Trial and Error: Israel's Route from War to De-Escalation
Trial and Error offers a unique exploration of the link between Israel's military policies and its ethno-class relations of power that has theoretical implications elsewhere. The book denounces the commonly accepted view that Israel's military policies were crafted merely as a direct and inevitable response to neighboring Arab states' hostility. Instead, Yagil Levy shows that Israel's security interests were also determined by the social interests of a rising middle class comprised of Jews of European descent. Because of the protracted state of war, this class achieved dominant status over other groups. As a result, a strong link was created between increasing inegalitarianism in Israeli society and missed opportunities to adopt more moderate foreign policies at crucial crossroads up to the 1980s. Paradoxically, however, as war benefits elevated the consumerist lifestyle of the middle class, the burden of war became less appealing to it. Levy argues that this and other social constraints, along with limitations imposed by the international system, played a focal role in channeling Israel's policies toward the 1990s' peace process.
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action agencies agents Arab Arab-Israeli conflict army autonomy became bellicose policy Ben-Gurion border chapter civilian created Dayan de-escalation decline defense minister domestic dominant economic Egypt elite empowerment entailed escalation establishment ethnic force force-oriented gains Gaza Strip Gush Emunim hawkish hence Histadrut Horowitz IDF's immigrants increased infiltrations interethnic international system Intifada Israel Israeli Palestinians Israeli society Jewish Jordan Kibbutz Kimmerling labor market Lebanon legitimation Likud Mamlachtiyut Mapai Mapam material middle class military buildup military doctrine military service mobility moderate moreover Moshe Moshe Dayan moves neorealist nonmobile occupation occupied territories options Orientals Palmach peace percent political discourse pre-state prestige Prime Minister Rabin raids regional relations of exchange relative role sector security interests settlements Shalev Sharett Shimon Peres Sinai Campaign Sinai Peninsula Six-Day Six-Day War social groups social structure status quo strategies Swirski symbolic Syria threat tion West Bank Western Yishuv Yitzhak Rabin youngsters
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