Civil - military relations in Israel
- Civil military relations: The role of Tsahalis in politics and society as an example of Huntington's subjective control.
- The 'parachutage' phenomenon: The pre-eminence of military elites in politics.
- A strong link between the armed forces and the Israeli society.
- IDF held within various control mechanism: Objective control.
- The basic laws of Israel: subordination of the military to the civilian authorities as grantee of democracy.
- The evolution of Tsahal: A constant process of professionalisation.
Israel is a democratic republic and operates under the parliamentary system. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and the government. It was founded in 1948.The Israeli defence forces, Tsahal, were also created in 1948, with the professionalisation of several paramilitary underground armies like the Haganah or the Irgoun. These self defence militias aimed at protecting the Jewish emigrants at the beginning of the 20th century (in application of the sionist doctrine). This characteristic makes the particularity of Tsahal: the army has strong links with the population and has been very influenced by the sionist theories. As many armies in the world, the first role of Tsahal is protect the country from the external attacks. Internal security is the other role of Tsahal (growing risk of terrorism)
A third role of Tsahal is to foster the national cohesion. Observing the several roles of Tsahal, we can understand the very specificity of the IDF (Israeli defence forces). But, are there real democratic civil-military relations in Israel? And if not, why during the first sixty years of their history the IDF never overtly challenged the authority of the civilian government? We will see that although Tsahal has kept all the time a very pre-eminent role in Israeli life and politics there are several mechanisms of control which protect the democratic process.
[...] ) (in blue: prime ministers who made carrier in the armed forces) prime ministers who had an experience in the paramilitary groups like the Haganah, the Irgoun or the Lehi) Document BASIC LAW CONCERNING THE IDF Basic Law: The Military Defence Army of 1. The Defence Army of Israel is the army of the Israel State. Subordination to 2. The Army is subject to the authority of the civil authority Government. The Minister in charge of the Army on behalf of the Government is the Minister of Defence. [...]
[...] Document list of prime ministers of Israel and their links with the armed forces 1. Ben Gurion (1948-1953) * 2. Moshe Sharett (1953-1955) 3. Ben Gurion (1955-1963) * 4. Levi Eskhol (1963-1969) * 5. Golda Meir (1969-1974) 6. Yitzak Rabin (1974-1977) * 7. Menahem Begin (1977-1983) * 8. Yitzak Shamir (1983-1984) * 9. Shimon Peres (1984-1986) 10. Yitzak Shamir (1986-1992) * 11. Yitzak Rabin (1992-1995) * 12. Shimon Peres (1995-1996) * 13. Benyamin Netanyahou (1996-1999) 14. Ehoud Barak (1999-2001) 15. [...]