Museums in Tel Aviv

| July 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Things to Do in Tel Aviv

IDF Museum in Tel Aviv: The Davidka

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
The Davidka

If you’re looking for what to do in Tel Aviv, check out the many Tel Aviv museums, including the following four.

1. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Museum

This museum houses a fascinating collection of weapons, tanks, and armored vehicles used during the War of Independence, as well as old VIP cars used by Israel’s defense ministers.

There is also a large outdoor display area featuring 16 pavilions, each containing artifacts and memorabilia from the IDF’s history as well as a wealth of  wartime stories.  To enhance your experience, take a guided tour, during which you’ll learn about the noisy Davidka, a non-weapon which terrified the Arabs as they were convinced that Israel had an atom bomb. You will also hear about how the pre-State underground army hid weapons caches right under the noses of the British soldiers, even when there was a stiff prison sentence for Jews acquiring weapons. You’ll be able to see the redesigned cars and the oil tanker that were used for this purpose.

The Israeli army museum recently received a rifle from the 1948 war. When they opened it they found a hand-written note: “We are the solders of the Palmach – we fought to the end – Degania.” There were no survivors of the battle at Degania so the rifle is a truly poignant find. The grammatical mistakes in the writing indicate that the note could have been written by a recently arrived Holocaust survivor.

IDF Museum Tel Aviv: Defence Minister Moshe Dayan’s official car

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Defence Minister Moshe Dayan’s official car

The IDF Museum is situated near the old Tel Aviv-Jaffa railway station close by the newly revamped “Tachanah” leisure center – opposite the southern end of Tel Aviv beach.

2. Tel Aviv Attractions: Etzel Museum

The name Etzel is an acronym for Irgun Zva’i Leumi, the National Military Organization (also known as the ‘Irgun’), the paramilitary organization which broke away from the Hagganah, the underground pre-State army. It is not by chance that the Etzel Museum is situated on the promenade near Jaffa, as it deals mostly with Etzel’s battle to liberate Jaffa during ‘Operation Chametz’ on Pesach 1948.

The building is easily identifiable by its impressive half-modern black glass and half-Ottoman façade. It was built in memory of those who fell in the battle, including the commander of the operation Amihai Paglin, whose nickname was Gidi.

Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedJaffa Museum

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Jaffa Museum

Etzel had a militant attitude towards the various stages of the State’s development. Its contentious relationship with the newly formed IDF, (the official army of Israel after the State was formed) are explained, as is the tragic story of the Altalena affair.

3. Tel Aviv Museum – Jaffa Museum of Antiquities

The Jaffa Museum of Antiquities is a small museum situated in the old Sayara building, seat of  the 18th century Ottoman government, it contains a surprising number of ancient artifacts chronicling Jaffa’s long and vivid history.  It also houses several contemporary works of art.

4. Tel Aviv Museum – Ilana Goor Museum

The Ilana Goor Museum is situated in the heart of Old Jaffa on Mazal Dagim Street. This museum is one of Jaffa’s main landmarks. The impressive and beautiful building, built in the 19th century, originally served as an inn for Jewish pilgrims who landed at the port before they set off for Jerusalem.

Ilana Goor, an internationally renowned artist and sculptress, bought the building and in 1995 opened it to the public. In addition to being her home, it is a showcase for her own works and the significant collection of artistic works she has acquired during her trips around the world.

Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedIlana Goor Museum

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Ilana Goor Museum

Museums in Tel Aviv: Did You Know?

Tel Aviv is home to museums of similar names. There is another Etzel Museum on King George Street which details the Irgun from 1931-1947.  If you have difficulty finding the IDF Museum, you may be better able to locate it under its old name, “Beit HaOsef shel Tzahal.”

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Category: Museums, Tel Aviv

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