Combat stress reactions during the 1948 war: a conspiracy of silence?

This article is based on a series of interviews with 73 individuals who participated in the 1948 war.

Though the war had many physical as well as emotional casualties, surprisingly a relatively small portion of individuals were willing to admit the occurrence of combat stress reactions.

This finding is quite puzzling in the face of the drastic course of the war. Hence, it is speculated that denial and suppressive processes underlie the interviewees’ declarations.

Moreover, it is assumed that this denial process is part of the construction of a monolithic social identity. The origins of this process and its implications for Israeli social identity are discussed.

Eldad Rom* and Dan Bar-On
Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Management, Israel,

combat stress reactions;
social identity;
1948 Arab – Israeli War;

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