Israeli Veterans Fight One Last Battle: Reclaim Their Legacy From ‘Profanity’

“The terrible beauty of those who were sacrificed cannot endure such profanity,” said Haim Gouri, 93, a former Palmach fighter who served in Europe and the Negev Desert and who went on to become one of Israel’s most celebrated poets.

Shaar Hagai, originally Bab al-Wad in Arabic, meaning Gate of the Valley, is along the main highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Its Ottoman-era stone khan, or caravansary, was built as a way station for travelers and pilgrims on the journey from Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, to the holy city of Jerusalem.

Etched in the annals of Zionist lore, Shaar Hagai is the point where the road narrows into a steep gorge that winds through the hills. The route became perilous during the hostilities surrounding…

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