Thursday, January 27, 2005

Israel's Culture of Martyrdom

Well written, extensive article/book-review exploring the founding heroes of Israel who gave their lives for the Jewish state in Palestine that became Israel.
At the center of this culture of death is the remembrance of martyrs--Jews who, in Zionist ideology, had to die so that the state might be born. The central chapter in the construction of Israeli martyrology was, of course, the Holocaust, but it began well before, according to Zertal, who traces it to the cult surrounding Joseph Trumpeldor, the first hero of the Jews who settled in Palestine."Never mind dying," Trumpeldor is reported to have said shortly before his death in 1920. "It is good to die for our country."

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