The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Cynthia Watson | Go to book overview

ISRAEL

Moshe Lissak and Daniel Maman

Israel was born forty-five years ago and is still in the midst of violent clashes with Palestinians inside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and various groups of fundamentalists in Lebanon. Earlier in the history of the region, violent clashes between the Jewish community in Palestine and the local Arab population were a frequent phenomenon. Thus, quite early in the development of the Jewish community in Palestine, the political leadership had to be concerned with the proper relationship between civilians and the cadre of men of arms that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. Later, after the establishment of the state, the role and status of the growing defense establishment became a central issue in political life, especially in the wake of wars.

Over the years, the relationship between the civilian sectors and the defense establishment acquired a special configuration, some of whose attributes are common to other democratic countries and some of which are particular to the Israeli case.

The question of survival and the sense of living under constant siege could have led to the emergence of a military elite with its own distinct culture stressing symbols of power, heroism, sacrifice, order, and jingoistic nationalism--and with far-reaching political ambitions. This obvious path of development was not taken, but the adverse conditions under which the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) emerged left their marks on it.

One can notice these marks in many spheres, including education, the media, and economics. In this paper we would like to confine the discussion mainly to the political field. The main thesis is that, despite the extensive and repeated intervention by the IDF command in defense-related foreign-policy matters, the Israeli political system is characterized by a multiparty democracy and an active and critical public opinion. Nevertheless, key positions in the system are held by former senior officers, among them former chiefs of staff and members of

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The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Argentina 1
  • Notes 16
  • References 17
  • Brazil 19
  • Notes 34
  • References 41
  • Canada 42
  • Notes 53
  • References 54
  • China 55
  • Notes 67
  • References 70
  • Cuba 71
  • Notes 84
  • References 86
  • Denmark 88
  • Notes 100
  • References 105
  • Egypt 107
  • Notes 118
  • References 121
  • France 122
  • References 141
  • Germany 143
  • Notes 152
  • References 153
  • Greece 154
  • Notes 167
  • References 168
  • India 169
  • Notes 186
  • References 188
  • Indonesia 189
  • Notes 205
  • References 206
  • Iran 207
  • Israel 223
  • Notes 233
  • References 234
  • Japan 235
  • Notes 252
  • References 255
  • Kenya 256
  • Notes 269
  • References 270
  • Mexico 271
  • Notes 281
  • References 282
  • Netherlands 283
  • Notes 295
  • References 297
  • Nigeria 299
  • Notes 320
  • References 322
  • North Korea 323
  • Notes 335
  • References 337
  • Peru 338
  • Notes 355
  • References 360
  • Poland 361
  • Notes 371
  • References 373
  • Republic of South Africa 374
  • Notes 387
  • References 390
  • Russia and the Former Soviet Union 391
  • Notes 401
  • References 403
  • United Kingdom 404
  • Notes 415
  • United States 420
  • Notes 437
  • References 439
  • Zaire 440
  • Notes 456
  • References 458
  • Index 459
  • CONTRIBUTORS 515
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