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Other titles in the Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures series:

Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military (09 Edition)


Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military (09 Edition) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An estimated 3,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel currently volunteer to serve in the Israeli military, a force fighting other Palestinians just miles away in occupied territories. Surrounded takes a close look at this controversial group of soldiers, examining the complex reasons these people join the army and the wider implications of their decisions in terms of security and citizenship.

Most observers perceive a clear and powerful divide in the political tensions and open hostilities between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people, but often fail to notice those who straddle this divide—Palestinian citizens of Israel. These soldiers comprise no more than half a percent of this population, but their stories provide a powerful vantage point from which to consider a question faced by all Palestinians in Israel: to what extent are they, in fact, Israeli?

Surrounded contains over seventy interviews with soldiers, and provides a unique glimpse of their conflicting experiences of acceptance, integration, and marginalization within the Israeli military. Concluding with comparisons to similar situations around the world, the book upends nationalist understandings of how wars and those who fight in them work. A key to a more complex understanding of ethnic conflict, this gripping and revealing look at a select group of soldiers will immensely alter ideas about the reasons why people choose to fight, particularly on "the wrong side" of a war.

Book News Annotation:

If Arabs, mostly Palestinian, living in the officially Jewish state of Israel have to deal with many contradictions of identity, than surely Israeli Arabs serving in the Israeli security apparatus, institutionally deployed against their fellow Arabs in the Occupied Territories, experience contradiction piled upon contradiction. In this ethnography, Kanaaneh (Middle East and Islamic studies, New York U.) interviews seventy-two Arab men and three Arab men who had served in the Israeli military, the Border Guard, and the police force, probing their motivations, senses of identity, and perceptions of the role of their service. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


The captivating story of a controversial group of Palestinians who volunteer to serve in the Israeli military.

About the Author

Rhoda Ann Kanaaneh is currently a visiting scholar in the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies at New York University. She is the author of the award-winning book Birthing the Nation: Strategies of Palestinian Women in Israel (2002) and co-editor of the anthology Blue ID: Palestinians in Israel Revisited (2008).

Product Details

Kanaaneh, Rhoda
Stanford University Press
Kanaaneh, Rhoda Ann
Rhoda, Kanaaneh
Islamic Studies
Palestinian arabs
Military Science
Palestinian Arabs -- Israel.
Israel Ethnic relations.
Sociology-Islamic Studies
Edition Description:
Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures
Publication Date:
8.50 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Middle East » Israel
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military (09 Edition) New Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Stanford University Press - English 9780804758581 Reviews:
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The captivating story of a controversial group of Palestinians who volunteer to serve in the Israeli military.
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