Beyond the Cusp

May 9, 2019

Popping the Myths of Israeli War of Independence

 

We do not care how the wars sporadically started and stopped from May 15, 1948 onward with them lasting into mid 1949 before attaining armistices. Peace would be coming later with Egypt and even later Jordan, while technically Israel is still in a state of war with the other four Arab invading nations; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Don’t worry if you did not realize this, probably a fair number of Israelis are unaware of the fact Israel is still at war. There are likely a set of armistice agreements ending hostilities, but we were unable to find any reference to such between Israel and Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Perhaps we will have to settle with the fact they are not shooting at us currently and be happy with that. But the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9 was not born in a vacuum, there were a series of initiatives which were rejected outright and even the United Nations sought some settlement which also failed and so much more to talk about and see how we got to where we are today, celebrating our independence which was established the nightfall before the dawn brought on the war. So, where do we begin.

 

What is difficult to believe, but just the same is true, there was a point in time when the Arab world welcomed the founding of the Jewish State and agreed over borders and everything. The year is 1920, late April to be more accurate, in beautiful San Remo, Italy where the San Remo Conference set up the preliminaries for the Mandate System. Included in this were two Mandates which are of interest to our telling, the French and British Mandates. These were set along with Italian and Spanish holdings (see map below). France was charged to form a Christian State and an Arab State while Britain was charged with establishing a Jewish State and subsequently also an Arab State. France divided their region forming Syria (Arab) and Lebanon (Christian) while Britain divided its region into Jordan (originally Transjordan and Arab) and Israel (originally referred to as Palestine and Jewish). The French attempt to make a Christian state in Lebanon was fragile from the very beginning and is close to becoming ruled by Hezballah who has military control and shares Parliamentary control. Were things to come to a head in Lebanon, the Christians would be hard pressed to mount any resistance to a complete Islamic takeover. The British never actually established a Jewish state and instead simply announced they were pulling out as of mid-May 1948 and washing their hands of whatever developed.

 

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

 

This is where we start our story, the British are leaving and, on their way out, they are confiscating as many weapons as they can find in Jewish towns and Kibbutzim and for expediency’s sake, they are turning these weapons over to the Arab towns which were preparing to join the war against the Jews. The evening of May 14, 1948, Jewish day begins at sundown, so for Israelis it is the next day while the remainder of the world insists on daybreak or midnight, but it is almost sundown of May 14, 1948, or 6 Iyyar, 5708 on the Hebrew Calendar. So, it is Friday, May 14, 1948 at 4 PM, a full eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate, David Ben Gurion read out Israel’s Declaration of Independence at a moving ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum (video below). There was no shooting, no artillery, no tanks, just celebratory cheers, singing of songs and general state of joyous exhilaration from the Jewish and even some Arab towns, farms and villages. That was it, the official beginning to the Jewish State followed by recognitions which can be viewed here. The celebrations carried on into the morning, especially in Tel Aviv. The Jews and their Arab friends knew what the morning was likely to bring, so they made the most of the few hours of peace that remained.

 

 

The next morning was to bring an assault with an intent which we have found was best described so succinctly by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League at that time, who stated, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” This was what was intended by the six Arab armies from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan which were perched on every border just awaiting the command or simply the sun to rise so they could swarm across the lands on their way to the Mediterranean Sea wiping the Jews from the land retaking the region for Allah. Their invasion routes can be seen on the map below. For weeks ahead of the morning of May 15, 1948, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini implored the Arabs who were living between the Arab forces and the Mediterranean Sea, in Israel in simple terms, to evacuate to behind the Arab lines for their safety. His claim was this would permit the Arab armies to simply slaughter every single person they came upon. There were exceptions, namely those Arab villages and towns which were to assist the Arabs by sabotaging Israeli supply and communication lines and ambushing the Israelis from behind as they faced the Arab armies advance. The Mufti promised that the Arabs could follow the armies to the sea and partake of the riches of the Jews and all the spoils of war. This was awaiting the next morning after the joyous celebratory evening and night of the Jewish People returning to their ancestral homelands after approximately a two-thousand-year absence of Jewish rule over these lands. There was great joy and few worried about the next day, but there were the select people who did exactly that as they were the ones who were to defend this precious return.

 

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

 

This was, very simply put, an Arab initiated war of intended annihilation, not Israel’s War of Independence. Israeli independence came the second David Ben Gurion finished his speech. There was no war necessary. Israel had been declared and that should have been the end of everything except for the celebrations. There was no war, the Jews did not make some amphibious assault on the beaches and push the Arabs out of their nation of Palestine. There was no nation of Palestine and the Jews were already in the land with many having come in the late 1800’s and others who could trace their ancestry back to the times of Kings Saul, David and Solomon. These were the Jews who the Romans had allowed to remain and had resided in these lands for over three-thousand-years. That is an impressive family history to be able to recount, and they can do exactly that. Others returned over the centuries and had resided in these lands for hundred upon hundreds of years. Whenever the British had used the term Palestine or Palestinian, they were referring to Israel and the Jews. The Palestine Post became the Jerusalem Post, the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra became the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and so on with names of banks, hardware stores, plumbing businesses and so much more. The Arabs had their own reference at that time, they were referred to as Arabs or Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Iraqi or whatever nation their family names implied. The first time any Arab became a Palestinian was with the birth of the PLO in 1964. Why did the Arabs decide to take the mantle of Palestinians? That is easy to figure out once you understand the history, they intended to steal the history of the Jews claiming that the Arabs were the ones called Palestinians and the Jews were called, well, they never said what the Jews were called because their intent was always to be rid of them so who cares what names they were called by, anyway, that would just confuse things. Their hope was that nobody would bother with the actual history and they could pull a fast one. Well, what timing, just as the Western World decided not to actually teach history, the Arabs bet that nobody would know history, what timing.

 

World Recognition of Israel

World Recognition of Israel

 

Well, the celebrations ended rather abruptly around dawn as the first shots fired by the advancing Arab armies starting what would be more appropriately called The Arab War of Intended Annihilation instead of the Israeli War of Independence. Israeli independence had already been established and the war was over whether Israel would continue to exist or be killed at her birthing. The other misleading tale was that Israel won this war and took over additional lands. The only way this would have been true would be if Israel had extended her rule across the Jordan River, over the Golan Heights, into Lebanon and into the Sinai Peninsula. None of these were the result. What happened instead was Israel lost control of lands which included the Golan Heights, the Shomron (Jordan controlled this renaming it the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip which Egypt took control over. These are that troubling thing called facts. When the Arabs show maps showing Israel gaining land, they use the map of the plan offered by the United Nations in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. This was a nonbinding resolution which suggested a division of the land into Arab and a Jewish states. The Israelis were willing to accept this partition but the Arab League refused the plan planning on the annihilation of the Jews in its stead. When a United Nations General Assembly Resolution is rejected by any of the parties involved, it is forever negated and considered void as if it had never been proposed. So, the Arab League refusal ended any application of the division and the lands reverted to the original borders which was the Jordan River and the border between the Negev Desert and the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights (see maps below). The armistice lines have become the Arab definition of what the Israeli borders should revert to now despite when they were agreed upon the Arab League insisting that these armistice lines were not to ever be interpreted or expected to be actual borders. Their intent was to deny the existence of Israel as it did not have actual borders. Now they demand a return by Israel to those armistice lines so they can have a redo on the Six Day War, another war which was intended to destroy the Jewish State which failed. During the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel liberated the lands lost in 1948-9 as well as gaining the Sinai Peninsula and some claim the Golan Heights.

 

Resolution 181 Division, Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948, Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

Resolution 181 Division,
Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948,
Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

 

That is why calling the war which began the morning of May 15, 1948, the Israeli War of Independence is actually a misnomer. Israel would have had her independence even had the Arabs not attacked that morning as she had declared her independence the afternoon before. The celebrations had gone on well into the night and even until the Arabs invaded the established nation of Israel. A better name for this war might be the Arab War of Intended Annihilation of Israel or the Failed Arab War to Erase Israel. Now that war is being fought by Arab proxies of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza which might be named Hamastan. Over the years, the Arab world acquired great amounts of financial assistance from the Western nations along with the United Nations and for a while the Soviet Union into the coffers of these terror entities all with the hope of peace or an end to Israel. Many of those contributing to these entities desired the latter while all claimed otherwise simply claiming they desired for the Palestinian Arabs to have their homeland back. There never has been an Arab homeland or a nation called Palestine and the main reason that so many Arabs resided in what became Israel was due to the British in cooperation with the Arab League kept moving Arabs into the land to prevent the Jews from being able to declare their homeland. The Palestinian Arab refugee problem is largely, if not entirely, due to the Arabs heeding the Mufti and then when the fighting was over, instead of allowing them to return, something Israel was willing to allow, they placed their brothers and sisters into refugee camps and have kept them there ever since. They basically incarcerated just over six-hundred-thousand fellow Arabs in these camps. Over the ensuing decade, the Arab world expelled over eight-hundred-thousand Jews after denuding them of all assets and anything of worth which Israel took in and remarkably simply incorporated every last one into their society despite much hardship and difficulty. Israel did not incarcerate them permanently in camps to use as a political weapon against the Arab nations which expelled them, Israel accepted their fellow Jews with mixed joy and hardship but in the end, we are all living together mostly in harmony. Give Israel another fifty years and there will be no differentiating who came originally from where and there will be more Israelis like myself with a European father and an Arab national origin mother. In my case it was due to World War II as my British father fought in Burma and when injured he was treated in Bombay (Mumbai) where he met my Iraqi origins mother, and the rest is history. The majority in Israel is simply a case of opposites attract and Jews are intermarrying which will allow us to become completely reinstituted as a single people whose histories and futures are forever to be intertwined.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Great observations and analysis. Reposted to my Facebook feed. –Sasha Juno.

    Like

    Comment by sashajuno — May 9, 2019 @ 12:29 PM | Reply


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