

Heading the Association’s goals are the promotion, presentation, and analysis of interdisciplinary studies reflecting diverse perspectives on civil-military relations in Israel: the connections between the military and society, the interface between civil and military echelons, the relations between the military and other security institutions, and various social and organizational aspects of the military. Moreover, the Association also disseminates the accumulated knowledge in Israel and in other countries, among academic, military, and security institutions, and to the general public.

Chairperson: Prof. Uzi Ben-Shalom

Director: Dr. Itamar Rickover

Previous chairperson: Prof. Yoram Peri, Prof. Ze’ev Drory, Dr. Reuven Gal (founder).

Board members (in alphabetical order): Dr. Avi Bitzur, Prof. Eyal Ben-Ari, Dr. Ofra Ben-Yishai, Prof. Uzi Ben-Shalom, Dr. Reuven Gal, Prof. Ze’ev Drory, Prof. Ayelet Harel, Dr. Roni Or Tiarjan, Prof. Stuart Cohen, Prof. Udi Lebel, Dr. Eyal Levin, Prof. Ehud Menipaz, Prof. Hillel Nossek, Prof. Yoram Peri, Dr. Itamar Rickover, Dr. Eitan Shamir, Prof. Gabi Sheffer, Dr. Idit Shafran-Gittleman, Dr. Dov Tamari.

Legal counsel: Adv. Eyal Nun. Accountant: Chen Noy.

The Association, jointly with Maarachot Press, publishes a biannual journal entitled “The Israeli Journal of Society, Military, and National Security.” The first issue, which was published in January 2021, is available here.

The Association’s website:

To join the Association, please contact Dr. Itamar Rickover e-mail:

Military and Society

Rossman, E. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 3 [In Hebrew]

Israeli society is characterized by numerous deep-seated rifts, including the fissure between the secular and the religious sectors. This study examines whether individuals who established friendships with people with a different degree of religious observance during their military or national service, are willing to recreate this experience during their academic studies. The study found that individuals who had served in the military or in national service tend to recreate, during their academic studies, the type of friendships they experienced during their military or national service. In other words, individuals who had friends who different from them in their degree of religious commitment during their military or national service tend to make friends with others who are different from them during their academic studies. However, their experiences during their military or national service also highlighted the limits of such friendships, and they enter into such new friendships with soberly, with realistic expectations. Findings of this research show that service (mainly military service) does not necessarily bridge social rifts, yet it facilitates familiarity that encourages the conscripts to establish trans-sector social ties.

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Almog, S. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 3. [In Hebrew]

The IDF is a major social field of Israeli society, in which the Chief of Staff, as the supreme commander of the military, plays an important symbolic role. This article presents findings of a study that examined how the social changes that occurred in Israeli society since the establishment of the IDF are reflected in statements made by the Chief of Staff. Findings reveal four main themes allowing us to identify the social-moral changes in Israel over time. First, the leadership interaction between the Chief of Staff and his subordinates assumed different forms over time in terms of the manner in which the leader not only makes demands of his subordinates but also makes certain commitments to them. Second, over time, the intensity of the discourse on the enemy decreased. Third, over time, the Chief of Staff’s references to fallen Israeli soldiers increased. Fourth, over time, the military organization developed a self-critical narrative that is resonated in the Chief of Staff’s statements. The main argument of this study is that these four themes reflect the conceptual and moral trends of change in Israeli society, and the statements of the Chief of Staff may be a source of insights, both on senior military leadership and on Israeli society.

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Levy, Y. (2002).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25, no. 1 (March 2022). [In Hebrew]

In recent years, there has been a heated debate on the future of the mandatory draft, which peaked with the publication of a survey by the Israeli Democracy Institute in November 2021, according to which the majority of the Jewish public support abolishing conscription (Hermann et al., 2021). This debate is an opportunity to address various aspects of the conscription crisis. In the first section, the author presents the conscription crisis and argues that it should be seen as a crisis of legitimacy that stems from the model’s collapse under the weight of the contradictions within which it exists. In the second section, the author addresses the claims made by the IDF, through the Chief of Staff, regarding the army’s contribution to society and the economy as justification for continued conscription, and presents counter-arguments. In the third and final section, the author proposes an alternative selective conscription model.

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Lebel, U., & Ben-Gal, T. (2022).
In Finding Meaning, edited by Ofra Mayseless and Pninit Russo-Netzer. Oxford University Press, 2022.

Recent years have seen a growing number of communities in Israeli society lobbying for institutional and national recognition of the trauma and loss experienced by their members as an integral part of Israel’s struggle for independence and security. These communities include, for instance, veterans who fought in the Red Army during World War II and made Aliya (immigrated) to Israel requesting that a monument be built in their honor and that their fight against the Nazis be officially recognized as part of the struggle that ultimately enabled the establishment of the State of Israel. Ethiopian Jews who made Aliya to Israel demanded that their relatives who died during the long journey from Sudan be named on a monument in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem—Israel’s national commemoration site—and that they be treated as having sacrificed their lives for the Zionist cause. In fact, these two communities attempted to promote a new framing for their sacrifice or loss. In the first example we see an attempt at a reframing of soldiers recruited to fight in a war on behalf of the Soviet interest as citizens of Eastern European countries as having fought as Jews against Hitler for the Zionist cause. And in the second example—an attempt at a reframing of Ethiopian Jews who died while immigrating to Israel in order to be saved from a life of poverty and violence in Ethiopia as being an integral part of the Zionist migration waves into Israel and as having knowingly attempted a dangerous and difficult journey so as to fulfill the Zionist cause.

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Lebel, U., Ben-Hador, B., & Ben-Shalom, U. (2022).
In Finding Meaning. edited by Ofra Mayseless and Pninit Russo-Netzer. Oxford University Press.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) holds a unique status in Israeli society, being not only a security-providing institution but also one of symbolic capital, around which the entire Israeli society is organized in a unique form of cultural militarism. However, toward the end of the millennium, Israel’s elites, similarly to other neoliberal communities in the Western world (Ruckert, 2006) began experiencing what has been referred to as the “civil-military gap”—a dissociation from the military ethos in particular and from the collective-patriotic one in general in favor of a new, post-modern, individualistic ethos

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Levi-Belz, Y., Dichter, N., & Zerach, G. (2022).
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37 (1-2), NP1031-NP1057.‏

Modern warfare within a civilian setting may expose combatants to severe moral challenges. Whereas most of these challenges are handled effectively, some potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs) may have deleterious psychological, spiritual, and interpersonal effects among them, which may increase the risk for suicide ideation and behaviors (SIB). In this study, we aimed to examine the protective role of self-forgiveness and perceived social support on the relationship between exposure to PMIEs and SIB among combat veterans. A sample of 191 Israeli combat veterans completed validated self-report questionnaires in a cross-sectional design study, tapping moral injury, SIB, perceived social support, and self-forgiveness. Veterans with a history of SIB revealed higher levels of exposure to PMIEs and lower levels of self-forgiveness and perceived social support than veterans with no SIB history. Moreover, beyond the contributions of the PMIE dimensions, significant contributions of self-forgiveness and perceived social support to current suicide ideation (SI) were found. Importantly, the moderating model indicated that higher social support moderated the link between PMIEs and current SI. Based on the current findings, it can be suggested that self-forgiveness and perceived social support are important contributors to lower SI levels among veterans with PMIEs.

It can be further suggested that interpersonal support may help veterans develop a sense of belongingness and bonding, which is a plausible basis for diminishing the risk of SI following PMIE exposure.

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Ashwal-Malka, A., Tal-Kishner, K., & Feingold, D. (2022).
Addictive behaviors, 124, 107114.‏

Cannabis use is highly common among military combat veterans, who are also inclined toward developing Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). The present study examined the association between Moral Injury (MI), which may occur following combat-related acts that violate one’s deep moral beliefs, and CUD, as well as the mediating role of depression and the moderating role of perceived social support.

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Nizri, O. S., & Kidron, C. A. (2022).
Memory Studies, 17506980221094511.‏

This study presents the lived memory work of Israeli bereaved parents who preserve the bedrooms of their children—fallen soldiers—intact after their deaths. Ethnographic semi-structured interviews and participant observation in the rooms point to an assemblage of interwoven practices that sustain the presence of the dead in the family lifeworld. Enactment of past habitual embodied movement, person-object interaction, and familial roles within the domestic architecture that housed the deceased sustain virtual presence. Removal from view of military objects signifying death, and modulated incorporation of new life in the room forestall cracks in virtuality of presence and temporal absencing, ushering the dead into familial futures. Reconceptualizing lived memory as the manipulation of temporal stasis and continuity to (re)generate presence rather than represent/commemorate absence and loss, raises questions regarding the dialectical relations between lived memory and public commemoration and the salutary potential of continuing bonds with loved ones.

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Zaritsky, Y., & Yonay, Y. (2022).
International Journal of Military History and Historiography, 42(1), 135-169.‏

This article deals with the history of military service for gay men in the Israeli army (Israel Defense Forces, IDF), from 1948 to the mid-1970s. It is based primarily on the oral testimonies of thirty-two Israeli gay men born between 1924–1948, juxtaposed with historical sources such as newspaper articles, court documents, and written IDF guidelines. Through these, we will examine popular conceptions and understandings of deviant sexuality in the IDF between the 1950s and the 1970s, and in Israel in general. We will explore the question of homosexuals’ enrollment in the IDF and related IDF policies throughout the years, as well as various strategies adopted by homosexuals in Israel to negotiate their sexuality during their service. Ours is the first study on real-life experiences of gays who served their military duty during the early decades of the IDF.

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Shachar, I. Y. (2022).
Current Sociology, 00113921221086822.‏

‘Volunteering’ has been emerging in the last decades as an object of intensified political interest and promotion, assembled through a myriad of alignments, composed of state institutions and international bodies, corporations, and third sector actors, operating across local, nationwide, and transnational scales. This article focuses on a particular configuration that I call ‘conscripted volunteering’, in which soldiers engage in activities framed as ‘doing good’ beyond their regular military duties. The article explores how this configuration emerges in Israel through growing efforts to create assemblages of corporate, public, nonprofit, and military actors. These assembling efforts include initiating and maintaining connections, routinizing and sustaining partnerships, and aligning various interests and needs. While some assemblages gradually dissolve, others are successfully sustained and new ones emerge. The overall proliferation of such assemblages in Israel is identified in this article as an emerging ‘military-industrial-nonprofit complex’ that is forged by a consensual neoliberal agenda regarding citizenship and modalities of participation. These insights could be utilized to understand various types of military-humanitarian interventions and to reconceptualize military-society relations more broadly.

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Shafran-Gittlman, I. (2022).
The Israel Democracy Institute. [In Hebrew]

The author argues that the question of whether women can serve in the IDF’s Egoz Unit cannot be interwoven with the question of how women’s integration in the IDF affects religious men soldiers. The author believes that a military that is capable of performing the operations credited to the ISD should be able to maintain substantive gender equality on its bases.

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Shafran-Gittlman, I. (2022).
The Israel Democracy Institute [In Hebrew]

The author argues that the stringent qualification standards conditions that the IDF set for its combat units raises concerns that the pilot program might undermine the interests of advocates of women’s advancement. The author argues that this journey can and should be terminated, and all IDF units should be opened to all applicants based on professional criteria.

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Yakhnich, L., & Walsh, S. D. (2022).
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 88, 1-10.‏

In 2015, a video of policemen beating up an Ethiopian-born first Lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, was published by the Israeli media and triggered a massive protest against police brutality and discrimination of the Ethiopian community. The current study aimed to understand the meaning the members of the Ethiopian community attribute to the protest, and its' relation to their experiences within the Israeli society. The paper is based on data gathered through interviews with 19 young Ethiopian Israeli adults. The analysis revealed that the participants' interaction with Israeli society is characterized by a shared experience of discrimination and racism, which shaped their perception of protest as a means of speaking out, strengthening a collective identity and achieving feelings of empowerment. However, individual differences were found in the way the participants believed their protest should be conducted. Findings suggest that an understanding of protest should take into account not only shared group experience but also illuminate individual differences. Universalist understandings of protest should be widened to include an examination of how protest can inform us about the social and historical process of relations between a minority group and the majority group.

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Kulik, L. (2022).
Journal of Emergency Management, 20(3), 225-240.

The aim of this study was to investigate differences in the volunteering experience in two states of emergency in Israel: Operation Protective Edge (a military man-made emergency) and the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (a natural emergency). The sample included 993 volunteers, of whom 498 volunteered during Operation Protective Edge and 504 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A quantitative research design was used to investigate three aspects of the volunteering experience: motives for volunteering, satisfaction from volunteering, and commitment to volunteer. Social solidarity was the most prominent motive for volunteering in both emergencies. The level of the egoistic motives, the intrinsic satisfaction from volunteering, and long-term commitment to volunteering were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than among the volunteers during the military operation. We used a qualitative research design to investigate the experience of special moments in volunteering. The profile of special moments experienced by the COVID-19 volunteers combined self and client experiences, whereas among Operation Protective Edge volunteers, special moments are reflected mainly in experiences related to the clients and the community.

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Doft, Y., & Possick, C. (2022).
Family Relations.‏

This study is an interpretative phenomenological analysis of in-depth interviews with 12 Israeli men, aged 25 to 49 years, who were sons of combat officers who served at least 15 years in the Israeli military. Five themes were identified through the men's responses: (a) father as idealized figure, (b) rationalizing father's distant stance, (c) absence of fear for father's safety, (d) role reversal: taking responsibility for the father–son relationship, (e) shifts in the relationship after father's retirement from the military. This work provides insight for the provision of group activities sponsored by the military for fathers and sons and for those who offer counseling services for young adult military children even after the father's retirement.

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Ben-Shalom, U., Babis, D., Sabar, G., Friedlander, A. L., & Berger, C. (2022).
Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1-19.‏

The current research addresses the experiences and adaptation of children of migrant laborers who serve in Israeli compulsory military service. The first stage of the research comprised in-depth interviews with 20 soldiers to understand their narrative of being in the military. Despite having no role model for military service in their families, the narratives of the soldiers present a “native” Israeli view of the military. They were highly motivated to complete the service, perceived themselves as Israelis, and accepted the arduous demands of the military. In the second stage of the research, we collected questionnaires from 154 soldiers and compared them with 591 soldiers who immigrated from the former Soviet Union two decades ago. The comparison revealed highly adapted soldiers who perceived the military system as indifferent to their origin. At the same time, these soldiers seem to be restricted to certain roles and seldom hold officer or academic positions. The article speculates that this group of migrants is highly adapted because of their unique life experiences and individual maturity, personal gain from the military, and self-selection for enlistment. The military system should support this group to integrate into command and academic positions.

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Schneider, M., Werner, S., Yavnai, N., Ben-Yehuda, A., & Shelef, L. (2022).
Journal of Clinical Psychology.‏

While military settings may increase psychological distress, soldiers frequently avoid seeking professional help. This study aimed to examine barriers and facilitators associated with intentions to seek help and actually seeking help from a mental health officer (MHO) and how these differ among soldiers who had sought help in the past and those who had not. This cross-sectional study included 263 combat and noncombat soldiers. The Health Belief Model and the Help-Seeking Model were the theoretical framework used to map the potential variables associated with soldiers' decision to seek help. Military commanders should try to make soldiers feel safe to seek mental health assistance by creating a supportive organizational atmosphere to reduce the stigma associated with mental health care.

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Yakobi, M., Dekel, R., Yavnai, N., Ben-Yehuda, A., & Shelef, L. (2022).
Military Medicine.‏

Adaptation to service was found to relate positively to the meaningfulness of the military role, cognitive flexibility, and social support. Social support partially mediated the relation between cognitive flexibility and adaptation to service. Additionally, soldiers who had consulted an MHO had lower levels of cognitive flexibility and social support, and they adapted less well to service compared to the comparison group. The study indicates that soldiers who seek help have lower resources. Additional personal and environmental variables that contribute to the adjustment of soldiers in noncombat positions were also identified.

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Alex Sorkin, M. D., Roy Nadler, M. D., Guy Avital, M. D., MA, T. B. M. M., & Lidar Fridrich, M. D. (2022)

The objective of this research is To describe the experience of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Medical Corps with prehospital use of analgesia. Most casualties at POI did not receive any analgesics. The most common analgesics administered were opioids. Over time analgesic administration has gained acceptance and become more commonplace on the battlefield.

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Yair, G., & Aviram, O. (2022).
British Journal of Sociology of Education, 1-17.

This paper tells a story of Israeli male high schoolers who spend their adolescent years preparing for service in elite military units in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). After years of taxing preparations, at the age of 17 they arrive at the gruelling military exams. They are at their peak – potent and energized, motivated, and in the best shape of their lives. Yet most high schoolers return from the examinations psychologically broken. Having imagined their future selves as virile commandos, they return humiliated for cowering during the tough assignments. The paper draws on interviews with 40 adults who failed the exams 10 to 15 years after the event. Using Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic violence, it shows that youthful failure at 17 continues to send debilitating messages for years after the event. Those who fail continually tell themselves that they are not worthy, not good enough, that they do not have enough character or strength. Consequently, they abandon possible life trajectories and possible selves. They surrender to the exam, and then remain prisoners of a cultural ethos they have failed to embody.

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Eran-Jona, M., Tiargan-Orr, R., Levine, S. Z., Limor, Y., Schenhav, M., & Ben-Shalom, U. (2022).
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(23), 16067.‏

The identification of demographic factors of vulnerability and resilience in communities facing belligerent conflicts is increasingly relevant today. This representative study aims to examine the effect of protracted violence on the level of fear of the overall Israeli-Jewish population, and the role of the conflict on the connection between socioeconomic factors and fears. Sixty-six representative samples were identified and surveyed from 2001 to 2019 (n = 37,190) that occurred during (n = 14,362) and between (n = 22,828) seven conflicts and non-conflict periods. Results show that during military conflicts, civilians declared less fears of physical injury comparing routine time; a slow trend of decline in the level of fears over time was observed; during routine periods, fear was associated with female-gender and with the lowest income level group. Ultra-orthodox and religious respondents had significantly less fear than the secular and traditional respondents. During military conflicts, the results changed significantly, mainly for the lowest income group, women and ultra-orthodox.

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Wertman, U., & Connaught, C. (2022).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25(3). [In Hebrew]

Securitzation theory, developed by the Copenhagen School, has been at the forefront of international relations theory for several years, with its progressive conceptualization of the notion of security. This paper contributes to the current discourse through the conceptualization of the audience. Although this term is a key component in securitization theory, it was not sufficiently developed or elaborated in the original formulation of theory. Acknowledging that perceptions and misperceptions play an important role in our understanding of global politics, the current study proposes a combination of political psychology and securitization theory, to help researchers identify the relevant target audiences of securitization, as described in securitization theory by the Copenhagen School. This new conceptualization focuses on two fields to identify relevant target audiences. The first is state laws, and therefore an entity becomes a legal audience under the law; The second field is the political beliefs of the actor or the audience that performs the securitization process. In this case, the entity becomes a political audience. The conceptual framework proposed in this study is not complete but may improve our theoretical understanding of the audience element in securitization processes.

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Ben-Shalom, U., Hitman, G., Orr, R. T., & Rickover, I. (2022).
Ethnopolitics, 1-16.‏

In this study, perceptions of security and civic services were measured among the Israeli-Arab minority youth. Three hundred participants completed a questionnaire assessing their propensity to enroll in security and civic services. Both types of national service were correlated with life satisfaction in Israel and three temporal attraction and repulsion factors that occurred in 2020–2021: the IDF assisting local municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic, hostilities between Jews and Arabs in May 2021, and crime in Arab communities. A strong positive correlation was found between life satisfaction and willingness to engage in security and national service. The temporal factors did not mediate this correlation. Finally, the possibility of recruiting Arab minorities to security organizations is discussed.

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Jabali, O. (2022).
Middle East Policy.‏

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to the early 1930s. The most crucial factor that prolongs it and prevents any glimmer of hope is Israel's insistence on displacing the Palestinians from their lands and implanting Israeli citizens in their place. Motivated by inference theory, this study aims at investigating the latest wave of popular civil resistance against territorial expropriation in the town of Beita. The study shows that territorial confiscation is carried out systematically by Israeli settlers, aided by the army. It also shows that Beita's nonviolent approach to resistance enhances its legitimacy domestically and internationally and encourages a wider base of grassroots participation. Beita has always employed popular types of civil resistance, such as weekly protests and night-confusion tactics at Jabal Sabih, to defend itself and expel settlers. Despite the high price Beita has paid and the settlers’ evacuation of the outpost, the Israeli military has turned the site into a base. The conclusion is that popular civil resistance has the potential to challenge occupiers in a powerful way.

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Itsik, R. (2022).
The RUSI Journal, 1-17.‏

Reserve military service in Israel has undergone significant reform over the past decade. Some claim that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserve corps is ‘sinking’, and that the defense ethos as well as the motivation to serve have been eroded. Ronen Itsik analyses the motivation to serve as a reserve soldier in the IDF and, through a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, shows such motivation results mainly from ‘constructive patriotism’; hence the reforms undertaken by the IDF in this area were effective.

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Mor, Z., Davidi, N., & Alroy Preis, S. (2022).
. European Journal of Public Health, 32, 59-131.‏

Public Health Services (PHS) has a major role in controlling COVID-19. As the epidemic propagated, and due to limited resources, PHS in Israel reached it capacity to contain the outbreak. Following a political decision in June 2020, the Home Front Command (HFC) of the Israeli Army was assigned to integrate in operating the National epidemiological efforts, while the PHS remained responsible for policy, setting guidelines and supervision. Formal and informal efforts were needed to bridge between the two organizations, while utilizing the comparative advantage of each agency. PHS has experience in controlling outbreaks, well-established intra-organizational communication, high professional identity, commitment and familiarity with different populations in Israel. HFC is a flexible, creative, learning and fast-responding organ, experienced in controlling emergencies and has well-established chains of command. HFC is supported by IT and intelligence officers. Organizational disadvantages had to be resolved. PHS is deficient in resources, has limited capacity in operating staff during irregular hours, and is obliged to share the health leadership and authority with the army. HFC has to confront high rotation of its manpower, difficulty in succumbing to non-military guidelines and regulations and possible mistrust between the army and special populations, such as Arabs or ultra-religious Jews.

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Videl, M., & Elran, M. (2022).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25(3). [In Hebrew]

The social resilience of Gaza Envelope settlements and their inhabitants in the face of the challenge of terror from the Gaza Strip in the past 20 years has been discussed extensively in previous articles. The current article focuses on a review of the operational aspects of the region’s centers of resilience centers, their significance and implications, based on the knowledge gained over two decades of management of the Eshkol Regional Council’s resilience center. The main argument of this paper is that the resilience centers reflect proven success in coping with the consequences of man-made terror, and have thereby made a significant contribution to Israel’s success in coping with terror originating in the Gaza Strip. We therefore recommend differential nationwide adoption of the resilience center model.

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Finkel, M. (2022).
The Dado Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies. [In Hebrew]

Alignment of expectations is a major component of the sense of success, defeat, or missed opportunity at the conclusion of a military confrontation. In this context, aligned expectations between the IDF and the country’s citizens are a major factor that affects the perceived outcomes of a war. This article, which focuses on the scenario of a future war in Lebanon, illustrates the need for aligned expectations regarding all the elements of the war, including those that are unpleasant to discuss, such as the expected number of IDF casualties. Aligned expectations are critical for maintaining national resilience during a confrontation, which will be a type of total war the likes of which the Israeli public has not experienced for decades. The IDF can and should win such a war and will do so successfully, provided that there is an understanding of what will be considered a victory, in terms of enemy casualties, the duration of the war, and its anticipated cost.

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Perry, Y. (2022).
Media Frames [online]. [In Hebrew]

The book “Armed with Legitimacy: Justifications for Military Violence in Israeli Society” is an important contribution to research on this topic, both for its theoretical development of the issue of legitimacy, and for its detailed and thick description—as a rich oil painting on a broad canvas—of the systems of violence managed by the State of Israel, and specifically the IDF, against the Palestinians. This topic should be of interest to the general public and not only to academic scholars, although the scholarly nature of the book and its theoretical sophistication may make it difficult to read. This is the most current book in Hebrew on legitimacy and military violence in general. Each of the book’s 11 chapters contain several dozen references and over 600 bibliographic citations. This book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to engage in this topic in or outside Israel, and become acquainted with the works at the forefront of research on this topic.

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Amal, J. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 4. [In Hebrew]

The collection of articles Armed with Legitimacy: Justifications for Military Violence in Israeli Society, edited by Ofra Ben-Yishai and Professor Yagil Levy, makes a substantive contribution to raising public awareness of the importance of the manner in which men and women soldiers, citizens, and military authorities justify the use of military violence, specifically against unarmed civilians. In the best of the epistemological standpoint tradition, the majority of the chapters delve deeply into the deliberations, considerations, and moral principles that men and women soldiers and civilians apply in their efforts to justify their use of military violence, and its use by the military in general.

The sociological standpoint of this collection provides insight into the considerations that affect legitimation of military violence, and the changes in the sources of justification of such use by men and women soldiers and civilians. To paint a broad picture of these changes, this interesting and comprehensive collection intertwines research following the best of the empirical tradition, with theoretical and programmatic studies.

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Shemesh, A., & Tahel-Gal, Y. (2022).
Maarchot, Homeland Issue 3. [In Hebrew]

Strategic plans for emergency preparedness on a national scale, however, good they may be, tend to be blind to the specific qualities of each community. The homeland support organizations should give priority to those communities that will experience more devastating damage in the event of an earthquake, due to their specific features. Society’s problem-solving abilities do not depend solely on mental preparedness and logistic abilities, but also to the resources that it possesses.

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Malhi, A., & Cohen, G. (2022).
Maarchot, Homeland Issue 3. [In Hebrew]

As the various Homeland Command forces encounter significant challenges in managing the chaotic civilian arena during multi-casualty incidents, assistance of professional and semi-professional organizations and volunteers is required in select communities. To maximize the aptitudes of the Haredi community it is important to develop a well-defined procedure that includes the ability to operate all organizations and community representatives at the local level.

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Deskal, S. (2022).
Maarchot, Homeland Issue 3. [In Hebrew]

Socio-emotional preparedness for coping with extreme incidents and crises is critical for a population’s ability to recover and return to functioning. This paper presents a methodology based on the knowledge gap theory for constructing a socio-emotional preparedness plan that maximizes resilience in the face of uncertainty in the extreme event of an earthquake.

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Weisberg, H. (2022).
Maarchot. [In Hebrew]

In all IDF units, soldiers serving alongside one another come from different backgrounds, religions, and sectors, and together they create a unique human tapestry. This is a breath-taking mosaic comprising small yet significant elements that each play a special role in the mosaic, and without which it would lack its color and uniqueness. This unique shared experience of military service creates the foundation for solders’ initial encounter between, and familiarity with, all elements of the Israeli tapestry.

Personal acquaintance and mutual trust between a commander and their soldiers are not built necessarily on technical information, but rather on the basis of an acquaintance with the soldiers’ cultural and religious background and the environment in which they were raised. Knowledge of another person’s culture promotes camaraderie and a sense of collaboration and commitment, which all support the military mission. This book provides a window onto the worlds of the various religious and sects that make up Israeli society; It offers the commander information and an unmediated encounter with the rich cultural and religious background of their soldiers. The book is a guide for commanders for building a personal and professional relationship with the soldiers under their command.

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Ben-Shalom, U., Rickover, I., Raizer, A., & Connelly, V. (2023).
Armed Forces and Society.

Israeli society has seen a gradual decrease in the proportion of compulsory and reserve soldiers. amidst growing criticism of the military from those who have previously served. This criticism is connected to a willingness on their part to organize collective action for post-service benefits and influence other post-service-related issues. We argue that a new theoretical concept of an “emergent veteran identity” could explain this new social phenomenon for both the Israeli military and others. In this study, 248 Israeli veterans completed questionnaires designed to investigate emergent veteran identity. The results reveal that emergent veteran identity was explained by the perception of the role of the military in society, by the organizational dimensions of veterans’ transition into society, and, to a lesser extent, by combat experiences. Female veterans had a higher emergent veteran identity and exhibited higher transformation limbo. The article also discusses the utility of this new concept for the study of veterans in general and the results’ implications for threats to and the loss of military identity.

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Ben-Shalom, U., Mash, R., Dvir, A. Z., & Levin, E. (2022)
Crime, Law and Social Change.

This research focuses on violence by females who were involved in terror attacks in Israel during the Intifada of the Individuals between September 2015 and October 2016. Videos of encounters during this conflict present a sample of females perpetrating terror attacks, responding as armed security personnel, or participating (or not) in mob violence following the attack. Using the Three Agent Model of terror attacks, we sorted female modes of participation into “Aggressor,” “Disruptor,” and part of “Crowd.” We analyzed 20 terror attacks with female aggressors and 8 terror attacks with female disruptors, extrapolating the information from analysis of the videos, open-source materials on the Internet, and in-depth interviews. Attacks by female aggressors usually involved numerous “Threat Moves” and were generally disorganized; nevertheless, these aggressors were likely to be killed. Female disruptors were predominantly in uniform and armed. They conveyed a viewpoint of being equal in operational prowess to their fellow soldiers who were male. Some of them expressed an intention to moderate the level of violence during friction, but the video analysis revealed that, like their male fellows, they were likely to inflict lethal violence or to risk being killed. We were not able to locate any evidence of involvement of females in crowd violence following terror attacks, nor that crowd violence by males directed towards subdued female aggressors. We contend that the level of institutional preparation is the most likely explanation for these patterns of aggression on both sides of the political conflict, for women terrorists and women combatants alike. We discuss the utility and limitations of our theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding female aggression.

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The Military Organization and the Military Profession

Barnea, A. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 3. [In Hebrew]

The intelligence debate on whether the Second Intifada (October 2000) was initiated by Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, or was a spontaneous outburst that surprised both parties and had widespread repercussions that have not yet been fully addressed. According to one intelligence assessment, which was accepted by the majority of decision-makers and largely shaped Israel’s response, the riots were devised by Arafat. According to another assessment, shared by numerous intelligence officers in the IDF Intelligence Corp and the GSS, Arafat was not the initiator of the riots and initially even attempted to stop them and pacify the situation. Later, following the IDF’s harsh response, he joined the Intifada and reaped its benefits. Although the IDF had prepared for the riots in view of Palestinian frustration from the failure of the Camp David Summit and on the basis of the Naqba Day events in May 2000, the timing of the riots and their spillover into the Green Line surprised the IDF and Israeli decision-makers. This article argues that the intelligence assessment that Arafat was behind the riots was incorrect. Presenting this belief to decision-makers as the dominant assessment was not only professionally flawed but also ethically flawed.

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Dustry, O. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 3. [In Hebrew]

In the past decade, the number of actors involved in a gray zone confrontation has increased. A gray zone confrontation is defined as a conceptual area between peace and war, characterized by activities that extend beyond ordinary competitive interactions, but intentionally do not exceed the boundary of a direct, large-scale military confrontation. The objective of this type of confrontation is to achieve diplomatic, economic, and military gains in the international or regional arena, by engaging in a quasi-geopolitical competition, and to avoid military responses by rivals. This paper proposes to develop a comprehensive theory by conceptualizing the gray zone confrontation, and offers a practical analysis of the test case related to Israel’s indirect confrontation with Iran and Hizbollah.

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Furlan, M. (2022).
Israel Affairs, 1-14.‏

With decades of multilayered close cooperation transformed into outright hostility, Iran and Israel have been trying to strengthen their strategic posture vis-à-vis each other: Israel by attacking Iranian-related targets in Syria and befriending Arab countries; Iran by supporting armed militias and terror organizations and pursuing a nuclear weapons program. While neither state seems interested in military confrontation, miscalculations can never be fully excluded.

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Cohen, H. (2022).
Israel Studies, 27(1), 1-34.‏

In recent years, Israel's Security Agency (Shabak) launched a new psychological warfare arena with an Arabic language Facebook page addressed to Palestinians, alongside more precisely targeted pages monitored by regional field officers (the so-called “Captains”). The messaging is nearly identical to the kind of propaganda the Zionist media has aimed at Palestinians for over a century: Israel is here to stay, Israel desires coexistence, but those who defy its authority suffer the consequences. The difference is that this time the messages are targeted, personal, illustrated with documentary footage of youths detained, homes demolished, calls for collaborators and informers, and preachy holiday greetings. These Facebook pages have acquired a huge following, but their comments show that the Palestinians are not buying the message. Some signal an interest in the dangled benefits, some respond with a slew of curses, while others use the platform to send political counter-messages. Social media has so far not succeeded in winning over the hearts and minds of Palestinians, though it may discourage them from joining the struggle against the occupation

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Amram, E. (2022).
Bein Hazirot [Between Arenas], 17. [In Hebrew]

In 2019, the IDF developed a contingency plan named Formula 1.0, whose goal was to “rapidly develop technological projects that meet needs in times of an emergency.” The idea was to identify operational-organizational challenges and needs during wartime or a campaign, in view of the changing nature of the enemy and the environment, and to rapidly develop technological solutions through the staff of the IDF’s Telecommunications and Cyber Defense Division. Although the Covid-19 pandemic was not strictly a security event, the plan was first activated in March 2020 in response to the rapid spread of the virus and concerns of its damaging effects on military readiness and on the lives of its soldiers. The plan was adjusted to the nature of the event — including the identification by the Division and the IDF of the organizational challenges and needs created by the spread of the virus, and the delivery of technological solutions for these challenges that were developed in-house.

Very soon after the launch of the program, the technological solutions for the challenges of Covid-19 were presented and pilot tests were immediately performed by operational clients. Soldiers and officers from across the IDF participated in the program, effectively creating an IDF-wide platform for the development of new projects during a crisis. Due to social distancing requirements, and the isolation and lockdowns in which most participants found themselves, the plan was operated and administered largely on digital platforms (WhatsApp, Zoom, Teams), and mainly without previous acquaintance of the participants from across the Division and the IDF.

This article offers systemic insights, many of which are also applicable to the management of entrepreneurial plans by the IDF in routine times and on non-digital platforms: the importance of continuity of command and management of the projects developed within the program, and the establishment of an innovation reserves unit that served as a jumping point for rapid and high standard development by regular soldiers. Furthermore, the use of digital platforms accelerated progress and facilitated decision-making based on experience and knowledge rather than rank or authority.

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Rosman, E., Zaidise, E., & Stanleigh, J. (2022).
Israel Affairs, 1-20.‏

Israel’s civilian health care system doubles as military medical facilities, providing soldiers with care during both conflict and routine times. Previous scholarship indicates that despite medical personnel’s high professionalism and positive intentions, they are not immune to the effects of social and political behaviors that potentially affect patient care. Looking at the way soldiers perceive their care in civilian hospitals in Israel, this article asks in what ways does the nature of conflict affect servicemen/women’s perception of care in the civilian medical system. Using mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative data), the article concludes that satisfaction with care is affected both by how it is measured (quantitative vs. qualitative evaluation) and by the nature of conflict (HIC vs. routine). Explanations include the reality during HIC situations, how civilian medical staff views soldiers, as well as civil-military relations in Israel. Further research is needed to understand these findings in depth.

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Hoffman, T. (2022).
Current Sociology,.‏

This article examines the interrelations between two educational endeavors in Israeli high schools, which are usually perceived as separated. The first is a pre-military education program that is an inherent part of Israeli schools’ formal and non-formal curriculum. The second is the incorporation of volunteering activity in and for the community as a compulsory prerequisite for the matriculation diploma. An integrative analysis of policy and curricular documents of both programs suggests that a shared common discursive framework characterizes these programs. This discourse glorifies an ideal Israeli citizen who serves his country through both civic volunteering and military service. This dual discourse blurs the boundaries between what is considered civic and what is considered military in the education system. Thus, it calls for a reconsideration of the ways in which civic education may be implemented in the education system together with militaristic ideals.

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Atias, D., Machluf-Biton, M., Lior, Y., Ohayon, O., & Antonovsky, A. (2022).
Health Promotion International.‏

While many military positions are characterized by rigorous routines and long-hour shifts, some positions also require the practice of sensitivity and empathy alongside diligence and attention. Prolonged exposure to such conditions may promote emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and diminished self-accomplishment perception, all part of work-related burnout which may affect soldiers’ ability to practice their duty. The service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoint unit is an example of such conditions due to the soldiers’ constant interaction with civilian population. In this questionnaire-based cross-sectional study which included 404 responders from the IDF checkpoint battalions, we examined the effects of demographical, situational and personal variables on soldiers’ burnout. A hierarchical multivariate linear regression (R2 = 0.47) identified sense of coherence, the core concept in the salutogenic model of health, as the most prominent protective factor, followed by service motivation and perceived well-being (WB). Taken together, the results revealed several factors associated with military work-related burnout. These findings can serve as a base for burnout prevention programs, which may potentially improve not only the soldiers’ WB but also the interfaces between military and civilian populations.

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Mishra, Y., Mohanty, U., Jeswani, S., & Panda, P. (2022).
Available at SSRN 4110311.‏

The author’s aim, within the context of the current affairs of gender inclusion in militaries, is to study the central point of the issue. The principal question has been addressed first, what are the barriers restricting women from employment in the armed forces, and in what manner do they affect the revolution of society. Then, the historical and current position with the process of gender mainstreaming in India and Israel has been described concerning women’s status and position in the defense forces. This helps us to compare and analyze two countries which shows us the similarity and specific differences in ideologies of both countries when it comes to arguments against gender inclusion. The question of a woman’s real contribution, towards military services and the traditional domestic system, is always the epicenter of the debate because the actualization of egalitarian society does not only happen in the court’s judgments and legislations but in the mindset of the society and people. The comparison demonstrates how the roots of the traditional society of the two nations are shackling the reformation and gender equality in the military forces.

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Waldman, A., Tiargan-Orr, R., & Gal, R. (2022).
Armed Forces & Society,

Israel, a unique case in the Western world, maintains a whole-mandatory military service, thus maintaining a “People’s Army” model. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enjoys a law-based compulsory recruitment system. Despite many significant changes occurring in recent decades, the motivation of Israeli youth to fulfill their military service has remained quite high and stable throughout the last decades. To understand the issues affecting the perpetuation of this trend over the years, this study suggests a new perspective of analyzing military motivation and its components. Utilizing a large survey sample of potential candidates for mandatory conscription, we analyzed both conscripts’ general willingness to enlist and their propensities toward and preference for specific types of service. The findings of the present study query Moskos’ original thesis of the Institution/Occupation (I/O) model and show the “coexistence” subsisting among Israeli youth between two seemingly conflicting propensities—the “Self-actualization” and “Contributing to nation’s security.

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Dalit Milshtein, Avishai Henik, Eviathar H. Ben-Zedeff, & Uri Milshtein, 2022.
The Military Psychologist, 37(2), 11-5.

After-action debriefing and systematic analyses of warfare usually focus on the actual state of the battlefield; that is, what was known to those involved in fighting, to what extent they were prepared to confront their enemy, and whether unexpected events could not have been predicted could have occurred. However, human behavior in general, and in extreme conditions, like war, in particular, is not affected solely by explicit factors such as the actual states of affairs. Alternative states of affairs intertwining with cognitive biases may play a significant role in behavior as well, and therefore should be considered in decision-making analysis. On the battlefield, the above can be reflected in a mental completion of partial intelligence, a mental generation of possible outcomes to different courses of action, or a mental manipulation of alternative states of affairs attributed to the enemy. In other words, a variety of cognitive biases can influence combat commanders' decision-making even when the commanders have extensive experience and relevant intelligence is available to them. We suggest considering failed tactical decision-making on the battlefield that cannot be explained by explicit factors (e.g., an inexperienced commander, untrained soldiers, inadequate intelligence, or an unpredictable enemy) as possible evidence for the explanatory power of the cognitive perspective. Accordingly, exposing cognitive researchers. to actual information from the battlefield is of significant value to the future development of theories and training.

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Helfont, S. (2022).
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, 1-11.‏

The Israeli Navy is in the midst of a major transformation. With great fanfare, the Israel Defense Forces purchased new, highly capable ships and updated their naval doctrine. This naval build up is a part of what some scholars have described Israel's "turn to the sea". While much has been written and said about Israel's new maritime focus, any analysis also requires an assessment of both the benefits and short coming of the new navy for Israeli foreign policy.

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Matanya, E. (2022).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 2022(25). [In Hebrew]

This articles offers an in-depth exploration of the singular approach of the IDF and the State of Israel to military-technological superiority and its reliance on the recruitment of Israel’s STEM (science technology, engineering, and mathematics) elite within the mandatory draft model. The article argues that the fundamental quantitative-militia logic underlying the initial conscription model was also used from the outset to recruit the STEM youth elite, who were channeled to build the IDF’s techno-operational competitive edge. Over time, both defense R&D and the service programs for this youth elite expanded and continues to expand, and the STEM elite became the pillar of the efforts to build the technological-scientific power of the IDF and the entire defense system. This article points to the shift in the underlying logic shifted of the mandatory draft model—from an emphasis on the quantitative logic to an emphasis on the need to recruit a skilled population, and above all, the STEM elite, through the conscription of the general population. Given this ongoing process and because there is no practical alternative for recruiting this elite without conscription, any change to the conscription model must consider the importance of recruiting this elite. The article concludes with a discussion of the inherent threats to the success of their recruitment in scenarios of shortened or differential mandatory service.

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Leshnick, A. (2022).
International Journal of Communication, 16, 13.‏

This article examines how states adopt visual activist strategies to promote and legitimize their own narratives in today’s digital environment. Specifically, it tackles the work of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Documentary-Combat squad, a new unit that trains soldiers in strategic image-making. Based on a qualitative analysis of ten interviews with former members of this squad, this article contends that the IDF uses social media as a key platform to circulate its images to maintain its sense of ontological security.

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Massa, A. (2022).
Mediascapes Journal, 19(1), 128-141.‏

This contribution reflects on the results of an exploratory qualitative analysis investigating how pop elements are used in the international communication of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), considering the English-language Twitter account. According to the narrative and aesthetic turns in international relations, security and military affairs can be conveyed even by popular entertainment. So then, digital militarism transfers military affairs to the terrains of social media. The thematic and qualitative content analysis results show how IDF employs pop elements to perform different kinds of militarism, namely essential militarism, contentious militarism, and normalizing militarism. Moreover, the peculiar tone of voice set by the recurrence of pop elements helps to dialogue with other international actors, crystalizing traditional polarizations. However, not all events can be conveyed by pop narratives: while confrontations and self-representation are frequently displayed through pop culture elements, reports on traditional security issues remain anchored to a narrative based on emergency alerts or emotional features.

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Shelah, O. (2022).
Memorandum 223, INSS. [In Hebrew]

The author argues that in recent years, the various components of the IDF’s personnel—mandatory conscription, standing and regular army—have faced a series of challenges that are coalescing to create a genuine crisis. In part, these challenges stem from factors outside the IDF’s control, including the changes in Israeli society, its demographic structure, and its values, while other challenges stem from the issues related to the management of a large-scale organization. The author believes that the IDF’s personnel structure requires an end-to-end adjustment and transformation, from mandatory conscription and service to a personnel model based on reserves and a standing army, otherwise the end predicted by some senior IDF officers will be inevitable: uncontrolled slippage to a collapse of the “people’s army” model and transition to a “professional army” of volunteers and paid soldiers, which will doubtfully provide the optimal solution for Israel’s security needs and might have adverse social implications. The study presents an analysis of the current situation and its causes, outlines the factors of change in all forms of service, which constitute the basis for a proposal of the required changes in each form of service.

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Kalla, C., Goltser-Dubner, T., Ben-Yehuda, A., Lotan, A., Itzhar, N., Mirman, A., … & Canetti, L. (2022).
International Journal of Stress Management.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) reportedly promote medical and psychiatric morbidity and maladaptive reactivity to stress throughout life. To explore the impact of ACE on army cadets undergoing stressful training conditions, a cohort of healthy cadets in an elite Israel Defense Forces unit was screened using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) for exposure to childhood adversity. Two extreme case–control subgroups with high scores (childhood adversity [CA] subgroup, n = 43) or null scores (non-childhood adversity [NCA] subgroup, n = 43), were further assessed before, and in the middle of a high intensity combat-simulation training week. Compared with the NCA subgroup, at baseline, the CA group exhibited higher state anxiety (p < .001), trait anxiety (p < .001) and depression (p < .001), and poorer executive functioning on the Behavior Regulation Index (BRI, p = .001) and Metacognition Index (MI, p < .001). At the height of the combat-simulating training week, however, the scores of the CA subgroup were not significantly higher than their baseline scores for depression, trait anxiety, BRI, or MI. By contrast, relative to their baseline scores, the NCA subgroup’s scores during the combat-simulating week were significantly increased for state anxiety (p < .001) and BRI (p = .004). Exposure to CA results in significant long-term alterations in anxiety, depressive symptoms, and executive functioning, as well as stress reactivity. Living with constantly increased vigilance may either be protective or merely saturate symptomatic increments when facing external stress.

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Iversen, Z. A., Almagor Tikotzki, M., & Kurman, J. (2022).
Military Psychology, 1-14.‏

The goal of the current study was to develop a resilience selection tool for combat officers that would augment the test battery at the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Officer Selection Center (OSC). To enable this goal, we sought to explore the underlying structure of resilience in a diverse number of resilience predictors. Participants were 1,533 male candidates at the IDF OSC. Using Exploratory Factor Analysis followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis, 159 items from 13 separate resilience scales were refined into a single, 18-item psychological resilience scale. The new scale emphasizes self-efficacy, competency and overall positive self-perception. The new scale is tailored specifically to military combat officers. Initial construct validity was demonstrated against Big Five dimensions and psychological evaluations at IDF OSC. Predictive validity was demonstrated against command and peer evaluations from IDF Officer Training School (OTS). Medium to strong positive correlations were found between the resilience scale and Big Five dimensions of Extroversion and Conscientiousness, as well as a medium negative correlation with Neuroticism. Low but significant correlations were found between the resilience measure and psychological evaluations of combat officer vocational congruence. Low but significant correlations were also found with command and peer evaluations from Officer Training School. Resilience scale scores were found to predict OTS commander evaluations, but not OTS peer evaluations, beyond standard OSC scores when controlling for demographic variables. The theoretical importance of findings as well as implications for military officer selection are discussed.

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Shahar, S., Sagi, L., Tsur, Y., & Ben-Shalom, U. (2022).
Journal of Political & Military Sociology, 49(1), 39-57.‏

This study asks the question, How do police commanders view leadership in ad hoc formations during assigned operations? In the era of a post-heroic society , security organizations have adopted the negation of risk and the avoidance of violence as important principles. These principles are reflected in the perceptions of those leading ad hoc teams. This article presents an analysis of thirteen in-depth interviews with experienced members of the Israel Border Police who are in command of companies up to the level of battalion. The narratives of the commanders reveal a distinction between a "mission" and an operational "event" as they acknowledge the "flammability" of tasks during command operations in both Israel and the West Bank. We conclude that much of the commanders' confidence during such operations stems from their close knowledge of the operational arena as well as the practical operational experiences they have had. Specifically, the article concludes that commander competence is manifested by the combination of their leadership style and the intimate knowledge they possess about the professional qualities of the participants in the diverse ad hoc teams they command made up of personnel from military, police, and security organizations.

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Lorber, A. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 4. [In Hebrew]

Advanced technology and its proper implementation through an appropriate combat doctrine is a critical element in the achievement of victory in war. The wars in Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine point to the directions of technological development in future hostilities and the consequences of these areas’ lack of preparedness. Unmanned aircraft and drones, cruise missiles and high-trajectory weapons, and the willingness to use them against civilians and economic infrastructure, have ushered in a revolution in military affairs. To prevent surprises on the battlefield and in the diplomatic field, it is critical to understand and anticipate such revolutions in advance, and where necessary, to develop doctrines and technological counter-measures. The proliferation of long-range fire power threatens Israel and could disrupt IDF operations and life in the home front. Israel also has a considerable ethnic minority, some of whom are hostile and under certain circumstances might join the hostilities. To resolve these issues, the author proposes to institute a broad but gradual change in the structure of IDF personnel, and adjust its doctrines accordingly. This change will prepare the world’s best army for future confrontations and will reduce its dependency on foreign suppliers.

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Gal, R. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 4. [In Hebrew]

Rapid technological developments and asymmetric wars, which characterize the majority of military conflicts in recent decades, have significantly changed warfare and its means. Fighting battalions and conventional warfare have been replaced by sophisticated technological means that include autonomous armed weapons systems also known by the general term "Lethal Autonomous Robotics" (LARs). These developments prompt difficult questions in several areas, and especially with respect to ethical and moral issues: Focusing on the local arena, is such systems’ implementation contrary to the values outlined in the IDF Spirit Document, for example acknowledgment of the supreme significance of human lives, and the code of purity of arms? This article cautions that on the future battlefield (and perhaps the current one), dilemmas like these will constitute the primary challenge for military and political decision-makers, and for general public in Israel. The article presents the state of developments in this field in Israel and overseas, and discusses the main dilemmas arising from these developments.

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Shafran-Gittlman, I., & Stetman, D. (2022).
Maarchot, 495. [In Hebrew]

The IDF recently decided to add mamlakhtiyut as the fourth element in the IDF Spirit Document. In our humble opinion, this addition was a mistake, but as the decision has already been made, we ask ourselves how this term should be effectively interpreted. The principles listed in the IDF Spirit Document and in similar documents are formulated in general terms and cannot include principles that guide precisely how they are to be interpreted in practice. This is the secret of their power, but also their weakness.

Yogev, H., Cohen, R. A., & Lewin, E. (2022).
Journal of Strategic Security, 15(4), 4.‏

Morris Janowitz believed that for an army to be victorious it needs to be led by as many intellectual forces as possible, just as any organization needs organizational intellectualism to prosper. It is agreed in scholarly literature that the intellectual must author various articles and manifestos to express their viewpoints, mindset, and philosophy in the public sphere. Based on Janowitz’s belief and using the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as a case study, this research offers a model for a generic research methodology that can be practiced elsewhere. The mission was to find the extent to which the higher echelons of the Israeli military engage in writing academic articles concerning matters of strategy and army professionalism. Among other conclusions, the authors point out that, with certain reservations considered, the number of articles authored by the IDF’s senior officers proved to be low. If publication indeed reflects intellectualism, the few articles produced over seven decades by the IDF’s leading echelon ought to sound a warning for Israel’s military decision-makers.

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Lt. Col. Dr. Elhakar, D. (Ed.)(2022).
IDF. [In Hebrew]

Defense innovation (in general, and specifically military innovation) is a human phenomenon: Its organization and the definition of its character are in the hands of individuals. Similarly to the case of war, few theoreticians, practitioners, and academic researchers have attempted to study this phenomenon from a structured research perspective in an effort to capture its internal logic. The institutional integration of innovation into modern armies and defense organizations is a new phenomenon that emerged only in the past decade. This book’s novelty is its attempt to extract from the description of institutional defense innovation, its underlying methodology, rules, and the practical tools available to military commanders wishing to integrate innovation into modern military organizations. The theory of defense innovation presented in this book offers researchers and practitioners engaged in the integration of innovation in defense organizations, tools and methods to conduct an informed investigation of the topic and generate theoretical and practical systematic insights. To our understanding, without a comprehensive approach that supports critical reasoning both about the phenomenon of defense innovation, and about the effective ways to integrate it into the pathways of building and operating military strength, no military force in the early twenty-first century will be able to successfully meet the operational challenges awaiting it.

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Military, Government, and Other Defense Organizations

Freid, Y. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 3. [In Hebrew]

According to the conceptualization of the IDF Planning Department, modern war is a total war between nations, their economies, and their existing and potential material and mental resources. Therefore, to plan a war is “to plan the creation and organization of the overall fighting potential” in anticipation of a military confrontation and the achievement of the state’s strategic goals. Efforts to define the elements of national power (EoNP) have captured the attention of academic scholarship for years. Researchers have not only identified tangible elements that affect potential national power, such as population, GDP, industrial production, and size of the military, but also identified abstract factors, such as national motivation, culture, science, type of regime, education, and bureaucratic efficiency. The IDF considers the education system to be a fundamental component of Israel’s national potential and a key instrument in shaping and training the country’s youth, transforming them into good, disciplined soldiers, not only both in terms of their physical fitness and fierce motivation to fight and service, but also in terms of their education. Accordingly, IDF sought to intervene and influence school curricula in line with the country’s defense requirements, both in terms of fitness and motivation, but also in terms of the school subjects that are relevant for the military.

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Sharvit Baruch, P. (2022).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 1(25). [In Hebrew]

The issue of opening all positions in the IDF to women has once again become a topic of debate, in response to the denial of requests by female conscripts and trainees who dropped out from prestigious courses to try out for combat positions in assault forces, and the petitions submitted to the High Court of Justice on this matter. An IDF committee was appointed to study this issue. The author appeared before the committee as a representative of Forum Dvorah: Women in Foreign Policy and National Security, along with additional representatives of the forum. This article presents a suitable policy for the IDF, while addressing official reports and studies on the issue of integrating women in combat positions in foreign militaries.

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Pakdaman, M., Shafiei Ghahfarokhi, O., & Farhadi, R. (2022).
Political Studies of Islamic World, 10(4).

Objective: The authors try to evaluate Israeli army self-claim as “the most moral army in the world” based on Michael Walzer’s “Just War” theory. This claim, is the main justification used by Israeli officials to justify IDF activities. Walzer is chosen since he is known as the reviver of “Just War” as well as the main patron of IDF ethical code.
Method: This research uses critical analysis method. In this respect, the conformity of IDF activities and Walzer’s Just War is analyzed from internal and external points of view. To come up with the above-mentioned goal, Walzer’s theory is evaluated in terms of solidarity between Walzer’s communitarian approach and “Just War” factors, as internal criticism. As the external one, IDF activities are analyzed in practice based on Just War theory (without considering its internal problems).
Results: This paper shows that IDF has widely violated just war theory which is the cornerstone of its ethical code. This violation has occurred in jus ad bellum as well as jus in bello. Given to the intentions of getting into the war, “Self-Defense” cannot be entitled to the regime, esp. in the West Bank, due to lack of collective life for Israeli settlers, legal authority etc.

Conclusion: The conclusion obtained from examining IDF activities with the glasses of Just War theory, is that the major IDF justification (IDF as the most moral army in the world) is nonsense. This immorality, undermines IDF self-image as well as antagonism against resistance movements as “unethical actors” from academic approach.

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Harwood-Gross, A., Weltman, A., Kanat-Maymon, Y., Pat-Horenczyk, R., & Brom, D. (2022). 
Military Psychology, 1-11.‏

The Peace of Mind (POM) program was designed to enable combat veterans in Israel to process their combat experience, address difficulties in the transition to civilian life and facilitate psychological growth as a result of their military experience. During the course of the program, 1068 participants were studied at four time points.

Post-traumatic symptoms were measured using the PTSD checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), and post-traumatic growth (PTG) was measured using the Post Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). Multilevel Modeling (MLM) was used to assess symptom and psychological trajectories for all participants and for those who began with and without PTSD symptoms, respectively. The results demonstrated that those who began the program with elevated PTSD symptoms experienced a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms following the completion of the intensive element of the program. Additionally, all participants demonstrated an increase in PTG following the intensive section of the program and this was maintained throughout follow-up. The findings indicate that the POM program is beneficial in relation to both positive and negative outcomes of traumatic military experiences though it is clear that the transition from combat to civilian life is more complex than the current measures identify and that further research needs to examine the distinct lifestyle and functional changes which occur following the program.

Read online here.


Yohanani, L. (2022).
Sociological Forum.‏

This study investigates how second-generation Israeli Americans explain their voluntary enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). By using 63 interviews, I compare enlistment motivation narratives of three groups: IDF enlistees with a background in Tzofim, an Israeli-Zionist youth movement in the U.S.; same movement participants who did not enlist; and IDF enlistees with no movement background. The findings illustrate the importance that life circumstances, instrumental considerations, and a search for belonging have for enlistment. Respondents whose future life course was clear were more likely to opt for college, while those without a clear life course joined the IDF in a quest for belonging and future opportunities. Ideological motives were mostly subsidiary, and enlistees without a movement background were even less likely to express them. The study brings together the scholarship on migration and nationalism with the sociological theory of high-risk participation.

It thus investigates the largely uncharted territory of homeland military service among diaspora members, an underexplored yet highly relevant topic in the current era of mass migration. The study also offers a novel contribution to high-risk collective action theory as it brings attention to two largely overlooked groups: non-participants and participants who have not undergone movement socialization.

Read online here.

Shakarchy, N., Tatsa-Laur, L., Kedem, R., Ben-Yehuda, A., & Shelef, L. (2022).
Military Medicine.‏

Objective: Severe suicide attempt is a major risk factor for completed suicide. The aim of the present study was to focus on suicide behavior and timing to gain better understanding of these populations.

Method: The nested case–control retrospective study based on medical records of 246,866 soldiers, who demonstrated suicide attempts of varying severity, including death by suicide were compared with soldiers who did not demonstrate such behavior.

Results: Risk for death by suicide was associated with males, military seniority of less than 12 months. High frequency of visits with mental health care professionals was associated with being severe suicide attempters (SAs). Moderate suicide attempts were associated with being a male, visiting a primary care physician frequently, and belonging to one of the two latest immigrant groups in Israel (Ethiopians and former Soviet Union). Mild suicide attempts were associated with having a psychiatric diagnosis on the enlistment day, visiting a mental health care professional at high or average frequency, visiting a primary care physician at high or average frequency, being a male, and being born in the former Soviet Union. While the proportion of males demonstrating suicidal behavior was higher than the females’, severe SAs were higher among females. There was a clear tendency of female suicide attempters at all levels to act toward the end of their military service.

Conclusions: Although half of the SAs were females, their characteristics may be similar to those of the male SAs, contrary to the sex differences in suicide behavior among civilians.

Read online here.

Almog, S., & Alpiya-Dimant, S. (2022).
Between the Arenas [Bein Hazirot] 17. [In Hebrew]

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (March-May, 2020), IDF commanders acted in unfamiliar environments that operating on the basis of new and occasionally conflicting logics. For example, one organizing logic was established for military personnel who were parents and another organizing logic developed for personnel who were not parents. These different logics created tension between the principles of uniformity and equality of the burden of service, on the one hand, and the principle of attention to and customization of solutions to individuals’ needs. Some of these logics were derived from IDF policy while others evolved in the field. In any event, commanders found themselves at the intersection of conflicting logics. In April 2020, the military leadership performed a status evaluation, which included interviews with 33 commanders, to identify the key leadership challenges and outline the command practices that evolved in the efforts to cope with the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

This paper discusses several themes that emerged in the status evaluation and additional insights that were gained in this period, from the perspective of evolving theory in the field of paradoxical reasoning and paradoxical leadership. A paradox is tension that is created by efforts to simultaneously address conflicting demands, and while these demands that are not illogical in themselves, their concurrent implementation appears absurd or illogical (Lewis, 2000). Another definition of a paradox is the coexistence of two contingent yet conflicting elements (Lewis & Luscher, 2008). The commanders’ statements in the interviewers indicate that they found it difficult to comply with the health-related instructions, which, taken together, do not necessarily create a coherent picture. Commanders’ responses to these instructions was paradoxical, as they concurrently represented the military system to the outside, and also have an internal representational role in their official capacity. Moreover, the organization’s time management culture and tasks were also characterized by conflicting logics. The commanders’ responses provide insights into the leadership of the entire military system, which typically manages tension during routine times and not only during a crisis. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for commanders and for the system, to ensure optimal coping with leadership paradoxes.

Read online here.

Hoffman-Flam, N., & Abstein, A. (2022).
Between the Arenas [Bein Hazirot[ , 17. [In Hebrew]

The Covid pandemic was a powerful demonstration that senior commanders need a more diverse toolset for commanding without engaging in direct contact with their subordinates. Although this phenomenon peaked when the pandemic erupted and the need for social distancing emerged, but these tools are also relevant in view of the inherent distance that high-ranking commanders experience, and IDF events that have increased in frequency in recent years, such as training canceled for various reasons, challenging work schedules, and even a flurry of secondary appointments that prevent frequent and direct encounters with subordinates. This situation compels senior military commanders to enhance their toolbox and learn how to better establish close command remotely. We believe that this is not only a need but also an opportunity to expand the senior command’s necessary knowledge and skills, and to institutionalize training and knowledge development processes for these ranks. The authors argue that the significant difference in the nature of command between the battalion command and the senior brigade command requires the study and acquisition of additional leadership skills and tools. The authors further argue that this type of leadership, which they term “close remote leadership” calls for commanders to address how leadership and influence (which includes all types of influence and is not limited to charismatic leadership influence) develop when the senior command is commanding the organization remotely, and how senior commanders can shape and influence their units and subordinates from afar.

Read online here.

Güldane, S. S., & Ahmet, A. T. E. Ş. (2022).
International Journal of Politics and Security, 4(1), 201-220.‏

This article analyzes the transformation of Israeli security organizations after the Yom Kippur War. In this context, the literature on military change and the change of intelligence organizations was systematically examined in order to draw the theoretical and practical framework of the transformation. As a result of the research, we argue that the Yom Kippur War was considered as an intelligence failure by Israeli policy makers and the public, and the main reason for the transformation was the motivation to eliminate social trauma and failure. In addition, contrary to the common view in the literature, the transformation in Israeli military institutions took place in a hybrid manner, both top-down and bottom-up. We also conclude that, given the military, political and strategic conjuncture not only during the war, but also before and after the war, the change in question arising from the failure of the intelligence was two-way, encompassing various transformation factors. Finally, it was found that the transformation in Israeli intelligence organizations has two stages, individually and structurally, in line with the recommendations of the Agranat Commission, which was established in 1974.

Read online here.

Schleifer, R. (2022).
Israel Affairs, 1-16.‏

This article examines the violent clashes between Hamas and Israel along the Gaza Fence (30 March 2018–27 December 2019) from a psychological operations (PSYOP) perspective. It shows how Hamas managed, through a skillful combination of mass riots, media manipulation, and quick adaptation to changing circumstances to subvert the strategic priorities of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), wear down Israeli morale, and erode Israel’s sovereignty in its southern region – all this while deterring Israel from launching a large-scale military operation in Gaza. As such, the Gaza Fence clashes provide an example of a PSYOP-based strategy that can be applied to other border conflict zones, such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Islamist insurrections.

Read online here.

Shlaifer, A., Berman, A., Benov, A., Friedman, G., Koller, T., Ankory, R., … & Fink, N. (2022).
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 37(3), 417-420.‏

In March 2021, a series of explosions shook a military base in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. As a response to government officials’ request, the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps (IDF-MC) deployed an emergency aid team that faced two major challenges: (1) understanding the scenario, the injury patterns, and the needs of the local medical system; and (2) minimizing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak threats. This report describes the team design, the activities performed before and during the deployment, analyzes the pathology encountered, and shares lessons learned from the mission.

Read online here.

Ehud Eliam (2022).
Palgrave Macmillan.

This book offers an in-depth discussion of the Israeli – Iranian conflict, and its implications for the United States and Arab states. The main topic is Israel’s approach to handling Iran and its partners, given Iran’s ambitions, including its plan to produce nuclear weapons. The author explains the complexity of the Iranian – Israeli – Arab triangle, while offering suggestions on how the United States can assist Israel in this matter. The volume also contributes a unique point of view on events and military factors.

Read online here.

Freilich, C. (2022).
Survival, 64 (3), 117-132.‏

Israel’s national security strategy in many ways has been a historic success. Once a weak, embattled state whose survival was at stake, Israel has become an essentially secure state whose existence is probably no longer in doubt. A nuclear Iran remains the only potentially existential threat, and Hizbollah a severe proximate threat. A simple process of elimination among the options available to Israel shows that a revived nuclear deal is the best of a bad lot. Sanctions, covert sabotage and a military attack are unlikely to yield long-term gains. No one knows if, when or how regime change will occur. A revived deal buys Israel the greatest amount of time and may produce new opportunities if extended. But Israel may eventually have no choice but to launch a military attack, possibly designed to force the international community to take decisive action.

Read online here.

Oxford Analytica (2022).
Emerald Expert Briefings, (oxan-db).‏

Israel has been reluctant to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To ward off international criticism, including from pro-Israeli U.S. politicians, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tried to position himself as a mediator. That effort has receded as Turkey has emerged as the more effective mediator, even hosting a round of peace talks.

Read online here.

Morau, A. C., & El Benni, A. (2022)

Nearly 85 Palestinians and 7 Israelis were killed in a reciprocal bombardment, and nearly 1,500 different missiles were fired at the State of Israel. It is the fiercest conflict from the two sides in recent years. A 13-story residential building has collapsed in Gaza, and another has been severely damaged by hundreds of Israeli airstrikes in May 2021, while Hamas and Palestinian factions have shot down a dam in Tel Aviv and Beersheba. The resurgence of the conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas is proving to have worse consequences than the last war in 2014, gaining international concern, for fear that this situation will spiral out of control. The regional instability has only widened the gap between third-world countries and global power-states, which aim to provide a solid democratic reset for the society in those areas. Hamas, as an international terrorist organization, aims not only to regain part of the lost territory, but also to punish the Jewish community as a whole, by provoking suffering on the civilian and military society of Israel.

Read online here.

Berger Hobson, R., & Pedahzur, A. (2022).
.Israel Affairs, 1-13.

The attack on members of the Israeli team during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany, was a critical juncture in the understanding of terrorism as theater and in the fusion between counterterrorism and special operation forces. It created a path dependency in the way the terrorist threat is perceived and handled. For Israel, the attack was one in an ever increasing and constantly changing terrorist threat that helped shape its security apparatus and led to the proliferation of special operation forces units within the military, police and border police. Globally, the attack led to a spur in the establishment of special operation units with specific counterterrorism and hostage rescuing expertise. Overall, the media coverage of the Munich massacre and the failure of the German security forces in handling the crisis contributed to the survivability of special operation forces units. These units specialized in counterterrorism operations and later-on appropriated other types of missions and responsibilities while tightening their political ties and enhancing their public image. Most notably of these was the Israeli Sayeret Matkal.

Read online here.

Rodman, D. (2022).
In The Palgrave International Handbook of Israel, pp. 1-11. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore.‏

Israeli national security doctrine has always been heavily influenced by territorial considerations. Lack of defensible borders and strategic depth before the Six-Day War put the country at grave risk of destruction, thereby convincing the Israeli national security establishment to favor offensive over defensive military measures. The acquisition of defensible borders and strategic depth as a result of the capture of the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria during that war, however, did not resolve Israel’s national security predicament with respect to territory. Rather, geographical expansion has created national security problems of its own since the Six-Day War. The Israeli national security establishment continues to grapple with these problems to the present day.

Read online here.

Tira, R. (2022 July).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25(2). [In Hebrew]

The Air Force Headquarters: Designing the Force and Planning for its Employment by Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Meir Finkel represents a unique contribution to its readers. While most of the literature covering the Israeli Air Force focuses on personal stories, its combat heritage, or analyses of specific events, Finkel’s book provides a broad view of the Air Force’s operations in terms of force development, planning, and execution, and their evolution over time.

Read online here.

Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25(2 – 2022).

The IDF’s singular approach to military-technological superiority prompts dependence on the recruitment of Israel’s STEM (science technology, engineering, and mathematics) elite within the conscription model. The article argues that the quantitative logic, or militia rationale underlying the initial conscription model was also used from the outset to recruit the STEM youth elite, and to track it for building the IDF’s techno-operational edge. Over time, the center of gravity of the model’s underlying logic shifted—from a quantitative emphasis to an emphasis on the need to recruit a skilled population, and above all, the STEM elite, through the conscription of the general population. Defense R&D and the expansion of the special recruitment tracks advanced simultaneously, and this elite population became the pillar of the IDF and the entire security establishment’s techno-operational force buildup. Given this ongoing process and because there is no practical alternative for recruiting this elite without conscription, any change to the conscription model must consider the importance of recruiting this elite. The article concludes with a discussion of the inherent risks to this recruitment in scenarios of shortened or differential mandatory service.

Read online here.

Hecht, I., & Berlovitch, E. (2022).
The Dado Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies. [In Hebrew]

This paper presents the key insights that may be gleaned from the current war in Ukraine in general and with a specific focus on land combat. The authors argue that while the land campaign is not self-sustaining, it is the major campaign and its results may determine the outcome of the war. Although the other theaters of war—the air, naval, cyber, and economic and diplomatic campaigns—affect the ultimate outcome, they are of secondary importance and their main contribution is in their assistance to ensuring a victory on land. The authors argue that the most important lesson to be learned from this war is that this pattern of warfare persists, and therefore the principles of land warfare are still valid. Sophisticated weapons enhanced certain capabilities but they did not substantively transform land warfare.

Read online here.

Riza, G. (2022).
INSS Strategic Assessment – A Multidisciplinary Journal on National Security, 25(2). [In Hebrew]

Terrorist organizations operate intelligence units whose primary aim is to obtain valuable information about their adversaries’ activities, in order to plan terrorist attacks and acquire counterintelligence, and thereby reduce the value of the intelligence gathered by their adversaries. This article presents a study that analyzes, within the limits of an empirical framework, Hezbollah’s operation of intelligence agents in Israel. The purpose of the study is to expose Hezbollah agents’ operating methods in Israel and to shed light on the status of human intelligence (HUMINT) in Hezbollah’s intelligence efforts, based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of 21 court decisions against 41 male and female residents of Israel charged with spying for Hizbollah between 2000 and 2021. The activity of most of the agents was very quickly exposed by Israeli counterintelligence, and their activities did not cause significant damage to Israel.

Read online here.

Shelah, Ofer. (2022).
Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Throughout its existence, Israel has faced security challenges and has struggled with how best to make decisions to address them. Despite recommendations in many official reports for improving Israel's national security decision-making process, flaws persist. These flaws are most evident in the work of the government's Security Cabinet, the highest political echelon involved in these matters, and the National Security Council, the organization responsible for preparing more-informed discussions that lead to better decisions. From this perspective, the author examines the inherent flaws in the function of these entities and in the process as a whole through a review of past examples of security decision-making and interviews with former and current officials, reflects on their underlying causes, and suggests avenues toward a decision-making apparatus that is better suited to the challenges the country faces today.

Read online here.

Eilam, E. (2022).
The RUSI Journal, 1-8.‏

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been at war with Hizbollah and Hammas, two powerful non-state actors, several times throughout Israel’s history. In the next war, the IDF will seek to gain a decisive and quick victory, by launching a large-scale offensive, and strive to destroy military targets, such as rockets. It will continue to rely heavily on firepower, mostly from the air, while carrying out a limited maneuver on the ground to reduce its casualties. Yet, Ehud Eilam argues, a massive ground offensive might be needed with such a buildup being based on the air force, infantry and intelligence.

 Read online here.

Ofek Riemer & Daniel Sobelman. (2023).
Routledge: New York & London.

Can intelligence serve as a coercive instrument in international relations? While coercion literature mostly addresses military and economic means, this article argues that coercion can also include the deliberate public disclosure of intelligence. Intelligence can be employed to threaten adversaries, reduce their latitude, and force them to adjust their plans and operations. Additionally, intelligence disclosure can be used to mobilize domestic and international audiences and make others align with a certain narrative and alter their policies accordingly. Still, coercive disclosure can fail or succeed only partially against a determined opponent or a target that is resilient to public and international pressure. To demonstrate the workings of coercive disclosure, we analyze Israel's campaign, beginning in 2017, against the Lebanese Hezbollah’s missile manufacturing program and Turkey's coercive campaign vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia and the United States following Jamal Khashoggi's assassination in 2018.

Read online here.

Zalmanovitch, B. (2022).
Ministry of Defense, Israel. [In Hebrew]

“Commander Pamphlets” and “Combat Pamphlets” reflect the spirit and thoughts of the commanders on many topics, including the fighting spirit, leadership, values, professionalism, and the study of victories and defeats in combat. The Glossary of IDF Terms defined “the combat pamphlet” as follows: “the publication of statements made by unit commanders (from division commander and above) to their soldiers in anticipation of or during a military engagement or drill, which includes an explanation of the background to the operation, its significance, and its aims.” While this definition is an important starting point, it is incomplete as it lacks reference to commanders’ statements on the combat spirit and matters of principle and ethics. Furthermore, this definition does not include “Commander Pamphlets” that include “Combat Pamphlets” yet also contain commanders’ statements related to the military profession such as combat doctrine, professionalism, training, and issues related to routine times such as values and discipline.  Read online here.

Military Culture and Human Resources

Dagan, A., & Glazer, S. (2022).
Between the Arenas, [Bein Hazirot]  17. [In Hebrew]

This paper describes one aspect of the Air Force’s response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic—organizational resilience. The Covid pandemic is an example of a unique unanticipated event that challenges all aspects of resilience. The tool presented in this paper was developed in the Sociology System in 2019 for warfare and emergency situations, and was adapted to the nature of the pandemic and its implications. This tool was used to structure reasoning and discourse and to create a professional impact on the responses to the challenges created by the pandemic. It is a unique experience to describe events and professional interventions as they unfold, without pre-knowledge of “the end of the story,” or even of our position on the time axis. We adopt the necessary humility based on the limited perspective available at present to describe all the issues that we faced and continue to face. This period is also characterized by frequent changes in situation assessments, the features of the situation, and its implications.

What applied in the first stage of the event was not necessarily applicable to the second wave of the pandemic, and so on. Nonetheless, the authors do not intend to provide an accurate description of the situation at each point in time, but rather to illustrate how the above-mentioned tool was used to develop organizational resilience, analyzing the pandemic as a test case.

Read online here.

Bar-Gil., O. (2022).
Between the Arenas, [Bein Hazirot], 17 [In Hebrew]

The Covid pandemic and social distancing requirements that were designed to prevent the spread of the virus forced the IDF to adapt to an unfamiliar situation and devise new ways to perform its missions. Some of these methods entailed adoption of online technologies, methods, and procedures that supported compliance with social distancing restrictions. These technological tools have long been in existence with limited use in the military, but their use was accelerated within the IDF’s efforts to adapt to the new reality. In this paper the authors examine the speed of the IDF’s adoption of these tools during the Covid pandemic, in order to gain insight into how to improve the IDF’s overall rate of adjustment to technology-related changes. The paper is based on surveys of members of the conscript and standing army, consultants’ observations of IDF units, discourse analysis of an online group, and discussions with decision-makers who were members of various work teams. Using these sources, the authors identified four key dimensions — technology, people, organizational preparations, and organizational policy. The paper describes these dimensions and analyzes the primary factors that affect the rate of adjustment in each. The paper concludes with recommendations designed to improve the IDF’s rate of change and adjustment through the adoption of technologies, from a perspective of the IDF’s operating procedures in routine and emergency times.

Read online here.

Gilad, D., & Berko, Y. (2022).
Between the Arenas, [Bein Hazirot], 17. [In Hebrew]

Since March 2020 we experienced a new challenging reality as we attempted to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus worldwide, and in Israel and the IDF. Initially our efforts were focused on stopping the spread of the virus, and subsequently we moved on to a long and undetermined period of routine life alongside the pandemic. In these circumstances, we all experienced an exceptional situation characterized by frequent change and uncertainty, which forced us to change our work and life patterns and adjust them to the new reality.

This period is an opportunity to accelerate the IDF’s digital transformation, and to combine the technological, cultural, and leadership aspects of this transformation to enhance the IDF’s capabilities. Indeed, in this period, a considerable number of new digital capabilities were developed and helped to maintain functional continuity in the IDF and supported national efforts as well. The achievements of realizing the potential of this transformation are already evident in the IDF.

The technological infrastructure, capabilities, and tools that the Telecommunications and Online Defense Division and the technological bodies in the Command, have developed in recent months support the efforts of IDF units to transform quickly and maintain functional continuity by working remotely, learning online, streamlining bureaucracy, and making informed decisions. A long road remains toward building the IDF as a digital organization but the pandemic certainly made it possible to take a leap forward in developing and using new capabilities, and especially affected the beliefs of commanders and conscripts, who experienced first-hand how digital technologies can enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiencies.

This paper explains the term “digital transformation” and its cultural dimension, which facilitates digital change. The paper proceeds to examine the opportunity that the pandemic created to assimilate an organizational culture that supports a digital transformation in the IDF and especially the IDF’s ability to maintain its functional continuity. Finally, the article reviews key directions to support the continued acceleration of a culture and leadership that support a digital transformation in the IDF.

Read online here.

Troscanov, A., Meidad, A., & Hochman, G. (2022).
Between the Arenas, [Bein Hazirot], 17. [In Hebrew]

In response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the IDF developed Covid guidelines that included social distancing, mask wearing, and personal hygiene and handwashing. These guidelines were designed to protect soldiers, maintain functional continuity, and support the IDF’s public image. Nonetheless, it appears that many units and soldiers found it difficult to comply with the new guidelines (Nabat et al., 2020a, 2020b). To support these unique compliance efforts, a multi-phase organizational intervention was launched, which applied the principles of behavioral economics to shape behaviors, and was based on a unique collaboration involving a research institute, the academia, and the Organizational Development Unit of the IDF’s Training campus. The aim of this article is to share the procedure and the theoretical frame underpinning the connection between kowledge in organizational economics and an urgent organizational issue, grounded in the desire to support the continued development of this research field and its organizational effects through the tools of behavioral economics.

Read online here.

Kasher, A. (2021).
Keter Publishing. [In Hebrew]

Ethics marks the minimal standard of good conduct. Ethics guides professionals (all professions) on their conduct in routine times and in exceptional situations, it guides members of organizations (all organizations) on what good conduct it, and should guide office holders (holders of all offices) how to properly conduct themselves. In all fields, ethics marks the minimum standard that conduct must exceed in order to be considered good conduct. In each field, ethics represents the system of norm and rules of conduct that what must be upheld if one’s conduct is considered to be at an appropriate standard.

Ethics presents a set of general principles on which these norms are based. This set of principles defines the identify of each field: its professional identity, organizational identity, or role identity. This volume contains a selection of articles and ethical codes in major areas, including the IDF, government, politics, scientific research, and academic practice. These articles and codes are the fruits of Prof. Kasher’s unique activities. Together, the chapters of this book show how an important aspect of the State of Israel is uniquely designed.

Read a summary of the book here.

Massa, A., & Anzera, G. (2022).
Media, War & Conflict.‏

Platforms are conditioning the way public communication is conducted while presenting themselves as neutral connectors. Social media logic encompasses norms, strategies, mechanisms and economies acting at the intersection between online platforms and society. Military communication is adapting itself to communicative and socio-technical innovations dictated by online platforms and social network sites. Armies are currently using digital media and online platforms in at least two different ways: a promotional one, based on the ‘normalization’ of militarism, and a conflictual one, based on the display and management of conflicts. In this article, the authors apply qualitative content analysis to investigate the platformed strategy of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Twitter account. Results show how the IDF embraces platformization and uses social media logic to develop a coherent narrative, projecting an attractive image, establishing an international positioning and defining international interlocutors. The institution of communicative formats, the multiplication of themes and representational artifacts, and a re-defined aesthetics of army and violence are enabled by social media logic. Tweets from the IDF follow a dual path: they contribute to normalizing militarism and act on the conflictual display of current affairs.

Read online here.

Gushpantz, T. (2022).
Emerging Military Technologies, 193-220.

In the year 2000, it became known that over one hundred naval special force troops who underwent regular diving training activities in the Kishon River, just south of the port city of Haifa, Israel, had become ill with cancer, and at least 27 of them had died as a result. A special independent commission was set up to investigate the matter, headed by the highly respected Meir Shamgar, former Chief Justice of Israel’s Supreme Court. Since the 1960s, the Kishon had been used as a disposal site for the industrial waste of dozens of heavy industries in the Haifa Bay area, as well as sewage treatment runoff of the various municipalities and local authorities in proximity to the river. Yet the stench of the place, the profoundly turbid water reported by the divers, the layers of oil covering the surface, the nature of the sludge present when diving – all failed to trigger any alarms among the commanding officers responsible for the training. Shockingly, this situation had already been reported in the 1950s by governmental and scientific authorities. From the beginning of the 1970s it had already been proven that heavy industrial pollution prevented any life from existing in the Kishon waters.

Read online here.

Steinfeld-Mass, Y., Finestone, A. S., Fay, S., Pinchevsky, E., & Gershovitz, L. (2022).
The Israel Medical Association Journal, 24(6), 382-387.‏

Over the past several years there has been a marked increase in the number of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers having hip arthroscopy based on magnetic resonance arthrography diagnosis of hip labral tears and/or impingement. To detail characteristics of soldiers who underwent hip arthroscopy and assess outcomes and rate of return to duty.

Read online here.

Gold, A. (2022).
Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies, 39(1), 3.‏

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the global economic landscape, leading to unprecedented unemployment spikes, supply chain standstills, and small business shutdowns. From a healthcare perspective, national governments have struggled to provide sufficient care and vaccination to citizens, often requiring strict curfews to remedy the lack of available healthcare provisions. The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region has especially suffered during the pandemic. However, despite the challenging fiscal climate and underprovision of healthcare services, results from the 2021 Arab Barometer survey indicate that citizens’ tolerance of different ethnic and religious groups has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some ethnic and religiously-based conflicts have persisted, such as violent outbreaks between Hamas and the Israel Defense Force, individual-level tolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities and immigrants has increased significantly. Such findings run contrary to existing theories tying economic difficulty to feelings of hostility towards other groups or government coercion to increased minority oppression. In short, amid circumstances that typically turn ethnic and religious groups against one another, tolerance levels between groups have increased, not decreased.

Read online here.

Stern, N., Ben-Shalom, U., Lebel, U., & Ben-Hador, B. (2022).
Israel Studies Review, 37 (2), 133-158

This article presents an ethnographic analysis of the educational and religious tensions that emerged during a five-day biblical seminar run by the Israel Defense Forces’ Identity and Jewish Consciousness Unit. We argue that despite the official focus on professionalization as a pedagogical parameter, the seminar participants themselves reacted to biblical narratives in ways that indicate a distinct kind of personal and individualized discourse. By focusing on this disjuncture, we highlight the very real limitations larger (governmental or civilian) institutional entities face as they attempt to shape religious attitudes within the Israeli public arena. Examining how seminar participants interpret biblical narratives can enable scholars to portray a more nuanced account of how religion and “religionization” function within the Israel Defense Forces.

Read online here.

Greenbaum, E., Barayev, E., Shpitzer, S., Heller, D., Nahum, Y., Livny, E., … & Bahar, I. (2022).
Eye, 1-5.‏

To assess the number of recruits for military service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) who underwent refractive surgery prior to enlistment and examine whether the procedure affected their ability to accomplish combat training.

Read online here.

Nitzan, I., Akavian, I., Adar, O., Rittblat, M., Tomer, G., Shmueli, O., … & Talmy, T. (2022).
Behavioral Medicine, 1-8.‏

Data regarding the contribution of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts to real-world uptake of influenza vaccination remains unclear. This cross-sectional survey-based study among Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically, previous COVID-19 vaccines uptake, on the intention to vaccinate for influenza during 2021–2022 season. Participants engaged in an online survey addressing vaccination history and current vaccine-related preferences. The survey was delivered prior to the initiation of the IDF’s annual influenza immunization campaign. A multinomial logistic regression model was applied to analyze factors correlated with unwillingness to receive influenza vaccine. Overall, 825 invitations to participate in the survey were distributed and the overall response rate was 78.5%. Among the 648 participants who replied (61.6% males, median age of 20 years), 51.9% were willing to receive the upcoming influenza vaccine. Factors associated with vaccine reluctance included being female, not receiving the previous season’s influenza vaccine, not having a previous diagnosis of COVID-19, and having decreased uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. Among participants not intending to receive an influenza vaccine, 50.3% stated that they are healthy and have no need for the vaccine and 36.2% stated they received too many vaccines over the previous year. The results of this study may suggest that influenza vaccination rates in the post-COVID-19 vaccine era may be reduced due to a perceived “vaccine saturation” phenomenon, owing to the density of COVID-19 vaccine administration. Future interventions such as campaigns related to maximizing influenza vaccination coverage should address repeated doses of COVID-19 vaccine administration..

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Barak, E. (2022).
Middle East Quarterly.‏

When I joined Ehud Olmert's government on June 18, 2007, as Minister of Defense, it was almost three months since planning of the destruction of the Syrian reactor in Deir az-Zor had begun (in late March). I was aware of this activity, having been briefed in late April about the reactor's existence by Olmert, Mossad head Meir Dagan, and IDF head of intelligence Amos Yadlin. Asked for my opinion on what should be done, I answered on the spot: "We must destroy it." This issue was the reason for my insistence on entering the Defense Ministry as soon as possible. I assumed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was deep into preparations to execute an operation, and I believed I could contribute to the operation's success.

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Maya Nitecki, M. D., & Noam Fink, M. D (2022).
IMAJ, 24.

To mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), national guidelines, in accordance with international health authorities, mandated 14 days of quarantine for every close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 patient. Although health benefits are obvious, consequences are profound, especially for organizations required to maintain operational preparedness. To present the Israel Defense Force (IDF) experience with outbreaks regarding quarantined individuals. To weigh the consequences of quarantined individuals needed for workforce and operation.

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Zitronblat, L. Z. (2023).
In Military Social Work Around the Globe, pp. 91-102, Springer, Cham.‏

The complex security reality in the State of Israel dictates the obligation to enlist in the military, for every citizen or permanent resident who has reached the age of 18. Military service is particularly demanding and may involve stressful situations. Some soldiers experience a stressful period and traumatic events might occur. This chapter focuses on Military Social Work (MilSW) in Israel, most of which is carried out by the Israel Defense Force [IDF] Mental Health Array that provides mental health care to those suffering from distress resulting from military service. The uniqueness and challenges facing those serving in the IDF will be detailed. Following, an overview of the IDF’s mental health system, its unique characteristics, and the development of the mental health officer role from the first (and only) officer recruited in 1962 to nearly 250 mental health officers in the present day, will be presented. The training program for mental health officers will also be detailed, including trainee deployment to various units, interventions, and special projects. Finally, other military authorities that deal with the welfare of the soldier and his family will be mentioned.

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Kabilo, O. (2022).
Society, Military, and National Security [Hevra, Tzava, U’Bitahon Leumi], 4. [In Hebrew]

The IDF’s reserve army has been a components of Israel’s concept of national security since the country’s independence. In the past two decades, the reserve army underwent changes in response to the changing nature of warfare and changes in Israeli society. This article focuses on the fitness of the reserve army, and specifically the fitness of the reserve ground forces and its degradation over the past two decades. The article presents the argument that the years-long absence of a fixed budget model to maintain the fitness of the reserve army adversely affects the army’s combat readiness. The article reviews events and developments that affect the reserve army’s fitness, with emphasis on the training model’s chronic instability over time. The article proposes a new approach to conceptualizing the fitness of the reserve ground forces, according to which the training of the ground forces should be managed on the basis of legislation that defines a specific predefined budget, under the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Defense and the Commander of the Ground Forces.

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Sadeh, O. (2022).
Maarachot, 495. [In Hebrew]

In IDF terms such as “fatal multi-dimensional strikes are debated extensively.” Some such operations will be executed, and indeed, there is evidence of increased adoption of sophisticated technological means of war, but this progress should not come at the expense of the IDF’s clear operational advantage – its human capital. For a long time we have identified an increasing tendency in the IDF to rely on technological solutions to operational challenges. In recent years, campaigns of limited scope have given decision-makers the feeling that it is possible to maintain and even gain a victory in campaigns based on advanced technological means. When campaigns failed to produce the desire results, blame was typically attributed to the technology’s immaturity, while decision-makers avoided substantive questions concerning alternative options to achieve the desired results. Today, commanders believe that technological means are the most important factor in achieving a victory in a war. This article argues that reliance on a technological advantage alone is insufficient, and presents principles for regaining a balance between a technological focus of the efforts to build up the power of the ground forces, and two other foci: skills and ethics.

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Batzon, N. (2022).
Maarachot, 495. [In Hebrew]

Assimilation of the New NCO concept will be completed in the near future. There is already evidence of a step up in NCOs’ status as partners to unit commanders and in the processes in the professional corps and even in the General Headquarters. Nonetheless, there is a long road ahead until all NCOs undergo training and the concept of the NCO as a commander is fully assimilated. It is only two decades hence that all the NCOs of the “interim generation” will complete their service.

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Ben-Ari, E., & Connelly, V. (2023).
Routledge: New York & London.

This book offers a comparative study of military reserves in contemporary democracies. A combination of budgetary pressures, new missions and emerging military roles during the past three decades has led the armed forces of democracies to rethink the training and use of reserve forces. Moreover, reservists have become central to the armed forces as part of moves towards "total" or "comprehensive" defense. Despite this, a scholarly bias towards studying regulars and conscripts means that reservists and reserve soldiers continue to receive only marginal attention. This volume fills that lacuna through a series of country studies examining how best to understand the peculiarities of reservist service. In contrast to regulars and conscripts, reservists are marked by their dual management of civilian and military careers, different family dynamics, diverse motivations and commitment to the armed forces, the material and non-material incentives they are offered, and their place in the political sphere. This volume suggests two frames to make sense of such differences: first, it looks at reservists as "transmigrants" traveling between the military and civilian worlds; and, second, it analyzes the multiple informal "contracts" and negotiations that bind them to the military. All the chapters adopt these conceptualizations, granting the volume a common focus and integrative frame.

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List of Candidates Awarded a PhD Degree in 2022

Name: Dr. Ofir Riemer

Advisor: Prof. Oren Barak and Dr. Daniel Sobelman

Affiliation: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Topic: Disclosure of State Intelligence Information in International Relations: Causes, Uses, and Implications

Abstract:This dissertation examines states’ public use of information and intelligence evaluations as a foreign policy tool, from several theoretical and methodological perspectives. The first article examines the systemic reasons for states’ increasing disclosure of intelligence information and offers two primary explanations. The first is related to changes in the information and communications environment, which encourage disclosures by both individuals and states; The second explanation concerns changes in the nature of war, which triggered a change in attitudes toward intelligence, and shift from information collection designed to surprise and defeat one’s rival in the “moment of truth,” to the selective and instrumental use of information to influence one’s rival below the threshold of war. The second article conceptualizes intelligence information disclosure as a means of coercion used by states to affect the conduct of state and non-state actors. Based on two case studies—Israel vs. Hizbollah in the matter of the manufacture of rockets in Lebanon, and the case of Turkey vs. Saudi Arabia in the matter of the murder of the journalist Khashoggi—this article examines the conditions, manner, and degree of success of states’ coercion based on intelligence information disclosures. The third article examines the effects of intelligence information disclosures on the identity security of citizens in states characterized by a culture of secrecy.

Name: Dr. Haim Yogev

Advisor: Prof. Ronen A. Cohen

Affiliation: Ariel University

Topic: On Deceit: Its History, Theory, and Manifestations in IDF Operations 1967-2018

Abstract:This is a historical, theoretical, and practical study of military deceptions and their manifestations in IDF operations between 1967 and 2018. The study is divided into two parts. The first, theoretical, part presents a historical and theoretical review of deceptions in warfare and, following the insights of this review, proposes a new model of deceptions in warfare. The information sources for this part of the work are the theories on the topic of deception of six military philosophers spanning various periods: Sun Tzu, Prontinus, Machiavelli, Jomini, Clausewitz, and Liddell Hart, and the ideas of military philosophers and documents from the modern age. In the second part of the work, the research examined the use of deception in IDF operations between 1967 and 2018, using the new model of deception, based on a sample of 264 incidents (battles and campaigns). The research question addresses the use of deception in warfare in IDF operations in the research period and explores the nature of those incidents. Two interesting findings emerged from a quantitative statistical analysis and a qualitative, mainly instrumental, analysis. The first is that the IDF used deceptions in 64% of the battles and campaigns in the relevant period (). The second is that deception was used in 70% of the events in which the objective was achieved

Name: Dr. Moni Horev

Advisor: Dr. Eitan Shamir

Affiliation: Department of Political Science, Bar Ilan University

Topic: Change and Innovation in Building Military Force – Innovativeness and Fixedness in the IDF’s Ground Forces in the Twenty-First Century

Abstract: Two primary efforts are at the core of IDF activities: the activation of power in war and the building of military power in anticipation of war. This research addresses how the IDF’s Ground Forces coped with the changing strategic reality in first two decades of the twenty-first century. Preparations to cope with new challenges in different timeframes are evident in two main fields of operation: activating military force in the present and building power for the future.

The processes that occur in different timeframes differ substantively. In the short term, a conservative and unimaginative approach dominates, while in the long term we see a creative, innovative dynamic, albeit one that is not always effective. How can this difference be explained? This study conducted a comparative investigation using two case studies: (1) for building short-term power – an investigation of a military campaign against an asymmetric rival; and (2) for building power for the long term – an investigation of decision-making in major ground force projects.

This research addresses the IDF’s core organizational practices, reflects the IDF’s coping with material changes in its strategic environment, and contributes practical insights for the effective execution of these processes.

Name: Dr. Limor Pomerantz-Zorin

Advisor: Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy

Affiliation: Gender Studies Program, Bar Ilan University

Topic: Gendered Capital? The Meanings of High-Tech Military Service in the Adult Lives of Men and Women in Israel.

Abstract: This research focuses on the meanings of military service in elite technology positions as capital from a perspective of the intersection of gender and status. The research has three theoretical pillars: First is Bourdieu’s theoretical approach to the relations between capital, habitus, and field, and feminist criticism that undermines the gender-neutral nature these concepts. The second pillar is the research tradition of military sociology and military-society relations in Israel. The third theoretical pillar is feminist technology studies, which offer conceptual tools for a gendered analysis of the high-tech arena in the military and the labor market.

The research used a qualitative method and a phenomenological-interpretive approach, and was based on 45 semi-structured interviews men and women who held in IS and cyber positions in various units of the Intelligence Corps, the Air Force, and the Telecommunications Division during their military service. The study’s main argument is that the military capital enfolded in mandatory service in high-tech units is classed capital, that is to say, capital whose manner of acquisition and expectations regarding its conversion are shaped by the intersection of gender and class. This argument is supported through an analysis of the meanings ascribed to military service in the lives of four groups of men and women: low-to-middle class women, middle-to-high class women, low-to-middle class men, and middle-to-high class men. This argument fractures the universalist conception of military capital and offers a complex understanding of the convertibility of high-tech military service, which takes into account the cultural schemes and identity projects of various gender and ethno-class groups.

Name: Dr. Lt. Col. Ilan Shekelarsky

Advisor: Dr. Eitan Shamir

Affiliation: Political Science, Security Studies

Topic: Air Power Comprises Two Material Complementary Elements: Power Building and Power Activation.

Abstract: This research aims to delve deeply into the elements of power building and power acquisition, separately, to understand how the first element affected the second element over the course of combat aviation history. To obtain a complete picture, we must examine the process from end to end. The research analyzes the evolution of fighter planes in the Cold War in the power building stage, and their activation in the battlefields of select wars in the activation stage. To describe and explain the entire process from power building to power activation, including innovation and adaptations in aviation force, this research challenges the fundamental perceptions of aviation power, in an effort to identify the parameters that affect significant innovation in fighter plans and how this influence takes place. This research aims to show how those modes of improvement affected the battlefield in practice.

Name: Dr. Lior Yohanani 

Advisors: Catherine Lee, Paul McLean

Affiliation: Rutgers University

Title: Fighting to Belong: Diaspora Soldiers, Immigration, and National Identity in Israel

Abstract: Over 30,000 diaspora soldiers have served in the IDF since the new millennium as Chayalim-Bodedim. While the vast majority have taken Israeli citizenship, little is known about why they come to Israel and how many have stayed. Drawing on an original survey with over 1,100 soldiers and 120 interviews, this study examines What makes such people join the IDF? What makes some stay and settle in Israel and others leave? And what roles do diaspora organizations and state-sponsored actors play in the process? The study argues that military service constitutes a crucial site for immigration and integration. Diaspora people turn to military service not necessarily in order to fight and protect Israel but rather to become familiarized with the culture and language, befriend domestic people, and claim belonging to the nation. Nonetheless, half of diaspora soldiers either left or intend to leave Israel. Pre-migration ideological motivations, as well as a positive identity-forming military experience, are associated with intentions to stay in Israel. Instrumental concerns, on the other hand, do not appear to be strong determinants of long-term commitment to Israel. Additionally, combat service is negatively associated with staying intentions, possibly due to the social isolation and challenging conditions faced by diaspora soldiers in the military. Overall, this study sheds light on a hitherto understudied chapter in the story of Israel-diaspora relations. It provides important insights into the relationship between military service, belonging, and immigration in Israel.

Name: Dr. Agami Molcho Dana

Advisor: Prof. Avi Kover

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: “The Best Go to the Cockpit”: – Still True? Changes in Pilots’ Status between the Six Day War and the Second Lebanon War

Name: Dr. Shay Atias

Advisor: Prof. Efraim Karsh

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: From State Diplomacy to Diplomacy of Civil Networks: The Public-Diplomatic Efforts in the Global War Against Terror 2001-2017.

Name: Dr. Moriah Bar-Maoz

Advisor: Prof. Jonathan Fox

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: The Securitization of Religion: The Formative Role of Religion and Secularity in National Security Policy and its Implementation

Name: Dr. Omer Dostry

Advisor: Dr. Meirav Mishali-Ram

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: Patterns of Gray Zone Confrontations and the Role of Non-State Actors From a Strategic Coercion Perspective: The Case of Israel, Iran, and Hizbollah.

Name: Dr. Ofir Kabilo

Advisor: Dr. Elisheva Rossman-Stolman

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: The IDF Reserve Army – Between Equality and Equity: Interest Groups’ Influence on Military Systems and their Interrelations.

List of Doctoral Candidates

Name: Ms. Daphne Inbar, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Oren Barak

Affiliation: Department of International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Topic: Whistle-Blowers Beyond the Gates? The International Politics of Unauthorized Disclosures Related to National Security Issues

Abstract: Daphne Inbar is a PhD student in the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Oren Barak. Her research focuses on National Security whistleblowing, i.e. "insiders" employed by security and intelligence agencies who alert the public to classified information in order to change illegal, immoral or illegitimate activities and policies carried out by their organizations. Arguably, whistleblowing not only poses a domestic challenge to the state's national institutions and policies, but can also set off broader international debates on the security issues exposed. Thus, Inbar aims to trace the transnational politics involved in such unauthorized disclosures. Drawing from critical security theories in IR, she explores how these disclosures are debated, supported and challenged by various international publics. On a broader scale, elucidating this phenomenon from an international perspective can contribute to wider debates in academia on individual actors and their transformative political impact on security policies, both within and 'beyond' their states.

Name: Mr. Yair Ansbacher, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Leah Makovetzky and Dr. Ron Schleifer

Affiliation: Ariel University

Topic: The Contribution of Forces to Special Wartime Operations in the Past Thirty Years – A Comparison Between the Israeli and the American Case

 Abstract: In the three decades since the end of the Cold War, the West experienced several significant changes related to special operations forces. For example, we can identify a significant increase in the resources allocated to special ops and in the status attributed to them by military and government decision makers, as well as growing interest of the general public, civil decision makers, senior army officials, researchers, and the media. Special ops forces were first given broad operational powers as the exclusive representatives of military forces in the field or as leaders of special operations in the war against terror who play a key role in conventional high-intensity wars.

These developments are not only happening across the world, they are also happening in Israel and in the IDF, although senior IDF commanders and Israeli security experts have widely argued that Israeli special ops forces generally fail to generate the expected benefits of their involvement in large-scale high-intensity operations. They argue that Israeli special ops forces were improperly activated in those campaigns. The main problem that these experts identify is that the forces were not integrated into other campaign efforts, which resulted in poor strategic and systemic effectiveness, and limited the contribution of the special forces, contrary to high expectations.

The research questions are:

  1. What are the factors that enable special ops forces to make a significant contribution in large-scale high-intensity campaigns, with respect to power building and power activation?
  2. What might be special forces’ systemic or strategic contribution in large-scale high-intensity campaigns?
  3. What are the general principles for optimal activation of special ops forces in large-scale high-intensity campaigns?

Name: Ms. Yael Sade, PhD candidate

Advisor: Dr. Eyal Lewin

Affiliation: Ariel University

Topic: Means and Methods for Developing Community Resilience: Focus on the Rejuvenating Kibbutz Community

Abstract: The new kibbutz is a relative new community organization in Israeli society, the result of the privatization process in the kibbutzim, which were collective, egalitarian, ideological, geographically segregated, and mission-oriented communities. Kibbutz society was known to have a high degree of community resilience, which is why it is interesting to examine the mechanisms used to develop and retain resilience in this new phase of kibbutz evolution, and reflect whether we can learn from kibbutzim and transfer these mechanisms to additional communities. The research comprises the following chapters:

Sade, Y., & Lewin, E. (2020). The Use of Internal Governance in the Renewed Kibbutz as a Tool for Social Maintenance and Development. Comparative Sociology, 19(1), 69-81.

  • The role of protocols in a resilient community
  • Resilience in the kibbutz during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • A discussion of non-combatants: Kibbutz members who did not serve in the military (a chapter in a forthcoming book to be published by Yad Tabenkin and Yad Yitzhak Ben Tzvi)
  • The role of authentic community discourse in the WhatsApp group of a resilient community.

Name: Mr. Ben Zion Borochovitz, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Ronen A. Cohen

Affiliation: Ariel University

Topic: A hug from the “Russian Bear” to the “Syrian Lion”: USSR Foreign Policy in Syria and its Effect on Syria’s Wars 1955-1991

Abstract: For centuries, from the twelfth to the twentieth century, the Russian area that was successively known as Russia, the USSR (Soviet Union), and again Russia, maintained unofficial relations with Syria under foreign rule. We can even say that these relations continued into the twenty-first century, when Russian control and influence in the Syrian state assumed a different form.

Official diplomatic relations between the two states were established only in 1944. Two years later, on April 17, 1946, the last French soldier left Syrian soil and Syria became an independent state without foreign control. The first diplomatic agreement between Syria and the USSR was signed on November 16, 1955 in Damascus, and permitting the USSR to station Soviet forces in the sovereign state of Syria.

This research examines USSR’s foreign policy in Syria between 1955 and 1991, and how the agreements between these two states in that period facilitated Soviet influence on Syria’s wars. This research also explores the Soviet influence in these wars: the Syrian withdrawal in June 1967 (نكسة حزيران), the 1973 October War (حرب تشرين التحريرية ), the War of Attrition in the Syrian Salient in 1974 (حرب الاستنزاف في نتوء باشان), the civil war in Lebanon in 1975 (الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية), entry of Syrian troops into Lebanon in 1976 (لوصاية السورية على لبنان), and the First Lebanon War in 1981 (حرب لبنان).

Name: Mr. Erez Bachachma, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Abira Reizer, Prof. Menny Koslovsky, and Prof. Yaniv Kennet Maimon

Affiliation: Ariel University

Topic: The Contribution of Team Composition to Mission Execution in the World of Network Analysis: A Multidimensional Perspective

Abstract: The research examined how the personality dimensions of stability and flexibility in the Big Five modelontributed to optimal performance in an elite naval unit. The research also examined, for the first time, how the social variable, a concept borrowed from the field of social network analysis (SNA), potentially mediates the association between personality measures and performance, both at the individual level and at the team level. An in-depth examination of this field is lacking. The current research aims to identify how a soldier’s social environment mediates between personality style and performance. The research hypotheses at the individual level examined the degree to which a candidate’s stability and flexibility increased their sense of social centrality, which in turn, increased their performance evaluations. This hypothesis was also examined at the team level, and predicted that team stability and flexibility will increase perceived team centrality (network density), which in turn will increase performance evaluations. Furthermore, at the team level, we examined whether a team will receive higher performance evaluations as a function of high (average) scores of stability and flexibility. These hypotheses were examined in two study cases, the first among candidates for an elite naval unit (n = 532), and a follow-up study among trainees of said unit (n = 365). The research reports findings and implications.


Name: Mr. Motti Gluska, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Hannah Yablonka

Affiliation: Department of Jewish History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Topic: From Agranat to Winograd: Issues in Implementing the Recommendations of Commissions of Inquiry

Abstract: This study aims to explain why flaws and failures in Israel’s military campaigns recur, and whether one explanation for this phenomenon is that lessons are not learned and committee recommendations are not implemented. This research focuses on the implementation or failure of implementation of the recommendations and conclusions of the Agranat Commission, a national commission of inquiry established in 1973 following the October War, and the Winograd Commission, a national commission of inquiry established in 2006 to investigate the Second Lebanon War. The research also examines the work of the national commission of inquiry into the massacre in the Beirut refugee camps toward the end of the First Lebanon War. The research falls within the boundaries of three disciplines: (1) Law – an examination of the legal status of commissions of inquiry from the perspective of statute and case law; (2) Political science – an examination of the commissions’ decision making processes, the division of authority and responsibility among the bodies in charge of defense policy, and related political processes; (3) Humanities – a historical examination of the events centering on the conclusions and recommendations of the commissions of inquiry.

Seven case studies were examined: the responsibility of the Intelligence Corps and the element of surprise; Basic Law: The Military as implementation of the lessons of the Agranat Commission; the need for a war cabinet; appointment of an intelligence advisor to the Prime Minister; the status of the Foreign Ministry’s research center; the status of special ops forces; and their organizational culture especially in the area of governance and discipline.

The research also examines several issues that the commissions did not examine or review, and the causes and consequences of this absence. The main argument is that while personal conclusions (attributing blame to individuals) were implemented in full, the substantive conclusions of these commissions were neither discussed nor implemented. This research also found that the commissions of inquiry failed to discuss core issues, such as the diplomatic and political moves that preceded the wars and Israel’s national security concept, if one existed.

Name: Ms. Rinat Moshe, PhD candidate

Advisor: Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Topic: Power Dynamics in a Direct Encounter between the Military and Peace and Human Rights Movements

Abstract:This research adds to the sociological debate on the formative role played by peace and human rights movements in military-society relations. The research focuses on an examination of the unique relationship between the military and protest movements, which evolved into a direct and personal relationship that includes face-to-face interactions on various sites beyond the Green Line border, including military check points and border obstacles, local demonstrations and protest marches, site tours in the city of Hebron and its surroundings that are conducted by various movements, and humanitarian activities in and aid provided by the movements to Palestinian communities related to their encounter with the military and with the Jewish settlers living in the region.

The point of departure of this research is that these encounters should be examined at the micro level, with its unique social mechanisms and dynamics, which differ from those operating at the macro level. The main aim of this research is to reveal and analyze the social and cultural mechanisms that organize the direct interactions involving the military and its forces and the protest activists.

The research is based on an ethnographic study and qualitative research methods and includes 25 observations in the sites of direct interactions between the parties, and 24 in-depth interviews with men and women protest activists and military officers who participated in those interactions. The six protest movements included in the research are: Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence, Combatants of Peace, Rabbis for Human Rights, Ta’ayush Arab Jewish Partnership, and Anarchists Against Fences. On the basis of the findings, the research proposes an analytical and empirical approach that facilitates an in-depth observation of the interactions between the military and the protest movements, rather than an examination from each of the two perspectives representing these parties. The proposed perspective makes it possible to deconstruct the binary power structure between sovereign power and oppositional power. The research also makes it possible to reveal the mechanisms that the military creates in the field to obliterate the anomalies of the existing order, in which the military polices political activists who are also citizens of the state.

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