Rare Palmach breast emblem badge. Small white metal pin bearing the emblem of the Palmach - the "shock companies" of Israel's pre-State 'army' and forerunner to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Haganah ("self defense").
The pin was issued to everyone who was a Palmach member prior to 29 November 1947, the date on which the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to partition Palestine (i.e. the unofficial start of the 1947-49 Israeli War of Independence). The pin was usually worn on the flap of the left pocket of an army shirt/tunic, sometimes with cloth backing, though rarely seen worn. The Palmach existed as an independent armed force even after the IDF was created, until November 1948, when it was absorbed into the Israeli Army; it numbered about 6,500 fighters of whom 1,500 fell in the War of Independence. The Palmach pin was later replaced in 1951 by the blue and white War of Independence ribbon.
The pin is roughly 2cm tall and 1cm wide, with a simple safety pin soldiered at the back; not maker-marked; weight: 1 gram. In Palmach fashion, the pin is simple in manufacture but intricate in design. Of significance is that the Palmach had no other "official" wartime insigniae or issued badges except for this pin: this is the only officially issued identifying emblem worn by members of the Palmach.
The significance of the Palmach ("Plugot Makhatz" - PalMach), founded in 1941, is two-fold: militarily it represented the epitome of pre-State Israel's pro-active doctrine of "coming out from behind the fences" and attacking the enemy on his terrain, its battle cry being "after me!"; the Palmach was commando trained and contained special foreign language companies (like German and Arabic). The Palmach contained land, air ("Pal-Avir") and sea ("Pal-Yam") forces. Eventually subsisting on the Kibbutz (Zionist communal farm community) movement under the tutelage of Yitzhak Tabenkin, the Palmach also absorbed and reflected the socialist ideal of Zionism, of working the land and living in a spartan socialist manner. The fusion of the military and socialist ideals of Zionist at that time turned the Palmach into an icon, whose membership was a way of life. Palmach culture in turn heavily influenced Israeli culture in every sphere, and many former Palmach members (Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon, Yitzhak Rabin, Chaim Ghoury, Rechavam Zeevi) became prominent in Israeli political and cultural life, across the political spectrum.
מילות מפתח: מיליטריה מיליטאריה סיכות סיכה יחידות יחידה שירות חולצה חולצות דרגה דרגות תג תגיות צה"ל צה"לי צבא הגנה פלמ"ח