War and Resistance: Israeli Civil Militarism and its Emergent Crisis

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Abstract

Examines how war & military service constituted social identity among conscientious objectors to Israel's 1982-1985 war in Lebanon, drawing on interviews with 66 such individuals. It is shown that military service has become a primary signifier of the Israeli nation & marker of citizenship through a series of rituals & narratives linking war with citizenship. When conscientious objectors refused to engage in military service, they implicitly challenged these narratives & the subject positions in them. This process of resistance occurred in two steps: (1) an initial period of doubt & frustration with the war during which individuals continued to participate in military activities; & (2) a more active period in which individuals registered dissent from the mainstream citizen identity by reconfiguring the war in terms of a crisis narrative. It is suggested that this refusal to identify with the subject position constituted by war making reflects a crisis of Israeli civil militarism. D. Ryfe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-410
Number of pages20
JournalConstellations: an international journal of critical and democratic theory I
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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