Inside Intel / Survivors, forgotten but now remembered
By Yossi Melman

On November 29, the 60th anniversary of the United Nations declaration establishing two states in the land of Palestine, the Palmach House in Ramat Aviv will dedicate a wing commemorating Holocaust survivors’ role in the War of Independence. How did the survivors, who have been making headlines over their struggle for a decent government allowance, penetrate the bastion of the “men with the beautiful forelocks” – the Palmach-generation heroes like Uri who “walked through the fields” and Elik who “was born from the sea,” as author Moshe Shamir described them?

The story begins about a year and a half ago. Yeshayahu (Shaike) Gavish, chair of the Palmach Generation Association and a former general, turned to Moshe Zanbar, the former Bank of Israel governor, requesting a donation of about $1 million for the Palmach Museum. When Zanbar, a Holocaust survivor, met with the veteran Palmachniks, the discussions went beyond financial issues and developed into a penetrating look at national memory.