In Memorial to War Dead, Israel Avoids Addressing Its Conflicts

There are no ranks, no mention of the places or circumstances in which the soldiers perished. Using a broad definition of the fallen, it includes not only those killed in action, but also anybody who died in uniform; not only soldiers who fought for Israel, but also those who fought to create Israel.

Avoiding any hierarchy of prestige or loss, privates take their place alongside generals and national heroes. No battles are deemed more or less important than others.

“Once we introduced the concept of unity and equality, it solved all the problems and prevented the arguments,” said Aryeh Muallem, deputy director general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and head of its Bereaved Families, Commemoration and Heritage department.

Preserving morale is considered critical in a small…

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