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Israel Defense Forces History Museum - CLOSED

126 Reviews
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Israel Defense Forces History Museum - CLOSED

126 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Tel Aviv Promenade Corner of Yehezkiel Kaufman str. and Ha-Mered str., Tel Aviv Israel
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Jordan River, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee Day Trip from Tel Aviv
Day Trips

Jordan River, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee Day Trip from Tel Aviv

3 reviews
Visit Biblical sites in Nazareth and Galilee on a full-day tour from Tel Aviv to the places where Jesus and other Biblical figures are believed to have lived and preached. With the option to get baptized in the Jordan River, this tour is designed around the region’s New Testament sites; it’s a curated Christian experience that ensures you won’t miss out on the places that are most important to you.
$94.00 per adult
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BBQGastrognome wrote a review Sep 2019
Fair Lawn, New Jersey67 contributions28 helpful votes
Agree with all those that say it's a must-do. An amazing museum of Israeli military history thru the present. Tanks, artillery, small arms, even limousines of past Israeli dignitaries. It was previously nestled in the neighborhood about halfway between Shuk ha Carmel and Yafo. I'm guessing moving from prime TA real-estate is a financial move. Can't wait til it reopens in Latrun at the current Armored Corps museum. Will have to combine with a trip to Jerusalem in the future- as it's right off the highway.
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Date of experience: March 2019
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californiagirl53 wrote a review Jul 2019
La Canada Flintridge, California49 contributions38 helpful votes
The museum is closed and moving to Latrun. Not sure when opening there. Very disappointed but have visited before and it is worth a visit even in Latrun.
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Date of experience: July 2019
3 Helpful votes
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pumpkinj2017 wrote a review Feb 2019
Short Hills, New Jersey260 contributions91 helpful votes
History is wonderously displayed. a highlight in terms of museum going. Miiltary museums are meant to instill pride and interest in how it all began and this is sure to intrigue any visitor.
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Date of experience: March 2018
1 Helpful vote
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mallikamt wrote a review Feb 2019
San Jose,California54 contributions25 helpful votes
The museum is huge and contains an extensive display of all the ammunition that was used in various Israel wars. It was a great learning experience for us and especially our two boys in their pre-teens. Highly recommend to families with children who can handle reading about wars and ammunition.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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Richard W wrote a review Dec 2018
Tel Aviv, Israel216 contributions13 helpful votes
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I visited the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) History Museum shortly after it opened in the mid-1990s. I have revisited it occasionally in the intervening years and three times over the past year and a half, and the museum and displays have changed very little over more than 20 years. The original IDF Hebrew name for the place, the "Collection Houses" (Batay Ha-Osef) is appropriate, as the museum's collection is housed in a small compound comprising about 18 buildings formerly used by the British Army during the Mandate period and some open-air displays of vehicles and artillery. The museum is located adjacent to the restored Ottoman- and British-period Jaffa train station which is now a collection of restaurants, boutiques and art shops but is poorly-advertised and could be missed among the trees unless you know it's there. There is a pay-for-parking lot in front of the museum and station. Although many military museums have abbreviated hours on Friday (Sabbath eve), this museum is closed all day on Friday as well as on Shabbat. The museum itself contains a restored 1892 railroad locomotive turntable that carries on the railroad theme of the shopping center. Admission is very reasonable, 15 shekels (less than $5), or 20 shekels for a combined ticket that includes four other smaller military museums in the Tel Aviv area. A map to the museum is available in English but provides only brief descriptions of the contents of the buildings and no historical information or details about the equipment. There is no gift shop and, unlike the Air Force and Armor Corps museums, no guides are available. The museum displays have minimal explanatory information in English, so if you already are not well-versed in Israeli modern military history the draw of this place will mainly be the military equipment used by Israel and its enemies. Occasionally there is a gem of historical information in English, such as the description of the two armored buses used to transport troops (disguised as police), nurses and doctors on service rotations at Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, an Israeli enclave surrounded by the Jordanian Army between 1949 and 1967. (The museum doesn't mention this, but according to the book "The Lion's Gate," weapons and even disassembled jeeps were smuggled onto Mt. Scopus by these bus trips.) Each of the buildings has a theme; for example, one building holds small arms used by the pre-Independence Haganah (Jewish defense forces), by the IDF during its history, and by its enemies. There are some interesting World War II weapons in here, and multiple examples of the development of Israeli-made small arms like the Uzi submachine gun and Galil rifle. (However, the museum has not been updated with more modern weapons like the Tavor assault rifle and the Negev machine gun.) Another building houses items related to the fight against terrorists, mainly involving the 1982 Operation Peace For Galilee invasion of Lebanon. Several vehicles outside next to and near the building, such as Soviet anti-aircraft weapons on German-made Unimog trucks, were captured from the PLO during that operation. Another building houses mementos of the IDF chiefs of the General Staff (the commanders of the IDF) and ministers of defense. Very little information in English is presented here but some of the objects (such as plaques and gifts presented by foreign generals) are very interesting. A lot of space is devoted to Moshe Dayan, including some of the ugliest paintings of a real person I've seen. A highlight of this display for Americans is a group of photos showing Dayan as a war correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, after he had retired from the IDF and before he became Minister of Defense. Another small but very interesting building houses a collection showing ingenious pre-Independence methods used to conceal and transport weapons by the Haganah during the period of British occupation after World War II. This display includes one of 5 cars used to transport arms (a 1939 Ford coupe misidentified as a 1932 Ford). The other buildings mostly are devoted to branches of the ground forces, such as artillery, engineers, quartermasters (logistics) and communications. Most of the artillery is displayed outside, but inside the building are some smaller pieces, including the Israeli-made "Davidka" mortars used in the Independence War. The artillery and tanks displayed outside are either exposed completely to the elements or are slightly protected under a shed roof. They appear to be painted haphazardly and occasionally to prevent rust, with no attempt to paint them in authentic colors or markings of the periods. There isn't space for many tanks and self-propelled guns, and some are duplicated at the Armored Corps museum and memorial at Latrun or the Artillery Corps memorial at Zichron Ya'acov, but they are no less interesting here. There is an early prototype of the Israeli-designed and built Merkava tank, one of 12 British Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicles ever made, IDF Centurion, M-48, and AMX-13 tanks, a rare M31 armored recovery vehicle based on the M3 Lee tank, and an M4A1 Sherman tank acquired by the IDF in 1953 that fought in both the 1956 Sinai campaign and the 1967 Six-Day War. Several self-propelled guns, mortars and rocket launchers made in Israel are in the displays, along with many towed howitzers, guns, and antiaircraft weapons. Among the captured tanks are a Jordanian M-47, Soviet-made Egyptian JS-III heavy tank and PT-76 amphibious tank, and a German Pzkpfw Mark IV used by the Syrian Army in 1967. Most of the tanks are jammed together under a shed with no lighting; this, combined with the dark paint on the vehicles, makes photography challenging except on very sunny days. A separate, smaller shed contains vehicles from the 1948-49 Independence War period, including an M3 halftrack armed with a 20mm gun and several locally-made armored vehicle conversions including a "sandwich" armored truck (so called because a layer of wood or rubber was sandwiched between two layers of steel plates). A number of very special vehicles are crammed into Building 18. There is a small collection of official cars used by former ministers of defense, including a 1959 Ford with a very heavy-looking armored windshield used by David Ben Gurion, a Dodge Monaco and a Dodge Polara. An SA-2 surface-to-air missile on a trailer with its ZIL-157 prime mover that was captured from Egypt is here as well as a Fargo (Dodge) Power Wagon that served in the IDF from 1957 to 1993. However, for a history buff the greatest find here is the command halftrack that carried Col. Mordechai (Motta) Gur through the Lion's Gate and onto the Temple Mount as his paratroop brigade entered the Old City of Jerusalem in the Six Day War. One can look at this and reflect on the continuing reverberations of that conflict and imagine the emotions of IDF soldiers who saw the interior of the Old City and the Western Wall for the first time. This is not just any of the hundreds of ex-US halftracks used by the IDF, but truly a historically-significant individual vehicle. Unfortunately, the museum, like most Israeli military museums, appears to operate on a shoestring without much regard for the maintenance of the facility or the exhibits. As I indicated above, it's almost like the place was frozen since the 1990s, with almost nothing added to its displays (an M-577 and a halftrack communications vehicle are the only vehicles added since then). The names of the past chiefs of the General Staff are up to date, though. The lack of new exhibits may be due partly to the cramped available space, but some of the buildings seem to have quite a bit of space available. Considering that this is about IDF history, there is little mention of anything that happened after the 1980s, such as the 15-year occupation of the "security zone" in southern Lebanon, the 2006 war against Hizballah, the Intifadas or any of the 3 conflicts in the Gaza Strip. There at least appears to be an attempt to slap a layer of paint on the outdoor vehicles and guns occasionally (these are displayed as received, with whatever damages that were on them). While this seeming indifference is annoying, it should NOT prevent anyone interested in IDF history and equipment from visiting this place. As a US Army veteran and military history and vehicle enthusiast, I think it's extremely interesting and captivating.
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Date of experience: December 2018
4 Helpful votes
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