• policy images;
  • interpretive policy analysis;
  • militarism;
  • distributional conflicts

This article is aimed at crafting an interpretive policy analysis as a predictive tool by using the proposal to relocate Israeli military bases. Since the mid-2000s, the Israeli government has promoted a new plan to transfer military bases from urban areas and central regions to the southern metropolitan area in the Negev desert. The economic and operational logic behind the program is unclear and prompts serious debate about nationality, ethnicity, economic gaps, and the environment in the Negev. This area epitomizes marginality in Israel, both socially and geographically, and is characterized by conflicts between Jews and Bedouins. Thus, the program can be regarded as one involving policy images, where potential participants lack the information necessary for understanding the goals of the policy. This paper proposes a new methodology based on interpretive policy analysis for conducting a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility and practicality of the proposed program. We use this methodology to analyze the symbolic meanings that local organizations attribute to the program with the goal of predicting their response to this program. Thus, the relocation plan serves as a template on which to develop and test the IPA-informed evaluative methodology, which is applicable to other cases.