Israel's Wars, 1947-93

Israel's Wars, 1947-93

Israel's Wars, 1947-93

Israel's Wars, 1947-93

Synopsis

Israel's Wars, 1947-1993 is a fascinating overview of Israel's wars with the Palestinians and the Arabs. From the 1947-8 Jewish-Palestinian struggle for the possession and mastery of the land of Palestine to the Intifada between 1987-1993, this book also examines Israel's conflicts with its Arab neighbours, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the PLO in Lebanon. Israel's Wars analyzes the effect of the wars on the people of Israel. In 1947 with the Holocaust very fresh in their memories, the Israelis demonstrated a great willingness to support and carry the burden of war - high taxes, long military service and fighting in the wars themselves. This book questions why from the late 1960s the Israelis became more critical of their leadership to domestic problems created by the expense of war.

Excerpt

This book is the result of a suggestion made by Jeremy Black, general editor of Warfare and History, who thought that an account of Israels wars would be a useful addition to the series. Its publication was delayed by an invitation to act as a consultant and write the companion book for a six-part BBC Television documentary about the Arab-Israeli conflict (The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs). This has proved a benefit since, in the course of my work on the series, I came across material which I could never otherwise have obtained.

Israel's Wars, 1947-93 is, first and foremost, an overview of Israels wars with the Palestinians and Arabs. I start with the 1947-8 Jewish-Palestinian struggle for possession and mastery of the land of Palestine, and conclude with the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation which took place between 1987 and 1993, the so-called Intifada. In between I examine Israels wars with its Arab neighbours, principally Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the PLO in Lebanon, in the years 1948, 1956, 1967, 1968-70, 1973 and 1982.

Israel's Wars is not, however, only about battles and fighting, but also about the people of Israel, a nation-in-arms, who are, it is often said, 'soldiers on eleven months' annual leave'. By looking at almost five decades of Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict we can see that the Israelis, in spite of tremendous difficulties, have for many years demonstrated an extraordinary willingness to carry the burden, pay high taxes, endure long military service, and fight both in wars and between them. But after, and as a result of, the Six Day War of June 1967, as I will demonstrate, Israelis became more critical of their leadership, dissent grew, and there was also a pronounced tendency to reject the idea that preparations for war need always be at the expense of social services and justify indifference towards domestic problems. Still, in spite of growing dissent and criticism, the Israelis remained, in the post-1967 war period, loyal to their leadership, always rallying behind it in times of war. The turning point, however, came during the 1982 war in Lebanon when, for the first time in Israel's history, national solidarity showed signs of breaking down, and while the battle was still in progress Israelis protested against the war, and some even declared their refusal to take part in it. This unprecedented challenge and

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