Saturday, February 23, 2013

Surrounding Arab States, Not Native Arabs Incensed Over Israel's Creation

Nadene Goldfoot
On the eve of the establishment of Israel, May 14, 1948, a war broke out when the Arab states and the Arab Higher Committee rejected the United Nation's Partition Plan, Resolution 181 ( November 29, 1947) of the General Assembly.  These Arab states threatened to use force to prevent the implementation of the resolution and did.  Israel's War of Independence was the first of many between the State of Israel and her neighboring Arab countries. Israel found themselves up against 5  regular Arab armies;  Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.   On the 13th of May there were still 100,000 British troops stationed in Palestine but their policy was not to intervene except to keep the British forces safe.

 The native Arabs living in Palestine were being manipulated by their brethren just like pawns in a chess game.   This was the first offering by the Jews through the United Nations of two states, Jewish and Muslim and it was refused.  The plan was taking place on land originally decided and stipulated by the League of Nations to be the Jewish National Homeland.  The new offer was a disappointment to the Zionist leaders as well, but they were desperate to have their own state, and something was better than nothing.  This first war lasted until January 5,1949.  It was 7 months of intense fighting with a few  truces, one of which was 28 days from June 10th to July 18th 1948.

By the time it stopped, Israel had 6,373 deaths including about 4,000 soldiers.  That was almost 1% of the total population of 650,000.  (Moses had taken 600,000 Israelites out of Egypt.) The Arabs suffered 2,000 the death of about 2,000 regular invading troops and  and unknown number of irregular Palestinian forces.  They never agreed to a truce and continued harassing against Jewish forces and villages in the north.  It was Egypt who had agreed on January 5, 1949, to negotiate for an armistice which the UN demanded on November 16, 1948.  Jamal Abdel Nasser was in an Egyptian brigade that was cut off in a small pocket around Falouja.

Israel had been able to reopen the road to the south and capture Be'er-Sheva on October 21.  Egyptian forces had been cut off from their bases.  Israel had an army of 100,000 troops, which was awesome considering they had 600,373 people, many of which had just come out of the holocaust.

The Jewish section of my old city of Safed in the Galilee, had been under siege.  Jews had continually lived there as had Jews in Jerusalem.  The Hagana managed to briefly reopen the road to Jerusalem and its Jewish section, captured all of Tiberias below Safed, Haifa and other places.  British intervention,  which wasn't to be allowed by their own rules, prevented the conquest of Jaffa.  The city later surrendered in May.  This is a good example of the fact that Britain was given the mandate "job" of carrying out the wishes of the League of Nations to establish the Jewish National Home and worked against it.

The Syrian army had captured Masada,  originally Herod the Great's Palace and fortress,  the site now used to induct Israel's soldiers into the IDF.  It is on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.   This was where the last stand took place in 73 CE against the Romans where the Jews, on top of a high mountain had taken refuge.  Instead of allowing the Romans to rush and kill them all unmercifully, they decided on a mass suicide.  When the Romans entered, they found all 960 people were dead.

An interesting aspect of this is that the Druze, a light-skinned people with their own religion, a form is Islam which the Muslims sneer that they are idolaters, had started to fight with the Muslims and then switched and fought with the Israelis.  Today they are still on Israel's side and are some of its greatest champions.  They live in their own towns and marry within themselves and are wonderful Israeli citizens.  They also serve in the IDF while Israel up to now has not asked Israeli Muslims to do, but this is on the table for change to include all Israeli citizens.

Book: Genesis 1948:  The First Arab-Israeli War by Dan Kurzman  1970 2nd edition

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