Iconic Israeli Images

An online campaign picks the Top 10 photos deemed most memorable in 66 years of Israel’s statehood.

What is Israeliness? Like everything else in Israel, opinions are divided, there’s no clear answer and it depends who you ask.

In an attempt to reach a partial definition of what makes Israel tick, the wonderful Nostal.co.il site decided to run a campaign asking readers to select the Top 10 photos deemed the most memorable in 66 years of statehood.

There is the image of David Ben-Gurion declaring an independent State of Israel


Haunting images like that of pilot Ron Arad, still officially classified as missing in action since October 1986 but presumed by most to be dead…

Ron Arad

Images celebrating victories like the 1967 Six Day War


And bittersweet victories, like the terrible day in February 2003 when pride in national hero Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, was tarnished by the fatal end of the Columbia mission to space.


There are also iconic images of happier days, like February 17, 1977 when Tal Brody led Maccabi Tel Aviv to victory against the USSR in the European Cup Basketball Championship.


And of course, one of the sweetest victories: the evening when singer Gali Atari gave Israel its second Eurovision win in a row with the song Hallelujah.

Gali Atari & Milk and Honey – Hallelujah

The lyrics — “Hallelujah / For all that has been / and for all that is about to happen” — are most fitting for tonight, the eve of Yom HaZikaron, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. Tomorrow’s sadness will culminate in the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, the 66th Israel Independence Day.

34,971 people participated in the poll and the resulting Top 10 photos as well as the 30 contenders can be seen at the Nostal.co.il website and Facebook page.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.
  • fuscator

    Hi Rachel; please allow some pedantry here:
    the cup Maccabi TA won in 1977 is called “FIBA European Champions Cup”; on their way to the win (not in the final game, at the end of which the photo above was taken) Maccabi beat CSKA Moscow, not “the USSR”.