New roles or "new times"? Gender inequality and militarism in Israel's nation-in-arms

Joyce Robbins, Uri Ben-Eliezer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article examines gender discourse in the Israeli military context from 1948 to the present, and links the gender inequality and cultural militarism of women's military service to Israel's constitution as a "nation-in-arms." This statist institutional pattern blurred the distinction between society and the army, placed the army in the center of the collective conscience, and made war preparation the project of "all." We show how this framework had an impact on women's military service in three distinct historical periods, marked by substantial changes in women soldiers' roles: the "social" roles of the 1950s, the professional roles of the 1970s, and, finally, the quasi-combatant roles of the 1990s. We claim that the nation-in-arms model has prevented alternative military discourses - specifically, the model of full gender integration promoted by liberal feminism or the anti-militaristic stance of radical feminism - from gaining ground in Israel.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-342
    Number of pages34
    JournalSocial Politics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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