Are soldiers more prone and likely to use force
and initiate conflicts than civilians? To bring a
new insight to this question, this article compares
the main arguments of military activism and
military conservatism theories on Israeli policies
during the First and Second Intifadas. Military
activism argues that soldiers are prone to end
political problems with the use of force mainly
because of personal and organizational interests
as well as the effects of a military-mindset. The
proponents of military conservatism, on the
other hand, claim that soldiers are conservative
on the use of force and it is the civilians most
likely offering military measures. Through an
analysis of qualitative nature, the article finds
that soldiers were more conservative in the use
of force during the First Intifadas and Oslo
Peace Process while they were more hawkish in
the Second Intifada. This difference is explained
by enemy conceptions and by the politicization
of Israeli officers.