Religious Diversity and Military Service: The Israeli Experience
Retired Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and Former Advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road
Abstract: In Israel, military service is a context for the expression and inculcation of core societal values. One of Israel’s values is respect for diversity and religious pluralism. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is working hard to make itself an institution that embodies those ideals, while operating under public scrutiny.
Colonel Miri Eisin (retired) served as deputy head of the combat intelligence corps, assistant to the director of Military Intelligence, and as an intelligence officer in combat and research units in the Israel Defense Forces. She served as the Israeli government spokesperson during the Second Lebanon War (2006), and as international press secretary to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the Annapolis process. She earned a B.A. from Tel Aviv University, an M.A. in security studies from Haifa University, and is a graduate of the Israeli National Defense College. She is currently working on her doctorate at Haifa University, writing about political narratives in post-modern conflicts.
In the News
Israel's Finance Ministry announced Wednesday that it would halt funding to ultra-orthodox seminary students who claim an exemption from compulsory military service, in line with a Supreme Court decision from earlier in the week. The Israeli parliament is in the midst of drafting a law wherein male seminary students will no longer be exempt from military service. On February 6, retired Israeli colonel Miri Eisin spoke at the Boisi Center about religious diversity in the Israeli military.
Following up on its spring 2012 event "For God and Country: Religion and the U.S. Military," the Boisi Center continues its conversation on religion and military service with a February 6 lunch event with retired Israeli colonel Miri Eisin, who will speak about the Israeli military's experience with religious diversity.
In a nod to an increasingly diverse U.S. military, the Pentagon recently announced that it would allow some religious garb, hair grooming, and tattoos of a religious nature among service members. For a comparative perspective on religious diversity in a military context, join the Boisi Center on Thursday, February 6, 12:00-1:15 p.m., as retired Israeli colonel Miri Eisin speaks about religious diversity in the Israel Defense Forces.
After a bloody summer, Israel and Gaza have recently extended their ceasefire agreement. In October 2009, the Boisi Center hosted an informative panel on the Israeli and Palestinian situation. This past spring, the Boisi Center hosted retired IDF colonel Miri Eisin to discuss religious diversity in the Israeli military.