Mitzpor Eitan Memoriel & Lookout

November 20th 2013

Visit the Mitzpor Eitan Lookout Point (photo credit Shmuel Bar-Am)A moving memorial to a Moshav Ramot Naftali resident slain in Lebanon in 1999, Mitzpor Eitan overlooks the Galilee’s picturesque Hula Valley, with the peaks of the Golan Heights visible beyond.

Visitors to Israel quickly learn how the State of Israel has been forced to defend her very existence over the course the country’s entire history. As a result, throughout Israel, visitors will see many poignant memorials to fallen soldiers, erected to enable remembering those who fought valiantly for the freedom of ordinary Israelis to live their lives in peace. Some memorials, like Mount Herzl, are quite famous and visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Others are private memorials, established by individuals and families, in order to honor the memory of their loved ones.

Visit the Mitzpor Eitan memorial & Lookout in the Golan HeightsMitzpor Eitan (Eitan Overlook) is one such private memorial, named for Major Eitan Balachsun. He was born and raised in Moshav Ramot Naftali, a community particularly well-known for sending their sons to elite army units. He eventually rose the ranks to serve as a commander of the Paratroopers Brigade. Major Balachsun was killed during battle while on duty in Lebanon in 1999, prior to the Second Lebanon War.

Mitzpor Eitan was designed by architect Rachel Ben-David and built by the Jewish National Fund directly across from Major Balachsun’s childhood home on Moshav Ramot Naftali. Visitors who take the time to locate this impressive memorial will be rewarded with stunning views of the Golan Heights and the Hula Valley. On a day with clear visibility, it’s possible to see the mountains of Lebanon and even the exact hill on which Major Balachsun was killed.

The memorial itself is a semi-circular stone lookout point. At the head of the memorial is a concrete tower that stands 13 feet high. At the top of the steps heading up the structure, a symbolic olive tree was planted. If you visit the site after dark, you’ll see spotlights illuminating the olive tree. Along the stone guard rail are diagram guides to what’s visible when standing at that spot. In addition, a private donation was used to build a dedicated area with displays that tell visitors more about Major Eitan Balachsun and the special qualities of his paratrooper unit. Mitzpor Eitan is wheelchair accessible.

Mitzpor Eitan Memorial & Lookout Point photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am