Doing headstands where the ‘Altalena’ sank

Strange juxtaposition of memorials pokes straight into the Right’s 70-year-old open wound.

One of Tel Aviv’s most popular photo spots is a statue on Frishman Beach of Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion standing on his head, which he began to do in the 1950s as part of his daily Feldenkrais Method exercises. The Tel Aviv Municipality put up the funny statue in 2015, and it’s likely that few of the people taking selfies with “the old man” realize that right behind it is the site of one of the seminal events of Israel’s early history.

A few meters from where Ben-Gurion is memorialized upside-down, where Frishman turns into Bograshov Beach, is an older, fading memorial that may remind them that right on those shores is where, in 1948, the IDF sunk the Altalena, a ship of Irgun fighters – some of whom had escaped the horrors of Europe – on Ben-Gurion’s orders.

Doing headstands where the ‘Altalena’ sank

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