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Who Was Most Responsible for the ‘Nakba’ and Arab Defeat in the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49?

  • Date Submitted: 10/16/2013 06:45 AM
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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 seen as major indicator of their military strength, it can also be judged that due to the weaknesses of the Arab coalition and the difficulties they faced during the war, this may have been the most significant factor in contributing to the ‘Nakba’.
                    A piece of evidence that strongly supports the view that the Israeli’s were responsible for the Nakba and overall Arab defeat is Brooman, J, Conflict in Palestine: Jews, Arabs and the Middle-East Since 1900 (p.11-12). The evidence that supports this hypothesis is when it states that the Israeli army’s strength had been raised to ‘nearly a million’ and that due to this and their additional increase in weaponry, the Arabs ‘could not match the strength of the Jews’. This clearly highlights that the Israelis had been long preparing for conflict and at no stage had defeat been seen as a possible outcome. Evidence of the Israelis preparing their forces for conflict can be shown further by Scott-Baumann, Crisis in the Middle East: Israel and the Arab States 1945-2007 (p.23-34). Despite stating that ‘at the start of the war, the Israelis only had about 30,000 soldiers’ and ‘inferior’ weapons, they had built up their army to ‘65,000 by July’ and had nearly “100,000 arms” by December 1948. To add to this, the Israelis had...


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