Israel's Death Hierarchy
Casualty Aversion in a Militarized Democracy
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright
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List of Figures and Tables
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I am indebted to a large number of people and institutions for help with this book. I thank my colleagues who commented on various parts of the book: Aluf Benn, Jonathan Caverley, Stuart Cohen, Yinon Cohen, Tamar Hermann, Gur Huberman, Jef Huysmans, Engin Isin, Xavier Guillaume, Ronald Krebs, Zeev Lerer, Edna-Lomsky-Feder, Oded Löwenheim, Zeev Maoz, Gil Merom, ...
Preface from the Series Editor
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The Warfare and Culture series seeks the connections between a society’s beliefs and values and the ways in which its military forces express those in their operations. In short, how does culture affect operations, battle, strategy, planning, doctrine formation, and more? In the modern world, few aspects of a society are more significant to military planning and operations than ...
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In July 2006, Israel launched a full-scale war against Lebanon in response to the abduction of two soldiers by Hezbollah militiamen on the border between Israel and Lebanon. Initially, the government ruled out a ground operation, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed the Air Force. However, when aerial assaults failed to stop the rockets that Hezbollah began ...
1 The Right to Protect and the Right to Protection
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As argued in the Introduction, an unequal burden that also guarantees rewards to those bearing the burden establishes the state’s capacity to provide protection to its citizens by sacrificing its young people. Thus, the implementation of the Hobbesian contract is anchored in a social hierarchy that creates a balanced affinity between two sets of rights—the right to protect and the ...
2 Unbalancing and Balancing the Rights
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This chapter presents the dynamics of rights matching in Israel. Until the 1980s, rights were balanced: in exchange for upholding the right to protect, which was convertible to political and social rights, the secular middle class advanced the community’s right to protection. The legitimation of sacrifice, however, declined after the 1980s, following a drop in the motivation of the ...
3 Bereavement-Motivated Collective Actors
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As we showed in chapter 2, after the 1970s, motivation for military service lessened among privileged groups. This was reflected, inter alia, in the framing of a subversive bereavement discourse. The fourth balancing strategy, burden distribution, gradually but imperfectly shifted the tone from a subversive to a submissive discourse. Still, sensitivity to casualties remained a ...
4 Bereavement-Motivated Collective Actors: A Comparison
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To further understand the workings and impact of bereavement-motivated collective actors and to validate the conceptual framework offered in chapter 3, which highlighted the role of the mode of recruitment in mediating collective actors’ ability to leverage the politics of war, in this chapter I compare the Four Mothers movement to Gold Star Families for Peace in the ...
5 The Death Hierarchy
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As attested to by the prudence shown by the military in deploying its ground forces in the Gazan and Lebanese arenas, the episodes with which this book opened, and the post-Second Lebanon War protest, the balancing strategies the state employed were partially effective, and limitations on risking soldiers’ lives remained in force. ...
6 Casualty Sensitivity Breeds High Lethality
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Right after Operation Cast Lead, in which Israel attacked the Hamas mini-state in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009, Israel was globally criticized for excessive use of lethal force, leading to the deaths of about 1,400 Palestinians, about half of them noncombatants, while Israel sacrificed only a few soldiers (B’Tselem 2009). When the offensive ended, it became clear that the ...
7 Casualty Sensitivity and Political-Military Relations
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Casualty aversion may affect the balance of power between generals and policymakers and therefore affect civilian control over the armed forces. As democracies suffer fewer military casualties in their wars than do other regimes (Valentino et al. 2010), this inevitably extends to the way democracies control their militaries. In the end, the willingness to pay the costs of war is one ...
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Inspired by the overwhelming casualty sensitivity that appeared in Israeli society in the first decade of the 2000s, this book has tackled the fundamental issue of how the state manages its citizens’ lives and deaths by prompting individuals to be willing to sacrifice their lives for their country. Adequate answers were not found in the existing literature on casualty ...
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About the Author
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Yagil Levy is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication at the Open University of Israel. His current research interests include the theoretical aspects of relations between society and the military and the linkage between Israel’s war/peace policies and the social structure of the military. ...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2012