Synopses & Reviews
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 dividePalestinian 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.
The captivating story of a controversial group of Palestinians who volunteer to serve in the Israeli military.
About the Author
"The book provides an interesting analysis of the class considerations and economic circumstances of individuals choosing to join the Israeli army."Nahla Abdo, Journal of Palestine Studies"This is a pioneering study of a fascinating aspect of Arab life in Israel."CHOICE"No other book tackles the complexities Arab citizens of Israel face in joining the Israeli military. This thought-provoking book directly engages with people's assumptions and will certainly spark new debates."Virginia R. Dominguez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign"In this path-breaking, elegantly written and poignant ethnography, Kanaaneh manages a complex intellectual feat. She critically examines the concepts of citizenship, belonging, and identity by probing the motivations and behavior of a small group of Arabs in Israel, second class citizens at best, that voluntarily joins the military. These are the very same people who are made to signify and embody the insecurity of the state and thus justify the security regime. She astutely probes the consequences of this strategy of playing by the state's rules and its rewards which devolve from military service."Julie Peteet, University of Louisville, author of Landscape of Hope and Despair: Palestinian Refugee Camps"This book provides a unique focus on the conflicted situation of Palestinian citizens inside Israel through examining those among them who choose to serve in the army of the Jewish state. A fascinating, engrossing and thought-provoking book." Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University, author of The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood