Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Middle East Studies

Reader 1

Ilai Saltzman

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© 2013 Catherine K. Blakelock


Arab-Israelis make up a growing portion of Israel's population. While they are legal citizens of the state of Israel they are not held to the same standards as their Jewish-Israeli counterparts. Jewish-Israelis are mandated to serve in the Israeli Defense Force, while the Arab-Israelis are not. Even without conscription a small number of Arab-Israelis choose to serve every year. This paper examines how individual and community identity play into the decision to join the IDF. The key factor in why Arab-Israelis join the IDF stems from putting the love of country over the love of any other community or identity.