Military cemeteries are one of the most prominent cultural landscapes of Israel. Their story reflects largely the main social processes that Israeli society has been undergoing since the War of Independence (1948)until today. Until the end of the 1970s, the military tombstones and their surroundings were uniform and equal, according to rules set by the State. However, since the 1980s families of the fallen soldiers started to add on the tombstone personal expressions, as well as personal objects, photographs, military artifacts etc. Thus the military tombstone and the Israeli military cemetery became one of the expressions of the dramatic transformation, from a society which emphasized the importance of the collective, to a society which intensifies the significance of the individual. The book is based on many archival documents, as well as interviews and photographs, all of which shed light on one of the most sensitive issues in Israeli society and express its importance as a central component of Israeli identity.
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Yossi Katz, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
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