1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris

By Benny Morris

This heritage of the foundational battle within the Arab-Israeli clash is groundbreaking, goal, and deeply revisionist. A riveting account of the army engagements, it additionally makes a speciality of the war's political dimensions. Benny Morris probes the factors and goals of the protagonists at the foundation of newly opened Israeli and Western documentation. The Arab side—where the documents are nonetheless closed—is illuminated with assistance from intelligence and diplomatic materials. Morris stresses the jihadi personality of the two-stage Arab attack at the Jewish neighborhood in Palestine. all through, he examines the dialectic among the war's army and political advancements and highlights the army impetus within the production of the refugee challenge, which used to be a derivative of the disintegration of Palestinian Arab society. The publication completely investigates the position of the good Powers—Britain, the us, and the Soviet Union—in shaping the clash and its tentative termination in 1949. Morris seems to be either at excessive politics and common employees decision-making techniques and on the nitty-gritty of wrestle within the successive battles that resulted within the emergence of the nation of Israel and the humiliation of the Arab global, an embarrassment that underlies the continuing Arab antagonism towards Israel. 

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Sample text

The Palestinians had also suffered serious economic harm, through both the general strike and British repression. They had prematurely expended their military power against the wrong enemy and had been dealt a mortal blow in advance of the battle with the real enemy, Zionism. The damage to their war effort in 1947-1948 was incalculable. The triangular conflict in Palestine was put on hold for the duration of World War II. The British made it clear to the Yishuv that they would not countenance renewed troubles, and the Jews took heed.

About 8o percent of the Arabs lived in seven to eight hundred agricultural villages, the rest in about a dozen small towns, including Gaza, Hebron, Nablus, Tiberias, Jaffa, Haifa, and Acre. Many rural inhabitants, especially in the lowlands, were tenant farmers, their lands owned-in a semifeudal relationship-by wealthy urban landowners, or effendis. The first wave of Zionist immigrants-the First Aliya (literally, ascent)brought to Palestine's shores between 1882 and 1903 some thirty thousand Jewish settlers.

But the sultan, unwilling to relinquish any part of his steadily diminishing empire, rebuffed Herzl, a master bluffer, who had promised the Ottomans billions (which he did not have and probably could not have raised). And although some of Europe's leaders, notably Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, were interested in getting rid of their Jews, none was enthusiastic enough to challenge Ottoman rule in Palestine or to vouchsafe any of their own imperial domains for a Jewish purpose. Herzl was equally unsuccessful with Europe's Jewish financial barons.

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