How Much Must We Hate the Enemy?

In 1948 IDF officers debated the appropriateness of stoking bitter hatred of the Egyptians, as embodied in the 'battle pages' by poet Abba Kovner, who wrote: 'In the stream we will march. In the stream of our invaders' blood.'

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In early August 1948, during the second cease-fire in Israel’s War of Independence, the culture officers of each of the brigades in the nascent Israel Defense Forces (subsequently, their position came to be...