Crises in civil–military relations in Israel have led to an attenuation of the army’s resources, reduction in its political support, decline of its symbols and even its gradual abandonment by social elites. I argue that the key to understanding this process lies in changes to the IDF’s model of recruitment that generated a social realignment of the military’s makeup and, in turn, shaped major trends in civil–military relations. These trends include the emergence of a submissive bereavement discourse that made sacrificing Israeli soldiers less tolerable; religionization of the IDF with the tensions that it created between religious and secular segments of society; remilitarization of Israeli-Jewish society following the second Intifada (2000); struggle for control over the IDF that emerged between the old, secular elites and those of the new religious right; creation of the policing army in the West Bank as distinguished from the entire “official army”; and changes in civilian control that created tensions between the increased level of such control and the militarization of society.