The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence (Hebrew: העצמאות מלחמת or מלחמת
השחרור, Milkhemet Ha'atzma'ut or Milkhemet HA'sikhror) or War of Liberation (Hebrew: השחרור מלחמת,
Milkhemet Hashikhrur) – was the first in a series of wars fought between the State of Israel and its Arab neighbours
in the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict.
The war commenced upon the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine and the Israeli declaration of
independence on 15 May 1948, following a period of civil war in 1947–1948. The fighting took place mostly on the
former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon.
Much of what Arabs refer to as The Catastrophe (Arabic: ﺍﻟﻨﻜﺒﺔ, al-Nakba) occurred amidst this war.
The war concluded with the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
Proposed separation of Palestine.
Following World War II, on May 14, 1948, the British Mandate of
Palestine came to an end. The surrounding Arab nations were also
emerging from colonial rule. Transjordan, under the Hashemite ruler
Abdullah I, gained independence from Britain in 1946 and was called
Jordan, but it remained under heavy British influence. Egypt, while
nominally independent, signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 that
included provisions by which Britain would maintain a garrison of
troops on the Suez Canal. From 1945 on, Egypt attempted to
renegotiate the terms of this treaty, which was viewed as a humiliating
vestige of colonialism. Lebanon became an independent state in 1943,
but French troops would not withdraw until 1946, the same year that
Syria won its independence from France.
Editor’s note: In this Dig, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” examines the way Israel’s security wall has ripped a mortal gash in the lives of Palestinians living in its shadow, and argues that there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East as long as America continues to aid Israel in its dehumanizing practices.
The rage and extremism of the Islamic militants in Lebanon and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza appear incomprehensible to the outside world. The wanton murder, the raw anti-Semitism, the callous disregard for human life, including the lives of children and other innocents, permit those on the outside to thrust these militant fighters in another moral universe, to certify them as incomprehensible.
But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference. It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.
|The Cremisan Valley in Beit Jala is under threat from construction|
of Israel's separation wall.