Heroism 130 131 Chapter 4 Teacher, Tiller, Soldier, Spy: Women’s Representation in Israeli Military Memorials Introduction They dot the landscape almost wherever one looks. One finds them at roadsides, in the middle of barren fields, inside public parks, at cross- roads, and even under densely foliated overgrowth. They are almost always stark in color and texture, tending towards black, white or gray; on a rare occasion they express themselves in unusual bursts of color, usually variations of metallic blue, brick-red, or silver. Ranging in height from ground level slabs to towering obelisks they may in- clude abstract or figurative images. There is no exact count as to their number; experts estimate that several thousand are found throughout the country. They are memorials for Israelis who have lost their lives since the beginning of Jewish settlement in the country: war monu- ments, memorials for civilians killed in terrorist attacks, and more re- cently, markers noting the death of the “scourge of modernity”, road- accident victims. Israel is a commemorating nation, noted the late historian George Mosse on one of his last trips to the country.1 Unlike its European or American counterparts which tend towards more centralized forms of commemoration, this State of soldiers-citizens in which “every man has a name” proliferates with individual memorials as well as group monuments for both civilian and military casualties. Whether this is a product of the Jewish dictum to “remember” (Zachor) or the result of a socialized attitude toward various groups within Israeli society, one...
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