A Nation-In-Arms: State, Nation, and Militarism in Israel's First Years Author(s): Uri Ben-Eliezer Source: Comparative

Studies in Society and History, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 264-285 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/179282 Accessed: 12/10/2008 12:55
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cup. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Cambridge University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Comparative Studies in Society and History.


A Nation-in-Arms: State, Nation, and Militarismin Israel's First Years
URI BEN-ELIEZER Tel-AvivUniversity Like many other states, Israel was forged throughthe struggle of a national liberationmovementthat likely drew inspirationfrom an ethnic past and that certainly worked to establish a political framework.1Once the state existed, however, its leaders did not regardthe ethnie as an objective category that would in large measuredeterminewhethera nation would emerge.2 Instead, they viewed the ethnie as a subjectsusceptible,in varyingdegrees, to manipulation, invention, domination, and mobilization.3As the prime minister of Piedmont said, "We have made Italy, now we have to make Italians";or as Israel's first prime minister, Ben-Gurion, put it in April 1951 during the election campaign:"I see in these elections the shaping of a nation for the state because there is a state but not a nation."4 This essay deals with the firstyearsafterthe foundingof the Israelistate. My main concern is to examine the way in which the state constructedan ethnic populationinto a fighting nation, a nation-in-arms.Usually, states construct nationsthroughvariousmeans, such as the school system, the media, and the (Knesset),Ben- Gurionclaimedthat army.In a speech to the Israeliparliament of was the reason, amongall the possibilities, for the reconstruction efficiency the Israeli nation, primarilyby the army: I havebeen a Zionistall my life andI do not denythe existenceof Israel,heaven
forbid . . . but . . . even the English nation was not always that nation . . . but was

Anthony D. Smith, "State-Makingand Nation-Building,"in John A. Hall, ed., States in History (Oxford:Basil Blackwell, 1986), 251. 2 An ethnic community,or ethnie, shares a common myth of origins and descent, a common history, elements of distinctive culture, a common territorialassociation, and sense of group solidarity.A nationis much more impersonal,abstract,andovertly political thanan ethnic group. It is a cultural-politicalcommunity that has become conscious of its coherence, unity, and interests. See, AnthonyD. Smith, "Ethnieand Nationin the Moder World,"Millenniparticular um, 14:2 (1983), 128-32; Peter Alter, Nationalism (London:EdwardArnold, 1989), 17. 3 John ManchesterUniversity Press, 1982); Breuilly,Nationalismand the State (Manchester: Eric J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press, 1990); Ernest Gellner, Nation and Nationalism (New York: Cornell University Press, 1983); Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities(London:Verso, 1983). 4 Hobsbawm,Nations and NationalismSince 1780, 44-45; Ben-Gurionin Mapai's meeting, from Eyal Kafkafi,A CountrySearchingForIts People (Tel-Aviv:HakibutHameuchad,1991), 3.
0010-4175/95/2387-0548 $5.00 + .10 ? 1995 Society for Comparative Study of Society and History


.. 262-76. Idem... It made it possible.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 265 composed of differenttribes . "A ComparativeTypology of Civil-MilitaryRelations. ed. Militaryand Politics in ModernTimes(New Haven:Yale UniversityPress. Nation in Arms. 71-100. 17-20. The army was said to contribute to immigrant absorption... Virtually no area of life seems to have escaped the eyes of the scholars who probed "the non-military use of the military. . and foster culture.. Dan Horowitz and Baruch Kimmerling. . and without the instrument the army . The Role of the Military in UnderdevelopedCountries (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress. The Theory and Practice of Territorial Defence (London: Chatto and Windus. 8 A. The nation-in-arms was portrayed as a model of relations between the civil and military sectors. 1962).. This requires a frameworkof duty .."in M. 1971) 325-39. fighting one another. direct it. a phenomenon that Horowitz and Lissak termed (partial) militarization of the civil sector. .5 Israeli military sociologists have accepted Ben-Gurion's rationalization. "The Israel Defence Forces as an Agent of Socialization and Education. The Role of the Militaryin Underdeveloped Countries. in which the boundaries between the two are fragmented. .of Military Politics (New York: Free Press."New Immigrantsin the Israeli Armed Forces. The 1977). ed. educate for good citizenship and for love of country. We must guide the progress of history. . Luckham. Changing Patterns. ." in Samuel Huntington. Militaryand Politics in Israel: Nation Buildingand Role Expansion(New York:FrederickA. Johnson. act as a melting pot for Jewish ethnic groups." Governmentand Opposition. 1976). 1952.8 These permeable boundaries. 22-41. 7 Moshe Lissak. help in conquering the wilderness and in further settlement. most scholars claimed." in Johnson. a frameworkof national discipline. for example. it was said to bring about "civilianization. 6:3 (1980). LucianW. "Armiesin the Process of Political Modernization. which transformed Kneset Protokol. 1962). Praeger. The PerceivedRole of the Military(Rotterdam: Rotterdam UniversityPress. we will not soon be a nation .. some scholars believed. 1969). 6 5 ."7 As for the army's involvement in internal politics or the chances of a military coup. Military Roles and Modernization(California. VanGils. Adam Roberts. ed. Relying on theories of nation building and modernization that perceive the army as an agent of development and integration. Pie.. 251-80.6 these sociologists wrote on "the many and varied functions of the Israeli army" and on its expanding role in the civil sphere. was not real. Amos Perlmutter. "Some Social Implicationsof Military Service and the Reserve System in Israel. to conceive of expanding the army's role and intervention in building the nation. allowed the two sectors (and the two elites) to interact across a wide range of situations and to benefit from reciprocal influence after agreeing on the rules of the game. Sage.And only after a development of hundredsof years did they become one nation. this possibility. Victor Azarya and BaruchKimmerling. Moshe Lissak. We do not have hundredsof of years. accelerate it. At the same time. 1976). since Israel is a nationin-arms." ArmedForces and Society.. R. 6 (1971). 15 (1974)."Archieve EuropeanSociologie. R. 69-89. David Rapoport. through Israel's unique system of service in the reserves."A Comparative Theory of Militaryand Political Types. August 19." in which civilians increase their influence and involvement in the military sector.. John J. on the one hand.

12 they The question that should be asked is whether it makes sense to view the nation-in-armsas a functional mechanism for avoiding military coups. Gilbert.1984)."11 These scholars addressedneitherthe crucialrole the armyplayed in controllingthe Israeli-Arab citizens throughthe militaryadministration duringthe 1950s and early 1960s nor theirexclusion from participating the nation-formation in process because were exempt from militaryservice. 67-98. 159-77. which had experienced plenty of wars for with violent confrontationsin the intervalsbetween them. Michael Howard. Political Change and Underdevelopment (Durham: Duke University Press. Peasantsand Bureaucrats(London: George Allen and Unwin. Ideology. both in principleand in practice.doubtfulenough in researchon the third world. and Nation-Building: ety. Dan Horowitz. 195-230. 13:2 (1987). ignoring its instrumental The integrativeapproach. see BaruchKimmerling.10 was wholly inappropriate Israel. The Palestiniansand their Meaning in Israeli Soci"Sociology. The Historical Essays of Otto Hintze (Oxford: Oxford University Press. egalitarian)spirit characteristic the general society. 11 Dan Horowitz. 1975). 23-35. EduardLuttwakand Dan Horowitz. 10 Vicky Randall and Robin Theobald." in RomanKolkowicz and AndreiKorbonski. 1982). Out of Utopia (Albany: SUNY Press. 1989). 1985).even the few scholarswho went beyond the civil role of the Israeli nation-in-arms and dealt with its military. . 446-60.9 these studies tended to focus on the army's integrativemission. The Israeli in Partnership Israel." Armed Forces and Society. preferredto stay within the and functions"as a integrativeapproach to write abouthow the nation-in-arms means to survive in a hostile strategic environment. "The Israeli Defense Forces: A Civilianized Military in a Partially Militarized Society.13 More frequentwars meantthatthe nation-state was forced to tax the populationmore heavily. 277-94. 77-106. mobilize citizens for combat. 2:3 (1981).. "StrategicLimitationsof A Nation in Arms. THE FORMATION OF THE NATION-IN-ARMS Ever since the nation-state became the centralorganizingprinciplein Europe. role of wielding the means of organized violence.266 URI BEN-ELIEZER the army into a "people's army"imbuedwith the democraticand civil (some of added. Overall. 13 F. ed. or as a meansof modernizing."in his The Causes of Wars(London: Unwin Paperbacks. and demand 9 Dan Horowitz and Moshe Lissak."InterArmy (London:Allen Lane.Soldiers. this system has producedboth internaland externalwars. 57:4 (1992). 303-15. as a responseto needs of survival. Interestingly. YoramPeri. perhapsit should be seen as a political meansthatconscious political actorsuse to legitimize the idea of solving political problems by military means throughthe attemptto make the business of the militarythe preoccupation concern of the entire and nation. 12 On the tendencyto ignore the Palestiniansin the IsraeliSociology. "Political-Military national Political Science Review." AmericanSociological Review. 1975). instrumentalaspect. "Warand the Nation-State.

Vagts labels the Prussian generals who fomented the changes in the army and in the general conception of war Prussia's militaryJacobins. Vagts. even more than in the Frenchcase. 17 Gilbert. 129-52. France after the revolution. and Japanin the early years of the Meiji Era (1868-1912) are examples of states which constructed a nation for the purpose of war. Thompson.I. "State and Nation-Buildingin Europe: The Role of the Military. GraduallyPrussia-Germanybecame a 14 Samuel E.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 267 absolute loyalty. radical.15 Napoleon. 1975).17 The Prussianarmy's reformsdid not reflect a surrender the government by to nationalist. a rediscoveryof patriotic ideals and vocabularywithin large segments of Frenchsociety. after their discharge. Challener. 203-21. RichardBear. 82. The cardinal expressionof the new concept was the reformscarriedout within the Prussian army after Napoleon defeated it in 1807. The French Army. 1959). "Warand the Birth of the Nation State. 16 David B. Warand State Making (Boston: Unwin Hyman. The Formationof National States in WesternEurope (Princeton:Princeton University Press.16Even more than France.T. ed. Hayes. 27-29.MA: M. Its Meaning and History (Malabar:Robert E. 1871-1914 (Cambridge. or liberal tendencies but were. Meridian Books. 84-163. Russel and Russell. 15 Carlton J. 1871-1914 (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press.The nation-in-arms in the form of the moraland materialcontribution the home frontto the war of effort and of the blurringof differencesbetween soldiers and citizens.exploited it craftily for the purpose of waging war. France'swars were those of a nation. TheHistorical Essays of OttoHintze. 1967). 1931). Half a century later.A History of Militarism. 1987. H. Alfred Vagts. populationwas conscripted. The Nation State and Violence (Berkeley: University of California Press). Prussiais an historicalexample of how a nationwas constructed or inventedfrom above with the conscious aim of winning wars. 65. These included a gradualtransition from a standingarmy composed of mercenariesand foreign troops to a mass army which included a nationalmilitia. Press. 43-83. who inheritedthe Jacobin nation-in-arms. they transferred to the rest of the population. 104-28. The March to the Marne."in Charles Tilly. the 1870s humiliating defeat to PrussiaturnedFranceagain into a nation-in-arms. a fact given legal affirmationby the levee en masse. a calculated manufacture nationalfeeling to help in winning of wars. ready for revenge throughthe Reveil national of the years 1910-14. 1981). 1989). 208. in which the entire male would later extend this idea. And aptly so." The Journal of Economic History. Anthony Giddnes. The French Theory of the Nation in Arms (New York:Russell and Russell. Ralston. Douglas Porch. Karen A."in his The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism (New York. The Place of the Military in the Political Evolution of France. .. A History of Militarism (New York. Finer. Prussia following its defeat by Napoleon. The wars that France waged for more than twenty years had one distinctive featurethat its adversaries lacked: nationalpassions. Hans Kohn. "JacobinNationalism. 33 (1973). Kreiger).'4 It was within this context that the nation-in-armswas formed. The Army of the Republic. Nationalism. Richard D. 1965). Rasler and William R. Total mobilization enabled the state to indoctrinatethe conscripts with a nationalist-militaristoutlook which.

in our day not only the rulers must be familiarwith the art of war: wars are of the nation.Past and Present(Chicago:NelsonHall. JapaneseMilitarism. Crowley. 1-65. a goal that GeneralBaron ColmarVon Der Goltz. Geoffry Best.the imperial Japaneseleadersare all paradigmatic examplesof a moder phenomenon: are no longer fought by the nobility or by mercenariesbut by mass Wars armies imbued with a nationalist spirit and backed by active civilian support. R. All that remainedwas to spur the nation to war. ."20 The FrenchJacobinsand then Napoleon. and in linking it to the need for war and then to the army as the state's instrumentfor waging war. for example. ModernJapaneseLeadership:Traditionand Change (Tucson:Universityof ArizonaPress. in J. fighting is on the level of financialwar. 1913). thus placing the armyin a position of no longerbeing consideredalien and separate 18 MartinKitchen.Japan'sleadersembraceda plan to use the army as a school for the population. 1890-1914 (Oxford:ClarendonPress. Sunoo. ed. 20 Ibid. 19 Theodore F. The Nation in Arms. Cook. . 85-109. Silbermanand H. The German OfficerCorps."18 The aim of Japan'sleadersat the adventof the twentiethcenturywas to turn their country into an empire able to stand on an equal footing with the Europeanempires. Three Centuries of Prussian-GermanMilitarism (Nashville: VanderbiltUniversity Press. The nation-in-armsmodel ascribes an importantplace to the state in creating-or exploiting-nationalist sentiment. "TheMilitarization EuropeanSociety 1870World(New York:RutgersUniver1914". at the turn of the century. D. "FromClosed Door to Empire:The in Formationof the Meiji MilitaryEstablishment. Colmar Von Der Goltz. 265. "are the fate of mankind . Zurcherand Gwyn Harries-Jenkins. "Army. State and Civil Society: Revisiting the Problemof GermanMilitarism. Geoff Eley. Sheathing the Sword: The Demilitarizationof Japan (London: Hamish Hamilton.. 1978). J. MilitaryForces (LonSupplementary don: Sage.19 In the years following the Meiji Restorationof 1868. HakwonH. The Militarizationof the Western sity Press. 1987). ideological war."from his Unificationto Nazism (Boston: of Allen and Unwin." BernardS."the general noted in his book. Meirion and Susie Harries. eds. Warwas one avenueto thatgoal. 13-29.. War in earliertimes was decided by the side with the strongestmilitarypower. 1986) 49-112. "Wars. 470-71." in Louis A. The vast reserve system applied from that time on turned Japan into a "nation-inreserve. the Prussianreformers. Harootunian. 1968. . in addition to the military war.268 URI BEN-ELIEZER state almost constantlyat war. and strategicwar. B. Emillio Willems. 1987). The Nation in Arms (London: Hugh Rees. blurringthe boundarybetween civil and military to the point where war became everyone'sproject. 259-73. "The JapaneseReserve Experience:From Nation-in-Armsto Baseline Defense. 1989). 1975). Gillis. A Way of Life and Death.a means to inculcatenationaland militaristicvalues. Japanhad the ambitions of a great power but the resources of a small power. By applying universal conscription. 1966). albeitnot in the traditional sense. A Japanesemilitary academy reportexplained: A characteristicof moder war is a fight with the total strengthof nations. In modem war. set himself.

Martin'sPress. eds. the attemptto eliminate the different educational tracks. most crucial. The second section deals with the practices that have built the nation-in-armsconstruct. that induced the state's leadershipto develop the new mode of mobilization. Thee."23 Statism (mamlakhtiut)was the principle of action that the state's leaders invoked in orderto transferto the state the responsibilityand control of most functions from the voluntarybodies usually attachedto political partiesin the pre-state era.22Israel still did not resemble a nation-in-arms. 1948). its Dimensions and Corollaries:An Attemptto ConceptualClarification." Jerusalem Quarterly. And: "Youcannot make a commandoforce out of vendors from the market. The process included." Yadinwas told. 1983). 77-105. 1981). 56-80. A STATE ARMY CONSTRUCTS A NATION A state is not a legal entity thatderives its existence solely from a declaration (in this case. 50 (1989). "A nation-in-arms trainedpeople. 1948. 1988). 81-122. War and Capitalism (New York: Basil Blackwell. For that reason. the formation of an independentstate bureaucracy. March 17. "The Roots and Contradictionsof Modem Militarism. and the third section illustrateshow this construct was culturallylegitimized. TheFoundingof Israeli Democracy 1946-1967 (Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press. it was rejected. variouspolitical actions were carriedout in an attemptto constructthe state. "Ben-Gurionand the Establishmentof the IDF. the placementof a monopoly on the means of violence. 31-36. see Volker R. Beginning in December 1947 and reaching a peak the following summer. 23 Ben-Gurion's Diary." AsbjornEdie and Narek in Militarism(New York:St. the nation-in-armsdoes not excel in military coups. Michael Mann. 1990). Ben-GurionArchive. In the seminal period of Israel. The first legitimize section deals with two causes. we need Yigael Yadin.this change was markedalso by mobilizationon the basis of order and duty. "Militarism.. When that idea was first raised in a small forum by the acting chief of staff. Berghahn. cannot be trusted. perhaps. Civil Religion in Israel (Berkeley: University of Berkeley Press. partypolitics on one side and nationalpolitics on the other. 1980). . One such action involved the transition from a militia and an undergroundforce to a fullfledged army fighting a war. so cardinalto every state. but it is certainly not immune to militarism. encounteredserious obstacles. 1861-1979 (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press. Militarism: The History of an InternationalDebate.24 The process of forming one army. 24 PeterY.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 269 from society at large. Medding.however. for example. Problemsof Contemporary 22 Yoav Gelber. Charles Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehiya.21 was Whatfollows is an analysis of how a nation-in-arms formedas a way to the solution of political problems by military means. which makes wars a normativeand legitimate solution for political problems. 166-87. The state would thereby concentratethe bulk of power in its hand. The last section examines the relationsbetween a fighting nation and the possibility of war. and. Kjell Skejelsbaek. 134-37." in his States. May 14. 21 On the concept of militarism.

Mapamproposeda militia stronglyresembling the needs. to the query of Mapai activists-"Is it conceivable that the party will not be active in the army?"-Ben-Gurion replied. It was this inclusion of political parties in public life that enabled Mapam to influence security forces. would give a tremendouspower advantageto those who headed the state and controlled its centralistand autonomousmechanisms. not the state. . Mapam. Kneset Protokol(Israel's parliament). in the state bureaucratic apparatus had raisedthe idea of a people's armybased on the notionthatthe people fact. forces of the pre-stateperiodthatwould drawits strengthfrom the people. The army was rife with partyfactionalism. when the government submittedto the Knesset a law on security. If its proposals were accepted. to obtain influence in the army before and duringthe war were not always successful. 1949. ostensibly acted against their own interests by demandingsuch reforms. A strong Prussian 25 Anita 1948. Mapai Archive. 27 Roberts. The developmentof political partiesin public life had not necessarilyaccordedhis party a superior position and during the pre-state period had often paralyzed its ability to act. Mapai Archive. But their calculationwas clear. Unlike the nationin-arms. led by Ben-Gurion.August 7. Thus. In August 1949. too. Ben-Gurionaspiredto form a state armynot saddledby party politics.1985.even in the war's darkestdays. 28 Mapai Secretariat. Nation in Arms. Ben-Gurion'sStrugglefor Control(Tel-Aviv: Shapira.25Now. why Ben-Gurionwas so eagerto tamperwith the Mapai. themselves. YoavGelber. 26 August 15."28 the The controversiessurrounding effortsby state'sleadersto form a supraparty mass army recalled disputes generatedby the Junkers'attemptsto reform their army. 1950.27Mapam'sunderlyingrationalewas obvious. Mapai (Israel Labor party) but with the more left-wing opposition. the people's army implies that the state's authorityis weakening or being rejected. which often left it unable to act. "It is for the good of the state and not to the detrimentof the party. could not understand centers in which their party wielded influence and to transfer full power political weight to the state. the party would gain a huge political advantageand would dislodge Mapai's foothold in the army. not that operatedby law and fiat.26 Mapam.Mapamsaid it fearedthat such an elite estrangedfrom the nation's armywould producea militarist. would determinethe use of arms. HakibutzHameuchad. Mapai Center. 1986). Naturally. citing the creationof the state and his authorityas its elected leader.Mapamobjected. Ben-Gurion'spoliticalview was clear. Whythe PalmachWasDissolved (Jerusalem:Shoken. They.270 URI BEN-ELIEZER before the Many of those who had set the tone in the militaryinfrastructure state's establishmentand during the war were identified not with the ruling party. Statism.The ArmyControversy. Ben-Gurion hoped. Attemptsby Mapai. 37.technocratic As an alternative. 1949. February2. But even many in the ruling party.

the less rigid and more populist Landwehr. Challener'sbook. and those who had remained were placed under military government.Neither the Prussian. 31 Benny Morris.he would have played into the handsof the Mapamoppositionby giving a basis for theirfear thatthe armywould be isolatedfrom society's needs. not by the people. 1989).regimental. Japanfaced a change of leadershipfollowing the defeat and overthrowof the TokugawaShogun.political order.This enabled the Prussiansto presentthe reformed army as representingthe people and the modem. Intrusionsby Westernnations into Japanese internalaffairs were crucial in triggeringthe Meiji Restoration. Japanese. which did not follow the United Nations 1947 partitionresolutionbut were redrawnaccordingto war gains. provides an excellent discussionof the connectionbetweenpartypolitics and the nation-inarms. which would risk defeat in a war.France was under threatof invasion and facing a desperatemilitary situation. If Ben-Gurionhad established a strong professional standing state army. ratherthan the traditional. Ibid. 59-60.000 PalestinianArabs who had left the country during the war were waiting for permission to return. 138-9. Arabs in a Jewish State (Texas:University of Texas Press. TheFrenchTheoryof the Nation in Arms.but combined with it a militia element.the Prussianreformersdid not stop with generalconscriptionto form an hierarchical.These vicissitudes were appropriate the leaders to for for establish new social arrangements mobilizing the population. nor French model of the nation-in-armswas built in routine times. the Landstrum. The formula for avoiding this potential critination-in-armswas the appropriate cism. This is a formulaof an army that is not a militia but exhibits the elements of a militia: an army controlledby the state. The 600. 30 29 .30 Party politics was only one reason for the nation-in-arms. too. while Prussiahad been defeated in a war. Ian Lustick.31 This situation could threatenIsrael no less than the fact that most states did not recognize the new state's borders. but in which the people participate.formal mass army. although it was not enough by itself. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem. about Vagts. The History of Militarism.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 271 army under indirectJunkercontrol would serve Junkerpolitics better than a weak and depleted Junkerarmy. Underthese circumstances.the leadershipwantedto preparethe population for the possibility of a second round. Israel. 1980). Almost concurrentlywith the Arab's mass exodus.29 The analogy between the Prussianand Israeli cases is even more comprehensive. and its leadersdefined reality in terms of national catastrophe. The formationof a strong mass ethnic army was the main means to achieve that goal. in orderto neutralizeliberal and leftwing criticismagainsta strongstandingstatearmy. was facing tremendousupheaval.Likewise. As for the Frenchcase. 1947-1949 (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

and within a few years the country's population more than doubled." "Female Soldiers Teach Hebrew.34 drew it closer to the new immigrants The army'spresence in the ma'abarot and preventedthe creationof a possible barrierbetween the two groups. ."he added. December 20. TheFirst Israelis (New York:Free Press. "SoldiersTakeGood Care of the Kids. KnesetProtokol. as the instrumentof organizedviolence in the society. Bamachane. 33 Mapai Secretariat. 1951. a bewildering array of customs and outlooks... 1986).June 1. ed. 1988). "The army's help . When the prime minister visited a battalion commanders'class in the army. Kneset Protokol. 1950. 1950. will teach the new immigrantthat the army and the uniform he sees are in fact his.The Israeli leadership partof both designatedthe armyas the means for makingthe new immigrants the nation and its ethnic army. looking afterthe children. Beginning in 1950 the army assumed responsibility for many of these camps. 36 Bamachane.""I see no greaterdanger. September20. but most of them were Sephardi(from NorthAfrica and the Middle East). morebroadly.32The immigrantsturnedIsraelinto a state in which one ethnic groupconstitutedthe majority.then. 1949.000 per month."35The army.36 This intimacy attested not only to an ethnic sympathybut. 1951."and the like. . . doing maintenancework. but was given a civil image of an intimate friendly force. January29. 1950. November 23.But was it a nation? The Jewish immigrantscame from every corer of the world.the squalidcamps in which the majorityof the new immigrants were housed in that period. 34 Bamachane (IDF's Bulletin). 1951. Few were acquainted with the Zionist movement and its realizationin the pre-stateperiod. "thanif the commandersare from a 'noble' race and the rank and file from a low race.272 URI BEN-ELIEZER 200. November 23. April 5.000 to 30. he describedhis impressions. TransitionFrom 'Yishuv'to State 1947-1949 (in Hebrew) (Haifa: Haifa University. 1951. again:"Thearmy'shelp is furtherproofthatthe soldieris really the right-handof the civilian. was not depicted in terms of its primaryfunction.A case in point was the army's involvementin the ma'abarot. 1988). Ashkenazis. As the journal for the Israeli Defense Force stated. MordechaiNaor. Some were Ashkenazi (like the majorityin the pre-stateperiod)." And.000 Jews streamedinto Israel at a rate of 15. 32 July 5. and supplying for food and clothing-extended even to makingarrangements laundryor for communicationsfacilities in the camps. First Yearto Statehood. Newspapers of the period ran numerousfeaturestitled. VardaPilovski.saying thathe saw only "one race. 1951. Kneset Protokol. 35 Bamachane. Its involvement-teaching."33 Ben-Gurionresisted the possibility that the Sephardiand Ashkenazi communities would become focal points of identification.to the immigrants'mobilization to the security missions of the new state. They brought a babel of languages. dispensing medical aid. 1948-1949 (Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi.Tom Segev. September20. Mapai Archive. ed. Bamachane.

. "not armyHebrewbut Hebrew soldiering. 41 Lissak. mass army in Israel. Prussianswho completedtheir five-year stint in the army(threeyears as a conscriptand two of reserve duty) were transferred the Landwehrmilitia. The armywas backedup by the first Landwehr. and the border settlements. and the aged were "to preach hatredof kings and the unity of the Republic. Particularly notablewas the decision to createa four-tiermilitarysystem: a careerarmy. "The Israel Defence forces as an Agent of Socializationand Education". not its antithesis.The French Theoryof the Nation in Arms.Ben-Gurionleft no doubt about the purposeof the institutionalaffiliationsforged between the new immigrantsand the army. it was two and a half years. 3.39The Israeli military service law of August 1949 and a numberof subsequent amendmentsgave legal validity to the special arrangementsintended to establish a strong. the Jacobinstate gave organizationalexpression to the aim of creatinga strong army. 1793.the marriedmen would forge arms. the Prussian militia was an extension of Prussianmilitarism. States and Collective Action: The European Experience (Cambridge: Challener.Nevertheless. August 29. 1952. which had no professional officer to corps and lacked the severe discipline of the regulararmy.The levee en masse made it mandatoryfor all Frenchmales to enlist.the women were to make tents and clothing."37 army's involvement in educating the new immigrants was part of a vast projectmeantto turnthe IsraeliJewish populationinto a fighting nation along the lines of the classic Frenchexamplepresentedin the Frenchassembly in the following terms:The young men were to go forth to battle. Three hundredthousandwere mobilized immediately. Horowitz and Kimmerling. just as the immigrantswould soon take part in the military. even those in the age group of fourteento eighteen years old were placed within a security framework(Gadna) to prepare them for militaryservice by means of a few hoursof activity each week. professional. 1988). "TheIsraeli Defense Forces:A CivilianizedMilitaryin a PartiallyMilitarized Society. and in the last resort by the entire remaining male population. 40 Kneset Protokol. he said. the reserves.40 The suppositionsof some scholarsnotwithstanding."38 THE PRACTICES OF A NATION-IN-ARMS On August 23.Horowitz.then by the second Landwehr.as well as a regular army. in those days consideredvery lengthy.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 273 Now the army was involved in civilian tasks. The durationof compulsoryservice for males." 39 Pierre Birenbaum. 38 CambridgeUniversity Press. from 1952. Within little more than a year the army would number over one million soldiers. The army comprised men and women alike. The They would learn. purposeof Israel's the extensive reserve corps was not to introducecivilian patternsinto the army. was two years. 55-66. 1949. "Some Social Implications of Military Service and the Reserve System in Israel".41 The historicalexample can be helpful here too. the Land37 Kneset Protokol. August 18.

in combined operations . in his memoirs: "In France the soldier is a citizen. activating large formations. combined with professional officers. "quantityis also decisive. 1949.The ideal was describedby Barere. 46 Kneset Protokol."47 Moreover. .46 The Israeli prime ministeraspiredto constructa new Israeli. 47 Hayes. supportedthe proposal to extend armyservice by six months. 1952. for whom being a soldier was their only job. by their ability to shift. "The JapaneseReserve Experience. . even as the Jacobinstate had constructeda new Frenchman. Ben-Gurionexplained. quickly and efficiently. August 29. among other ways. This was backed up by the reserve army of citizens trained to be soldiers in every respect and who demonstrated excellence.43 The patternrecurredin Israel. 48 Kneset Protokol. and the citizen a soldier. called up by state order.the strongman of thatJacobinstate. was based on trainingthe entire nation-people of all ages capable of declaredthatif Israelwas Ben-Gurion bearingarms-to fight when threatened. 43 Cook.42In Japan. where the aim was to establish a mass army of conscripts.includingthe right-wingopposition Herut party. 44 Kneset Protokol. then to the Second Reserve for ten years." It was a comment in the style of Napoleon's "God walks with the big battalions. November 9."Not surprisingly. he stated. Hence. 208. 43-83. that a very impressivemajoritydemonstrating the people's elected representafor tives unequivocallysupportedthe idea of a nation-in-arms Israel. where leaders wanted to create a nation capable of standingon an equal footing with the West. August 18. .44Such an armyhad one purposeonly: to win in a war."45 In 1952 Ben-Gurion used this same spirittojustify the government'sdecision to extendcmilitaryservice by an additionalsix months. too. "State and Nation-Buildingin Europe. when he offered reasons for prolonging army service. 1949.48 42 Gilbert.the overwhelming majorityof the Israeliparliament. . 1952. August 18. an efficient conscriptsystem was and developed. from civilian to soldier status.274 URI BEN-ELIEZER sturm.led by MenachemBegin." 153. The Historical Essays of Otto Hintze."260-2. The Historical Evolution of ModernNationalism.it could not be a living nationandcertainlynot an independentone. various corps . with uniform planning and command. The vote was seventy in favorand eleven against. Israel's security. We will make war not with a local militia but with an army of rapid movement and heavy firepower. . . . After two years of service the soldierpassed into the FirstReserve for a period of five years and four months. This amountedto seventeen years and four months of militaryobligation. Finer. Ben-Gurion'sreply to the left-wing Mapam'sidea of a voluntarymilitia:"Wemust forget the romanticism of the army. The example of the Frenchnation-in-arms the Germanmilitarymodel were never far fromthe mindsof Japan'sleaderswhen they backed up the men in active service with an extensive system of organizedreserves. . not wiling to be a fightingnation. 45 Kneset Protokol. whenever called upon.

This was explainedas anotherimportant step in deploying all the branches of the Israeli security forces to meet any situation. one of the foundersof the ImperialMilitary Reserve Associate. the idea went beyond serving in the armyunderlegal obligation:It implied civil virtue and a non-formalcriterionof citizenship." No one should harborillusions about the future. was the motif of participating the in namely.March 12.51 GeneralYadinfirst describedthe Israeli citizen as a soldier on ten months' leave. political chaos and political assassinations-a volatile situation with unknowableconsequences which could spreadanywhere. Phase Two of the mass call-up began.49 In July 1950. . 51 "Draft-Cards Mules. the prime minister asserted.coups.The armyjournalnoted:"Onething is clear to us all-that the main strength of our state. directly or indirectly. the nation itself. July 20. Now came the turnof all males below the age of fifty who had not yet done militaryservice (mainly new immigrants)." Bamachane. 1952. commented in 1911 that "all citizens are soldiers. involved in military affairs."53On anotheroccawas being conductedbetween Israel sion."52In both cases. 1949. Ben-Guriondescribed the situation as a "temporary During the Knesset debate on the militaryservice law he spoke of an "armed peace. for July 31. warning about the dangers of a "false peace.TanakaGi'ichi'. 53 Bamachane.all those who had already served in the IDF were assigned to the reserves. formed the social basis for Israeli militarism. The implied message was clear: If livestock could be drafted. "The JapaneseReserve Experience. Kneset Protokol. 1950. October 17. Initially. August 29. the newspapers explained that until now these people had been given "a kind of break"but would henceforthshare in responsibilityfor the state's security. The concept also entailed a singulardefinition of reality. The military reserve system then encompassed almost the entireJewish male population. in addition to the conscript army and the staff of the career army-is the army of the nation. 1950. 1949."50So important nation-in-armsthat the army bulletin boasted about the reserve call-up of mules every year and described the way in which the poor animals were processed and incorporatedin their military unit. The Knesset listened in silence to the demoni49 Haaretz (daily newspaper)."271.which guided all Israelis who would be. In Japan. so could the new immigrants. in reply to a question from the truce. 50 Bamachane. In March 1950 the daily press reported that citizens would be called up for reserveduty. And just to preventself-satisfactionon the partof those not yet called up. The organizational arrangements.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 275 The governmentlost no time in implementingthe law of August 1949. Ben-Gurionsaid that a "mini-war" and its neighbors. A BROAD CONCEPT OF SECURITY Immediately after the end of the 1948 war. for which the blame lay with those states in the region that were caught up in a maelstromof disturbances. 52 Cook." army's journal.

the goal was clear.emotion. . Ben-Gurion's definition of security would be broadenedstill further. . thesis. voluntarism of the population for difficult and dangerous missions. the ministryhad the last word. The special arrangementsand practices that brought about the nation-in-armsconstitutedthe leadership's formulafor reconciliationand effectively merged voluntaristicwith coercive elements. . Security. communal relations within their units-and if the army made no effort to reverse such tendencies. Its purposes were The based entirelyon militaryconsiderations: he'ahzutwas the most complete expression of using settlementfor militarypurposes. .55With the passing of time. . the conquest of the sea and air.Davar (daily newspaper). If a certain civilian image was attached to Nahal in the soldiers' dress.it meansfosteringresearchand scientific ability . thus. The Policy of SettlementDuring the IndependentWarand After (in Hebrew) (Tel-Aviv:M. 20. Ben54 KnesetProtokol. their lax discipline. The civil missions. 57 Asnat Shiran. Whenever a dispute arose between the Defense Ministry and the kibbutzmovementsover settlementsites for the youth movements'graduates who comprised Nahal. Securityis economic independence. he had explained in 1949. 197-98. January12. and only one member. their loose sexual mores. in the informal. comradeship. .57 Nahal. labor partiesruled. 13-33). The statist professionalarmy in uniform was likely to arouse opposition in a country in which the socialist ethos prevailed.and the civil sphere would shrink correspondingly. and a militia-like ethos. To prevent such friction."54 Ben-Gurionpresented a broad concept of security. A. reconstructedsettlementand army into Siamese twins. and ideology strove as much to create a voluntaristicsociety as to form a new state. 1952. Militarism became something universally sharedwhen Ben-Guriondeclaredin 1955: "Securityis not possible without immigration .276 URI BEN-ELIEZER zation of Israel's neighboring countries.August 19.It entailed stepping up the birth rate and populatingempty areas. Mapai Archive."TheJournalof AppliedBehavioralScience. The IDF was not to be a classic state armybased on coercion only but was to display elements of voluntarism. were part of the broad definition of security.it is preparation for war. never to be separated.This special and unit combinedcivil missions like agriculture land settlementwith combat roles. See also Baruch Kimmerling's article about Israel's conception of peace ("ExchangingTerritoriesfor Peace: A MacrosociologicalApproach. Tel-Aviv University."56 One of the means resortedto by the leadershipto create a broaddefinition of securitywas Nahal (the acronymfor FightingPioneerYouth). meant more than the army. however.August 19.called out: "This is a preludeto the order. 55 Mapai Center. pioneering. 1949. 1992). 23:1 [1987]. 56 Kneset Protokol. 1952. all imputed to the nation's needs. the he'ahzut. from the CommunistParty. . security means settlements . was created. November 7. the security settlement. 1955.

it still needed pre-statepioneer endeavors. bureaucraticmechanism of mobilization with an emotional and communal element."' And three days afterreported ward readers learned that "effortsby the 'Greens' to breach the lines of the 'Blues' were thwarted. this time "for real. The country'spresident. Yadin also demandedthat at least one exercise be held with 100. The press provideddaily reportson the exercises: "A surprise attack by the 'Reds' on the 'Blacks' in the air force maneuvers. as befitted a nation-in-arms.58Nahal was.While the maneuverswere in progress. a synthesis that helped to mobilize the Israeli Jewish population. and real attacks.6' The mass maneuvers blurredthe distinction between two types of time: peace and war."60The large-scale maneuvers. 1971). A few days later "paratroops to" have landed on the soil of the 'Blacks.who had the impressionthat his position exempted him from service. "Every exercise has its own mission. Yigael Yadin.59 Mass maneuvers were another means that served to construct a broad concept of security. going on to describe how that year's maneuversdifferedfrom previous ones of 1951 and 1952.000 troopsparticipating-virtually the entire army that Israel would put into action in the event of a war. informed its readers in the autumn of 1953. ascribingeverythingto the Egyptians' over-vivid imagination. June 19. 59 Uri Ben-Eliezer. like the reserves system. 61 Shabtai Tevet.blurringthe line between trainingexercises was heightenedwhen Israeldenied. Mapai Archive.The press wrote that travelersin the Galilee (where the maneuverswere being held) were caught up in a war atmosphere. 355. the citizen. sharein theirmission and theirsuccess. a numberof incidents occurredon the Egyptianborder. its brutality. Yadinin 1950 sent militarypolice to arrestthe secretaryof the Finance Ministry. 1953. . touredthe area of what were labeled battles. meaning then.and Israel's 58 Mapai Council.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 277 Gurion called it "statist pioneering"(halutziutmamlakhtit). a fusion of the statist." the daily newspaper.escortedby the chief of staff. Ha'aretz. The day after his visit the IDF raided the Jordanianvillage of Qibiyeh. coercive. 1948. Throughthem Yadinwantedto test the idea of a nation-in-arms."one paper from the countryof the 'Yellows' "were wrote. at first. Moshe Dayan (Tel-Aviv:Shoken. were the handiworkof the chief of staff. Nor did the paper pass up the opportunityto publicize the army's slogan: "Andyou."The entire population was involved. September28. "Israel'sMyth of Pioneeringand the Elusive Distinction between Society and State. The uncertainty thatits soldiers had enteredthe demilitarizedzone. 60 Haaretz. 1995)." killing some fifty inhabitants and blowing up about forty houses. The United Nations and the Great Powers were outragedat the scale of the operation.To dramatizehis point. an extreme example of the general pattern. the state." in Megamot (forthcoming.explaining that of even though Israelpossessed a powerful instrument manifoldperformance.

the writerclaimed. too. 1955. Sharon. Uri Milstein. preparedfor a second round. 399.however. 62 64 Teveth. By Blood and Fire (in Hebrew. a phenomenonwhich is defined as militarism.Tel-Aviv:Levine-Epstein. The governmentdecided to reactvigorously. 1953. October 5.in contrast. the status of the demilitarizedzones.and those who were accepted became the pride of the family or neighborhood. and then they were sabotageand-murder squads. Every youngster who was draftedinsisted on joining the Red Berets (the paratroops). October3.63 reprisal The raids graduallyspawned a myth of heroic warriors. 1975) 176-93. and the exact location of the boundariesoccurredwith Syria. The Israeli sense of security. Uzi Benziman.continuedto hold what it called "thoroughdiscussions on security. The government. September18. an Israeli Caesar (New York:Adama Books. 21. usually using the paratroopsto carry it out."In them the refugees were and describedas "abandoners" as "thejoker in the hands of the Arab states. Rather. Concurrently.278 URI BEN-ELIEZER violation of the armisticeaccords. October7. 12. Palestinians continued to infiltrate into Israel. it was the product of a politics that presentedmilitary action as the only viable alternative to the Arab threats. 50. Sasson Ashrikiwhich were meant to enlighten the readerabout "the Arabproblem. 1956. 15. 65 Bamachane. After Moshe Dayan was appointedchief of staff. At first these were refugees seeking to return to their homes. 12. Jordan."62 The Arab states had difficulty in acceptingthe idea that Jewish state could exist in the Middle East. They. Ashriki also had a scoop: "Fortypercent of the abandonerswho receive aid fromthe U.the presscontinuedto demonize the enemy anddownplaythe Israeli-Palestinianconflict. rana series of articlesby a Dr. 1956.64 In themselves. Reportersfor the army weekly accompanyingthe fighting forces on their missions acquaintedevery family in Israel with the daring bravery of the soldiersthroughfirst-person articlesandauthenticphotographs. for example."65By the mid-1950s the Jewishpopulation was given the opportunityto demonstrateits nationalcommitment. Moshe Dayan.N. 1985). ." There was no refugee problem. for Althoughadmiration the armyintensified. cannot be understood as the direct result of an objective situation. stating that the refugees were not interestedin returningbut were being incited by their leaders.-do not even exist. Dr.the nation esteemed its militaryemissaries and made them symbols of the new Israel. at the end of 1953.and Egypt. The armyjournal. Haaretz. 63 Bamachane. the borderdisputes and the infiltrationsdid not attest directly to an imminent war but legitimized the creation of a crisis atmosphereand justified the possibility of war as a means of solving political problems. borderincidents-triggered the of mainly by conflicting interpretations the armistice agreements. Israel opted particularlyfor reprisal.Throughout early 1950s.

6.the so-called Second Israel.70 Anotherexpressionof the "nation'sfinest hour"at that time was Operation Wall (MivtzaHoma). Hobsbawm. who had received a childbearingprize of 100 pounds sterling. made an emotional appeal:"Parents. 10-11. the newspaperspublishedprice lists of weapons.booths for donationsand special offices were set up. The Haifa City Council decided to contributea torpedo boat to the navy.buy a suit of iron. 1955. 46. A second womanturnedup at the Prime Minister's Office with a heavy bracelet made of pure gold. The Artisans' Association purchaseda warplane. the formerchief of staff. This intense activity was based on both the leadership's guidance and the public's active commitment. Nations and Nationalism. October 21. October24. The press published the amounts donated and described the donors. 67 Davar. November 5."67 The spontaneousorganizing attested to a sense of partnership. Paradesand mass demonstrations were organized. 25.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS A NATION READY FOR WAR 279 At the end of September 1955. December 28. This was the nation-in-arms not only as a policy of the leadershipor any other state agent but as a project of all. Lydia Balulu. a suit of armorfor the defense of your children. donatedit to the fund."66 On October 21. The army did not want to budget funds for obviously defensive purposes. Discount Bank collected enough for a tank. the arms deal between Czechoslovakia and Egypt was made public. and the public began buying them. As the cabinet was deliberatingthe Defender Fund. motherof ten. 70 Hobsbawm.68The leadershiplost no time in directingthis outpouringof feelings into channels it found desirable. Schoolchildrenorganizedstreetparades. and Yadin. 1955. 1955. 69 HistadrutPolitical Committee. The town of Ramle's elected representativesdecided to purchase a tank to be called "Ramle 1. such as developing civilian supportor fortifying settleDavar.and two former chiefs of staff headed a public committee which declared that it intended to raise $25 million for purchasingweapons." At the same time the popularmanifestationscontinued.to protonationalbonds. an elderly woman appeared and donatedan ancientVenetianglass vase. now shared in a collective effort aimed at supplying the army with funds. The Teachers'Association contributedan amount sufficient to purchase one warplane and one tank. HistadrutArchive. information pamphlets were distributed. The City of RamatGan bought a transport plane and one hundredparachutes. 23. The new immigrants.69This activity indicated the success of a political method that sought to blur any distinction between manifested politics from above and from below. Nations and Nationalism. 66 68 . and a wave of popularvoluntarismswept the country in the form of contributionsfor arms purchasesthroughwhat was called the DefenderFund (KerenHamagen). noting "the generalenthusiasmand manifestationsof mass voluntarismnever before seen in the country. 1955.

1991). The Road to Sinai 1956 (in Hebrew) (Beer-Sheba: Ben-GurionUniversity.73A few years later a Defense Ministryofficial. 43-83. and even party disparities. HistadrutArchive. underscoredthe success of Israel and the IDF as the "melting pot" of the exiles. until the nineteenthcenturywars had been fought by professional soldiers whose goals were military strongholds. today's civilian settlement would be tomorrow'smilitarystronghold. 73 Kneset Protokol. and vice versa.71 The Jacobinsin Francespoke of the need to turnhouses into fortresses.and aroundthe same time the newspaperof the ruling party published an article explaining that this should be regarded not only as a descriptionof the actual. explainedthe significance of to model.As early as March 1951.000 volunteersand 300 settlements. but also of the desirable.the campaign gatheredmomentum. situation. Ben-Gurion had stated in the Israeli parliamentthat it was essential for every settlement and locality to be strengthenedand trainedto face the enemy. October26. 1956.72 In Israel a similarnotion was put forward. Peres OperationWall in termsof its contribution the nation-in-arms noted that. MordechaiBar-On. and helped reduce class. The Gates of Gaza (in Hebrew) (Tel-Aviv:Am-Oved.74 The Jacobin state endeavoredto keep its citizens in a state of permanent activity. The Historical Evolution of ModernNationalism."It was Dayan's formulation. 72 Hayes. thanksto the cooperationtypical betweenthe civilian companies and the army. communal.such as the Histadrut rallied to the cause of improvingthe defenses of bordersettlements. 1955. 1951. and vice versa. This state of constant mobilization also led to the dominance of a conceptionthatfound advantagesin the special situationof "neitherpeace nor war. was not entirelya negative condition:It highlightedthe nation and its mobilization. Gradually. soldiers and civilians were interchangeable. 86-97. .The operationwas made viable. 74 HistadrutCentralCommittee. March 5. "No Peace-No War. However.The absence of peace.280 URI BEN-ELIEZER ments. he noted. Challenge and Quarrel.a clear indicationthatsecuritywas no longerpurely a projectof the state and its bureaucracybut an enterpriseof the people. becoming a mass movement that ultimately encompassed more than 100. institutions. wars ceased to be a matter for mercenariesand militarystrongholdswere no longer theironly target. 1992). Shimon Peres. Workers from the big cities volunteeredto help in the construction. the leadershipdescribedreality in terms of non71 MordechaiBar-On.Today's soldier would be tomorrow's civilian. 75 Chagai Eshed."Davar. Something of the same sort was also discernible through the mass participationelicited by the Defender Fund and OperationWall in the new Israel. The result was that non-governmentcompanies belonging to civil Federationof Laborandthe Jewish Agency. Nowadays. as national sentiment developed and as nations emerged. July 19.75 In the state's first years. the articlestressed.

. Humanresourcesinclude not only the actual numberof soldiers. Moshe Sharet. the home front now also was readied for war. Challenge and Quarrel. Dayan supported the decision The clock ran out quickly. however.83 In June. left the government.a frameof mindlike thatunderlyingthe news articleis known Its as "positive militarism. A military academy report described it: "National mobilization is intended to control and utilize all human and materialresources in order to concentrateall available power in the most effective manner. . the moderate. the Actions Committee of the Histadrutlabor union felt that the emergency situationand the warpreparations would radicallyboost the economy. "Once again I and Western "Militarism.as well."in Kerning. on October 23. November 2. in the summerof 1937. 268-9. HistadrutArchive. 1974).. to streamline the mobilization of the reserves in a war situation. Thus. Now. 81 Albert Soboul. 1787-1799 (New York: Vintage Books. Coaches and horses were nationalized.Challenge and Quarrel. readinessfor war involved the whole population. "The JapaneseReserve Experience. the purpose of the massive call-up was quite clear. Communism Society. increase tax collection. Ben-Gurionwas well-awareof this situationwhen he decided.78 The IDF launched OperationsDetonation in order to provoke Nasser into startingthe war. artisans'workshopswere convertedto sewing uniforms.June4.79During the springand summernearlyall the IDF's reserve units were called up for trainingexercises.In the professional literature. 83-84. technicalability.The Gates of Gaza." 83 KnesetProtokol. which became the talk of the army.Marxism. 1955."76 manifestationsin thatera were manifold. November 10."82Similarly. 82. 1955.80 In Jacobin France. 78 Kneset Protokol.thatrealitywas definedin the affirmative. The Gates of Gaza. 47-50.even church bells and ritual objects were supposedly donated. 59-67. enthusiasticallyand began preparingthe army. 82 Cook. Berl Reptur. and lead to the total eliminationof corruptionand speculation while motivating the young generationto new heights of voluntarism. Lazare Carnotwas able to put the economy on a war footing in orderto armand equip the troops. When the China Incident occurred. Even writers and artists rallied to the cause. issued a set of stringentnew orders. but also the spiritualpower.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 28I peace. 80 Bar-On. 77 76 . The French Revolution. while the Knesset passed a law for the mobilizationof civilian vehicles andheavy machineryfor militarypurposes. Bar-On.81In Japan. 103-4. The deputy chief of staff.77 The existence of positive militarismindicatedthat the nation was ready for war. that Israel must go to war. Bar-On. 79 Bar-On. Bar-On.HistadrutCentralCommittee. 1956. Major GeneralHaim Laskov. The governmentset up two civilian committees to consider placing the economy on an emergency footing. in Israel. Challenge and Quarrel. 1955.and laborof the nation.

Germany and the Approachof Warin 1914 (London:Macmillan. no men of militaryage came to a were to be seen on the streets.publictransportation with considernation-in-arms halt.might operatenot only as a conditionfor waging war but also as one of its causes. Jewish independence had existed on the island of Yotvata(Tiran).1978). which had two been "liberated" days before.'" 285. Personal Diary (in Hebrew) (Tel-Aviv:MaarivLibrary. Count Helmuth von Moltke's idea of of "people's war. Totalwar became the ultimate to and only possible option. 10:2 (1987). wrote that the soldiers had "stretchedout a hand to King 84 Moshe Sharet. Carl von Clausewitz'sfamous militarystrategy. However. But no one outdid BenGurion.Ben-Guriontold the Knesset. 1956). preparations war. certainly if they consist both of a massive callup of reserves and of mental adjustment."whetherthe emergenceof the assumption that we are on the brinkof war and instilling [thatidea] in the minds of the masses may not by itself become a factor which will finally bring about WasSharet'sconcernjustified?The presentarticleset out not to count war. GeneralBaronColmarVon Der Goltz." of our transformation The nation's historical attachmentto Mount Sinai was also reiterated(notwithstandingthat its exact location is unknown).282 URI BEN-ELIEZER asked myself." he wrote in his diary. 209-29. as the Blitzkrieg. When the Israeli-Egyptian war finally broke out. Berghahn. offensive. The highly oiled machine of the operated able efficiency to wage a quick. The victory was not only ascribedto the entirenationbut linked to its past." or that of the "nation-in-arms" his military successor.turnedinto a politics of war through his loyal pupils. and successful war. the newspaper of the leading party. 1973). Fourteenhundredyears earlier.See Horowitz.describedthe city of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsulaas "thecradle into a nation and harbingersof hopes for the future.g.. .justifiablemeans for solving for political problems if there were no other choice.85 The Prussian-German case is very interesting in this regard. Jewish citizens were quickly mobilized. and Prussia-Germanybecame a warfarestate. "StrategicLimitationsof 'A Nation in Arms. Davar. 85 This was also provenin the waitingperiodof July 1967 thatprecededthe Six-Days War.86The Israeli case and the Prussian-Germancase are so dissimilar that it is precisely their common elements that are interestingand worth examining."Facing'People War':Moltkethe Elderand Germany'sMilitaryOptions after 1871." The Journal of Strategic Studies. Articles began to appearin the press about Israel's historic right to the Sinai Peninsula.the whole of society was subordinated it. Many left work. 1385 (April 3. with the help of civil institutions.like town halls or the bus company. 86 E. Stig Forster. it was the hour of the whole nation.south of Eilat.Soon. V."84 causal variablesfor warbut to deliniatethe way in which a fightingnationwas constructedwith the idea of war as a reasonable. even in peacetime. who in a message to a militaryceremonysummingup the fighting at Sharm e-Sheikh. R. provedhow narrowthe gap was indeed between a strategicmeans and a political end.

87Thus.HerutPartyin Israel (New York:SUNY Press. 328. or its interpretation thatpast.Bar-On. These scholars continued the traditionthat started perhaps with FrederickStern's famous. continued to function decades later. In short order.Key to Defense in the Atomic Age (New York:St. was also of mobilized in order to justify war and conquest.all can be labelled under the category of the "civil-military paradigm. but politically biased 1957 book. January18."This article describes the Israeli nation-in-armsdifferently-as 87 Davar. The Citizen Army.to the But creation of which Ben-Gurioncontributedso powerfully. the nation-in-arms should be seen as a form of militaristicpolitics characterized the attemptto turnthe affairsof by the militaryand the imminenceof war into the business of the whole population. .It is possible that Ben-Gurionlearned a lesson from Sinai. 88 Yonatan Shapiro. as his views became more moderateafterward. making them the nation's occupationand concern. the nation'spast. The CitizenArmy.Following the historical precedentsand the data on Israel. 89 Fritz Ster. which was characterized insufficientprepaby rations and the lack of a plan for activating the entire population.and continuedwith Janowitz.TheRoad to Power. which warns other nations that Israel is strong and triumphant because the Lord is with them. 153-9. 1957). November7.Challengeand Quarrel.a broad definition of security.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 283 Solomon" and that the occupied areas would become part of Israel.Rappoport. It does not preventdemocracyand does not encouragemilitarycoups because it provides a link between the needs of the nation and the interestsof the army in a situation of war. CONCLUSION Based on the literaturewhich emphasizes the centralityof the state and the state's elite in the making of a nation. part of "the third Jewish kingdom. however. 1990). Martin Press. 1956. Scholarsof Israelimilitarysociology have tendedto cite the nation-in-arms as a mechanismthat enables regularcivilian life to proceed underconditions of war. It included by not only the creationof a strongmass armybut also practicesthatblurredthe distinction between civil and military. the 1956 Sinai Campaignwas the resultof lengthy preparations the state. Israel was forced to withdrawfrom Sinai under pressurefrom the United Nations and an ultimatumof the superpowers. including a quotation from the Song of the Sea. In contrastto the 1948 war. and others89. Bamachane. this essay dealt with the way in which an ethnic populationwas constructedas a nation-in-arms." The message was replete with biblical expressions and images.88 the mechanismof the nation-in-arms. and the inculcation of the ideas that war is not always the less-preferredchoice and that peace is not always worth the price. 1957.Luckham. See also note 9.

only because it continuesto have a mass national army that is involved in wars but because its wars and territorial occupationsare not carriedout by the army alone. "StateBuilding. social institutions that are located on the seam between the civil and the militaryand functionto fuse the two spheresinto one entity. To enumeratesome of them: Galei Zahal. as a nation-in-arms. Israel has been a nation-in-armsas the resultof an institutionalprocess thatbegan with a deliberatepolicy and ended with a mechanism that embodies "the will of the nation"no less than "the not power of the state. 80.which makesthe nation-in-arms important model. rather.Prussia. and Japanduringcertainhistoricalperiods. Anothersimilaritylies in the fact that in these cases the nation-in-armsis the result of both party and national politics. the civilian armed settlers and the Civil Administration in the occupied territories. the business of war becomes something embedded within the spirit of the nation. Hobsbawm. Israel. this means that various organizationsthat are supposed to be civil-such as the bus monopoly (Egged)."Social Science Information.in historical and political.possibility. Although the current theory claims that since the modem state requiredthe population to underwrite its expendituresas taxpayersor to serve in the wars as conscript soldiers. 91 Uri Ben-Eliezer.partof Israel's population's political culture. 13 (1974).91 In analyzing Israel as a nation-in-arms. Thus. "The Meaningof Political Participation a Non-LiberalDemocracy:The in Israeli Example. the internaland an the external. the gest a different model. not perhaps as an explanatoryvariablefor wars but certainlyas a variablefor describing the culturalconditionsthatmake war a legitimate.the Society for the Preservationof Natureare all engaged in security missions and tasks. one rifle. not for the sake of a liberal democracybut for the purposeof war."Israelis a nation-in-arms. a part of the orderof things. it was forced to pay attention to the opinions of its subjects and." ComparativePolitics. E. rather than in functional terms.90 I sugdescribed here. I intended not to demonstratea case of an exceptionally high degree of manpowermobilizationfor a possible war but.284 URI BEN-ELIEZER one in which the populationwas constructedas a fighting nation. Ever since the Sinai Campaign.displays as well. . the Israelicase resemblesFrance. According to the nation-in-arms and thrustfor political participation involvement. Finer. is channeledto non-liberalcollectivistic patternsof serving in the army for the sake of the nation. even necessary. State Boundariesand BorderControl. as to presentthe nation-in-arms a mechanismcomposed of both rationaland emotionalelements. therebyblurringthe differencebetween civilian and military institutionsand turningthem into one entity. In this respect.Nations and Nationalism. one vote"-generally throughvarious kinds of elected bodies. 25:4 (June 1983).voluntaryassociations. a radio station staffed by both civilians and soldiers. In practice. therefore. like the 90 S. gave them a voice-in the Swedish expression:"one soldier. It is in fact the combinationof these two variables. 79-126.

92 YediotAchronot (daily newspaper).92It means also the parentswho take an active part. A nation-in-arms means.in their children's military service. 93 YediotAchronot. Davar. 1992. one could still find many more examples in Israelof social institutions and arrangements that contributeto a situationin which the entire nation is preoccupiedwith. with the army's encouragement. . setting aside their political differencesto wing fight together against the "ultra-Orthodox shirking"of military service or in orderto demonstrate organizing comradeshipwith one of theirnumberwho is attackedin the media for not ever taking part in a combat war. 1992. May 12.93Despite some changes within the last few years.ISRAEL AS A NATION-IN-ARMS 285 Civil Guard (HamishmarHae'zrahi) that de-emphasize differences between the soldier and the citizen and between civilian supportandthe military'sfront line. matterspertainingto organizedmeans of violence and places this preoccupationat its center.November 29. 1988. a fund for raising money from the public for the army. and KerenLibi. May 15. retiredgenerals. as well. and mobilized in. affiliatedwith eitherleftor right-wingpolitical parties.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful