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Building A Strong Base

Yad Vashem's Vital Contribution to Israel's Fighting Strength

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Posted on: 
3 May 2018
Building A Strong Base

What makes an army strong? The answer seems obvious: superior combat power that defeats the enemy. But how is that combat power generated? If tanks and kit can’t get to the front line, the IDF’s combat power is diminished. If wounded soldiers are not evacuated and treated with the best care possible, soldiers’ motivation to take risks is lowered, and they might not fully recover to fight another day.

The City of Bases is a recent desert bloom south of Beer Sheva. This huge complex houses schools for various combat service support functions, e.g. the IDF’s School for Medicine, School for Logistics, and the School for Military Police. At any given time 3,000 recruits and cadets are undergoing training and educational activities at this desert base.

Without these combat service support functions, an army will quickly suffer exhaustion and dysfunction. Yet, the City of Bases contains one more educational unit that lends essential strength to the young men and women protecting Israel, and which has always been part of the IDF’s fighting spirit.

Yad Vashem’s spiritual and ethical components
The moral fibre of an army, which is a combination of why and how it fights its battles, is indispensable. If an army cannot fight with honour and integrity, it loses the deeper underlying battle. This is why Yad Vashem so highly prioritises its moral contribution to military education.

At the City of Bases, Yad Vashem has a small but innovative teaching space for Holocaust education. However, the Holocaust itself is only part of the context. The main purpose is to equip and build Israel’s young men and women at arms into morally and ethically excellent soldiers and individuals. The school’s dictum: “The Image of Man in the Shadow of Death” testifies to this. One might see this as denoting a dark sentiment, but it is an effort meant to maintain human dignity and identity, both in oneself and in one’s perception of the enemy. Educational activities focus on core ethical questions related to power and ethics, empathy and basic humanity, which alert students to the pitfalls and dangers of wielding power over others. Studying the Nazis’ decision-making process and acts of dehumanisation helps students understand the need for empathy, even with enemies.

Widening the reach – increasing the impact

To better teach and accommodate the many thousands of students that pass through the City of Bases, Yad Vashem hopes to construct a new building. This new, expanded and enhanced learning centre will help ensure that the IDF continues to excel as the moral and ethical army that has won all Israel’s victories since 1948. This is why the ICEJ and the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem wholly support the project to expand and enhance Yad Vashem’s educational centre at the City of Bases.

Build a strong ethical base for young Israeli soldiers and maintain the IDF’s call to moral excellence by investing in Yad Vashem’s new educational centre.

Visit to give your vital donation.


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