The imprint of the Intifada: Response of Kibbutz-born soldiers to military service in the West Bank and Gaza

Yechezkel Dar*, Shaul Kimhi, Nurit Stadler, Alek D. Epstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Israel Army veterans of kibbutz background who had served in the occupied territories during the Intifada were retrospectively asked how this service affected them. Some common themes were disclosed. Service in the territories deepened understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but increased fear and hate of Arabs. These feelings did not lead to a national extremism, but rather to a rationalistic position demanding a peaceful, political solution. The majority of respondents became firmer in their original "leftist" position, and the justification for their position was utilitarian, considering the needs of the Israeli side; only a few based their position on support for the Palestinians' rights or suffering. To cope with the conflict between their military duty and their moral values, soldiers either sought shelter in military orders or compartmentalized their humanistic values and military duty. Few criticized the army. The major criticism, that soldiers had not been given enough tools to deal with the challenges of the Intifada, was directed at the state. Many regarded military service during the Intifada as a most difficult experience, but with only a temporal imprint.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)285-311
Number of pages27
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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