Experience Israel’s military heroism with IDF museums
Throughout the nation's short but remarkable history, the Israel Defense Forces have played a major role in every battle, skirmish and diplomatic event. Because the State of Israel would not exist without the IDF, there are a number of impressive museums dedicated to it which are well worth a visit during your trip to Israel.
Learn about the history of Israel’s Armored Corps (tanks division) at Yad Lashiryon in Latrun, with a presentation showing simultaneously on nine screens. The outdoor museum displays tanks from various periods of Israeli history, which children will enjoy climbing. The memorial site honors the memory of soldiers from the Armored Corps who gave the ultimate sacrifice in battle. An additional memorial honors the soldiers of the Allied Forces who fought in World War II.
The Air Force museum in Hazerim, near the southern city of Beer Sheva, displays airplanes from around the world which are no longer in use. You can even see the plane that flew Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat during the historic peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The exhibition covers military craft from the early 20th century until today, focusing both on war and on efforts to make peace with Israel’s enemies.
Tel Aviv’s IDF History Museum takes visitors through the history of the Israeli army from the struggle for the state until present day, with exhibitions of rare weapons, the famous Davidka cannon and armored vehicles. In addition to artifacts documenting the military history of the State of Israel, there are historical objects that tell the stories of individual soldiers.
While not a museum per se, the military cemetery of Mount Herzl is a fascinating place to visit for anyone interested in Israel’s political and military history. Zionist leaders such as Theodor Herzl and Zeev Jabotinsky are buried here, as well as most of Israel’s prime ministers. Soldiers and policemen who fell in the line of duty are buried in the national cemetery too. And don’t miss the Garden of the Missing in Action and the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial, both of which are highly emotive and poignant.