Yaffa Yarkoni, Singer for Israeli Army, Dies at 86

Veteran Israeli singer Yaffa Yarkoni, who entertained Israeli troops for decades beginning in 1948, has died.

Yarkoni, who late in life criticized the Israeli Defense Forces for its treatment of the Palestinians, died Sunday at the age of 86. She reportedly had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years.

Yarkoni was called Israel’s “War Singer” for her performances for the troops, beginning with Israel’s War for Independence, when she was drafted into the army and joined a military band.

She recorded hundreds of songs during her long career. She was awarded the Israel Prize for her contributions to Hebrew music.

Her criticism of the Israeli military in 2002 led to the cancellation of a tribute event to her career.

In a letter of condolence to the singer’s family, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Yaffa Yarkoni’s songs were the soundtrack of Israel from its pre-state days, through the establishment of the state until our time. We will all miss her special voice and today, in keeping with her song, ‘Don’t say good-bye to me,’ we take our leave from her but not from the musical and cultural heritage that she has left behind.”

This story "Yaffa Yarkoni, Singer for Israeli Army, Dies at 86" was written by JTA.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Yaffa Yarkoni, Singer for Israeli Army, Dies at 86

Thank you!

This article has been sent!