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IDF’s ‘BaMahane’ magazine closing after 85 years

The IDF’s iconic BaMahane magazine, which predates the Israeli military and the State of Israel itself by more than a decade, is ending publication after 85 years.

According to a report by Israel Hayom Friday, the IDF has decided to close BaMahane, three years after the magazine’s print publication ended, leaving only the online digital version.

For the past three years, BaMahane survived as a monthly online publication maintained by staff from the IDF’s spokespersons unit.

Now, the IDF has decided to shutter the publication entirely, ending its 85-year run.

The magazine was first founded in December 1934 by the Haganah pre-state paramilitary defense group in what was then the British Mandate for Palestine.

While BaMahane narrowly avoided closure in 2001, when then-Education Corps commander Elazar Stern ordered the magazine be shut down, BeMahane’s readership dwindled over the years, even after its shift to digital.

“The soldiers, like most of the civilian public, get their information from us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and civilian news outlets. In this situation, BaMahane was of no further use,” said officials involved in the decision to close the magazine.

The IDF commented on the magazine’s closure in a statement: “For the past three years, BaMahane has been released primarily in its digital format on a website run by the IDF. Recently, the IF has decided to merge the BaMahane website with the main IDF website, thus ending the paper’s run in its current format, based on the understanding of the IDF’s need to find the appropriate media outlets for the time, and since the IDF has no need for two parallel media outlets.”

“It is planned that next month there will be a ceremony” marking the closure of the magazine, “and the final edition of BaMahane will be distributed.”

“The IDF values the work and long legacy of BaMahane, but we must move forward and adjust ourselves to fit the current situation.”