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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fifty years of occupation of the Palestinian territories, changes in the nature of warfare, demographic developments, and transformation of the civilian value system have all resulted in deepening the gap between civilian society and the military in Israel over the past two decades. The military is well aware of the impact of these factors and of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) deteriorating status in society. Indeed, the chief of the general staff has even portrayed these issues as more serious than the external threats posed by Israel’s enemies. Thus, the military has implemented a series of mechanisms aimed at reducing the gap, dealing with the expectations of civilian groups, reconstructing the military structure and normative code, and even introducing a new model of conscription, all in order to renew its contract with civilian society. What will be the repercussions of these steps, and what are the various scenarios for future developments in civil-military relations in Israel?

Keywords: Azaria incident, civil-military gap, civil-military relations, conscription, legitimacy crisis, motivational crisis

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