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Who Was Most Responsible For The ‘Nakba’ And Arab Defeat In The First Arab Israeli War Of 1948 49?

1907 words - 8 pages

The Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49 was an extremely significant event in the history of Arab-Israeli conflict. At the time it was the first military conflict the new state of Israel has been involved in. Never before had its forces been truly tested in the field of conflict, and its military capabilities was still relatively unknown. However it was significant as it highlighted the true power the Israelis had, with the result of a crushing defeat for the Arabs, and the Israeli’s ability to retain the independence of their newly created state. However there is much disagreement over which side was in fact responsible for the ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe in Arabic). Although the Israeli success can be ...view middle of the document...

To add to this, the Israelis had used the UN enforced truces to obtain more vital equipment from Europe, and as a result were “better armed for the rest of the war”. Once again this is clear evidence of the Israelis superior preparation and overall military strength and capability in comparison to their Arab opponents. To further this, Scott-Baumann argues that because roughly “25,000” Israelis had fought in the British army during the Second World War, it had led to them obtaining ‘valuable experience in training, organisation and technology’, which the Arabs didn’t receive. In comparison, the only Arab force that was as well-trained and equipped as the Israelis was the “10,000 of the Arab League of Transjordan”, which highlights the severe lack of quality training given to the Arab forces. By and large, the preparation, superior numbers, and quantity and quality of weaponry available to the Israelis was clearly a major factor in contributing to the Arab defeat and therefore highlights the Israelis as being responsible for this.
An argument that also supports the view that the Israelis were responsible for the Nakba was the support and assistance they received from many western states, again which the Arabs did not have. The assistance given to the Israelis stemmed back to the fact that the Zionists had wanted Britain to agree to a separate Jewish state, and to leave Palestine. They had agreed that this was more possible to be achieved by going through the US. They would receive support from the American Zionists of whom could pressurise the American government into agreeing to a separate Jewish State. Evidence of American Zionist pressuring and lobbying congress is found in Scott-Baumann (Ibid., p.17). Here he states that they “launched a propaganda offensive” and “lobbied members of government and Congress, in order to gain support”. This in turn led to the accomplishment of their first aim; getting Truman to support the partition of Palestine. This partition, which had been formally agreed upon by the UN General Assembly, gave the Jews the larger area of land, which was shown to have strong international support. This was extremely significant during the war, and gave the Israelis an important advantage over the Arabs, which ultimately contributed to the Nakba and the defeat of the Arabs. This can backed up by evidence from Pavlov, M, The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition. Here he contributed the Israeli victory down to the fact that the forces had significant ‘financial, military and other support from the USA, and other imperialist countries’. This was a major advantage for the Israelis that once again the Arabs did not receive. This therefore supports the view further that the Israelis were responsible for their overall victory and in turn the defeat of the Arabs.
However, it is also suggested that due to British Suppression during the Arab revolt of 1936-39, this indirectly contributed to...

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