Selfies, Sexts, and Squadrons: The Digital Culture of the Israeli Defense Forces

Aaron Dishy


For Israeli youth, digital connectivity is an enduring aspect of mandatory conscription into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). This essay will investigate social media participation among enlisted Israeli soldiers. It unpacks the effects that portable information and communication technologies (ICT) have on Israeli collective memory, identity, and public space, and looks to identify the mundane spheres in which militarization saturates the life of the young sabra. As a result of a proliferation of military imagery on Israeli social media, and public participation in the production of that content, the digital culture of the Israeli Defense Forces will be shown to reflect the complex lived realities of young Israeli soldiers negotiating conflict and forced conscription. Through ICT’s, the soldiers are imbued with the ability to obfuscate violence towards Palestinian populations. Simultaneously, they are provided with allowances to renegotiate with Israel society, and highlight the injustices of their military occupation.  

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