Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Israelis Have Paid Dearly For Israel

by Nadene Goldfoot
Back in 1948, Jews in the newly created state of Israel were attacked by the surrounding Arab nations. We lost 7,000 to 10,000 Israelis in that war. That’s more than one out of every hundred Jews who were living there at the time. The Arabs lost even more men.

During the Six Day War Israel lost only 800 out of a population of 2.5 million. Israel had a greatly well-trained army by then.

For starters, people moving back to the area of Palestine bought the land. It’s been in our oral prayers for the past 2,000 years to return to our land of Israel, and we finally organized ourselves and got there after our long absence. Even though we had legitimate claims to the land, being the original dwellers, buying land from present-day owners, getting the official sanctions from the newly formed U.N., and even facing a holocaust that wiped out six million of us, we were attacked for needing to be there. Amazingly, we won and survived.

Back before 1948, we had no army. We actually were fighting from November 1947 to the invasion of Palestine by regular Arab armies in May 1948. We had defenders, though. One group was the Stern Group, with the Chief of Intelligence Stanley Goldfoot. When the attack of 1948 broke out, we had all sorts of problems to contend with. Jordan, also a newly created state, had a British-commanded Arab Legion who came at us with artillery, tanks and planes but did not know how to use them like we later did. We didn’t even receive arms until the middle of the battle and won due to "an unyielding spirit" more than to military equipment or proficiency. We weren’t about to let such a monumental occasion of becoming a state again after 2,000 years go by the wayside.

Teen-aged Jewish girls and Jewish children of age 10 and 11 fought next to our men. Our Jewish communities were attacked by Arab peasants with no military training as well as their present day armies. Luck or, I would like to think Ha-Shem, played a part in our winning the battle.

There was a Molotov cocktail that struck a leading Arab tank. Whoever tossed it from our side wasn’t even a baseball player. We had problems with our fighters being from so many different countries that they didn’t understand each other’s language so had a hard time following directions. It’s just really amazing that we did win.

One story that came out from Safed, my Israeli home-town is related by Dov Silverman. It's another miracle story. When the Arabs left Safed they really expected to return which their leaders told them would happen. Most took the route of the Wadi Amud which passed the water pumping station built by the British. If they had blown it up, it would have been terrible for the Jews there as it was the beginning of summer and everyone would have had to leave because of not having any water. They had left it alone because they expected to be able to return, victorious and take over the city. That water pump is still in use today.

We’ve gone through a lot to get where we are today, and yet we’re still being threatened. We’ve given so much to the world in the field of medicine and other sciences, but are not the favored child of many countries anymore. Now when we defend ourselves from constant attacks, we are condemned for it. Though the world has become unfair and kowtows to the Arab states who hold much of the world’s oil, we cannot give up hope. We’ve just begun to fight.

Resource: Book: Genesis 1948 by Dan Kurzman
Book: Legends of Safed by Dov Silverman
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