The decision to name the next submarine to be acquired by Israel after the INS Dakar, which sank on its way to Israel in 1968, has been met with mixed feelings by the victims’ families: “One of the things that characterizes the navy is superstition.”

The INS Dakar

The INS Dakar Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

“This is a restoration of justice for the families,” claimed Yehuda Farhi, the brother of Yossef Farhi who died in the INS Dakar submarine that drowned after departing for Israel on January 9th, 1968. The statement came in response to the announcement that the next submarine that Israel will acquire will be named after the INS Dakar. “I think that the decision respects and embraces our memory,” Farhi added. “We want to see the next generation, to know that there are people who remember and respect the price we paid.”

Moti Diskin, who served with Farhi, thinks otherwise. “I am uncomfortable with the decision,” he claimed. “One of the things that characterizes the navy is superstition, and calling a vessel after one that drowned in a disaster makes me fear the evil eye. On the other hand, I think the name Dakar is sacred.”

“The decision respects and embraces our memory,” Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit / Channel 2 News

Ziona, the sister of Aharon Doga who also died in the sunken submarine, joined the mixed feelings. “When I first heard of it, I felt my heart skip a beat,” she recounted. “I am split on the issue. On the one hand, I think it will help commemorate the name and of course the soldiers; on the other hand, I have some concerns about the meaning of the name – after all, a tragedy occurred. I am trying to think of a mother who will send her son to the new Dakar submarine and I don’t know how she will feel. I would be afraid.”

In a ceremony for the latest submarine that Israel acquired, the HMS Sanguine, which took place yesterday, Head of the Israel Navy Ram Rothberg announced that the next submarine that will join Israel’s fleet will be named INS Dakar, after the submarine that drowned on its way to Israel. The new submarine, which is currently in Germany and is expected to arrive in Israel in more than a year, will serve as a living memorial to the navy soldiers who didn’t make it back.