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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Moshe Dayan's Eye Patch

Several items of great Israeli historical interest have been trading on the online auction site eBay. The original eye patch worn by former defense minister and chief of staff Moshe Dayan has been offered for the sum of $75,000, while a hanukkiyah (multibranched candelabra) belonging to prime minister David Ben-Gurion and made from bullet cartridges is on sale for $12,500.

These particular items are being offered by Pasarel Israeli Art and Treasures of Natanya. Moti Sander, a partner at Pasarel, said that his company specializes in Judaica and jewelry, and that he had received Dayan's eye patch from the minister's personal bodyguard, who said that he had gotten it, together with a Smith & Wesson 38 revolver, minutes after the famed warrior died in 1981.

Though Dayan's pistol appears on the eBay site, this is not for sale as the Web site forbids the trading of any arms. It is, however, for sale through Pasarel.

Ben-Gurion's hannukiyah was made for the prime minister in 1948 by workers of the Ayalon Institute, which manufactured bullets, and there is a personal inscription to the statesman on it. Sander said that he found the item in the Jaffa flea market, and that he had it authenticated by the very man who made it - now a resident in a retirement home in Tel Aviv.

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