1948: The First Arab-Israeli War

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1948: The First Arab-Israeli War Middle Eastern
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The author addresses the whole of the 1948 War in its political and miltiary aspects, taking in as well the international context and interventions, the Arab world, and the internal Israeli scene. Morris writes, ' I try to present a good overall picture of what happened and why, from the UN handling of the Palestine issue to the Israeli-Arab armistice agreements that ended the war. Illus., 33 b&w; 28 maps. 544p.

Editorial Reviews

Morris (history, Ben-Gurion Univ.) offers a study of Israel's war of independence, effectively debunking many of the myths surrounding it. He divides that war into phases: civil war between Palestinian Arabs and Jews, begun in November 1947, followed by a Pan-Arab (i.e., Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq) invasion in May 1948. The Arab defeat in the civil war resulted in hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs fleeing, most expecting to return behind a triumphant Arab invasion force. Although outnumbered, the Israelis had spent months after the UN partition resolution in 1947 preparing for war, while their opponents spent more time calling for jihad against the Jews, which naturally inspired Jewish fear of a second Holocaust. The Israelis had a unified command system, internal lines of communication, and the ideological fervor that came from defending their homes. The invaders (the author's term), meanwhile, lacked coherent leadership and a unified strategy, so by the fall of 1948 the Israelis had achieved local military supremacy. Morris disputes the assertion that Israel had an overall policy of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. He meticulously documents the expulsions and atrocities that occurred on both sides. His work demonstrates that passion, not polemic, about this controversial era leads to good history. Recommended for all libraries.—Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati, Clermont Coll.

[Page 94]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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