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Food and PowerA Culinary Ethnography of Israel$
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Nir Avieli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290099

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290099.001.0001

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Meat and Masculinity in a Military Prison

Meat and Masculinity in a Military Prison

(p.146) Five Meat and Masculinity in a Military Prison
Food and Power

Nir Avieli

University of California Press

This chapter explores the strained relations between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians living in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war, based on a study conducted in an Israeli military prison for Palestinian detainees. The reserve soldiers charged with guarding the prison insisted that their poor military performance and their sense of weakness within the prison power structure were due to a lack of meat. A discourse of victimization evolved among the soldiers in which their apparent weakness—which they claimed to be a result of their meatless diet—became the justification for institutional and personal abuse inflicted on the Palestinian prisoners. The chapter also shows the intimate realties of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and exposes some of the implicit mechanisms that maintain a sense of victimization among Israeli Jews.

Keywords:   Israeli Jews, Palestinians, military prison, prison power structure, meatless diet, Palestinian prisoners, victimization

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