Boys or Men?
Duped or “Made”?
These guys are just traitor sons of bitches
who think that joining the army and carry-
ing a gun is going to make them into men.
But they'll never be real men because they
sell themselves for a very cheap price.
What more do you need to know? They
are the uneducated garbage of society, to
be honest, and this is their naïve attempt
at advancing. All young men want to build
houses and get married and have children,
but not this way, my son.
Shakir, a fifty-two-year-old store owner
in Majd al-Krum in the Galilee
PALESTINIAN SERVICE IN THE ISRAELI MILITARY is a frequent subject of discussion among Arabs—despite the small number of volunteers. Popular debate on this topic is often articulated in terms of masculinity: critics dismiss soldiers as immature adolescents and soldiers defend themselves as mature family providers. These gendered discussions are an important part of Palestinian concerns about citizenship and nationalism.1
It is well known that for Jews in Israel, military service, masculinity, and identity are closely linked. Militaries the world over tend to