Middle East

The Worrisome Politicization of Israel's Military

Netanyahu may be undermining one of the Jewish State's founding principles.

Sergeant Azaria's trial has widened a divide.

Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

In September 1948, four months after Israel’s creation and with its War of Independence still raging, the country’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, dismantled the military’s most elite unit. The Palmach, many of whose fighters had been trained by the British during the Mandate, was the closest thing that Israel had to special forces. So why, with the country still battling for its life and with many vehemently opposed to his decision, did Ben-Gurion do away with it? 

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