Museum commemorates Palestinian Jews who fought wars for Britain

By Lydia Aisenberg

In the early 1930s, the Jewish Legions Museum (Beit HaGdudim), commemorating the courage and volunteering of Jews who served in the British Army against the Turks in the First World War, was established at Moshav Avichayil, near Netanya.

Almost 50 years later an impressive new building, dedicated to the yishuv’s Jewish volunteers to the British Army in the Second World War, was added.

The yishuv was the Jewish community in then-Palestine from the Ottoman period through to the British Mandate.

The extensive complex and surrounding grounds, centred on an elevated area overlooking part of the luscious orchard-packed Hefer Valley region, are the responsibility of and operated by the Israel Ministry of Defence Museum Unit — the specially trained, excellent and knowledgeable guides, all presently serving and rather youthful IDF soldiers.

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