Elevating the significance of military service: Knesset members and republican values

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Through an analysis of the Israeli case, this paper explains why states add superfluous provisions that facilitate naturalization processes after military service. The Israeli Citizenship Law states that military service in Israel will confer exemptions from the list of requirements toward naturalization. Amendments in 1987 and 2004 and 35 proposed revisions also link military service with citizenship in Israel. I argue that those provisions were enacted mainly for symbolic reasons. Republicanism is not just a characteristic of a particular polity but a rhetorical trope for politicians in that state. In Israel, politicians wanted to emphasize the importance of republican participation, particularly through military service, as the ultimate sacrifice in constructing national identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-515
Number of pages15
JournalNational Identities
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Israeli Citizenship Law
  • ethnicity
  • military service
  • republicanism
  • symbolic boundaries

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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