Israel: Birth of a Nation

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"1948 and all that"

Documents, Photos, Maps and history related to Israel's Independence: 1945-1949 


Palestine war - war crimes - Israel war of independence: convoy is attacked

Attack on a convoy


1948 Israel War of Independence
(First Arab-Israeli war) Timeline (Chronology)

Israel War of Independence  (First Israel-Arab War)

The Gush Etzion Massacre

The Hadassah Convoy Massacre

The Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem

Palestine Ethnic Cleansing

Bab El Wad

Battle of Degania

Battle of Mishmar Ha'emek

Battle of Nirim

Battle of Yad Mordechai

Nebi Daniel Convoy

Yehiam Convoy (Yechiam Convoy)


Exodus - The immigrant ship that helped to create a state.

Palestine Post Bombing

The Battles of Latrun

Ben Yehuda Street Bombing

Operation Kilshon

Palestine Nakba 1948


Esther Cailingold

People and First Person

Esther Cailingold

Memoirs of a Palmach volunteer, 1948

Was there Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine in 1948?

The Silver Platter - A memoir of 1948.


IDF Negev Beasts - The story of the famous Palmach Commando, from the book, "Eyes of the Beholder."


Letters from Jerusalem, 1947-1948

Visit to the doomed: Gush Etzion, October 1947 - In October of 1947, Zipporah Porath went to see Zionism at work in four new kibbutzim - the four doomed communities of Gush Etzion .

Palestine Partition - November 29, 1947 - Historic letter from Jerusalem recalls a night to remember.

Joining the Haganah - The spirit made up for the lack of weapons and training .

Fallen Heroes of Gush Etzion  - Thirty five who set out to save a besieged community, and their tragic murder .

Palestine 1948: Fight or Flight - As Jerusalem prepares for a siege, a young American student explains why she is staying.

Palestine Pioneering - Observations on what it takes to make a new nation.

Palestine: Ben Yehuda Street Bombing 1948 - A letter describing the Ben Yehuda Street bombing of February 1948, and explaining why such acts of terror were so easy to carry out.

Palestine: Ben Yehuda St. Bombing 1948 (2) - A letter from Jerusalem describing grim restraint and fierce determination in the face of impossible odds. 

Palestine Siege: Jerusalem 1948 - A real siege, and the story of an egg.

The darkest hours of Jewish Jerusalem - March 1948, it seems like nothing can save Jerusalem. The ultimate trial of Zionist determination.

Jerusalem 1948: A convoy arrives - describes the joy of momentary relief of the siege.

Hadassah convoy massacre 1948 - Describes the massacre of nearly 80 medical personnel, patients and their guards by Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Palestine 1948: Passover in besieged Jerusalem - When one egg was a feast.

Israel: a country is born - Letters from besieged Jerusalem, May 15 and 16, 1948.

Out of the Jerusalem Siege:1948 - First letter after leaving besieged Jerusalem, June, 1948.

Israel - warts and all, 1948 - "This will be a great country in ten years."

Israel: This is my home - 1948 - From student to volunteer soldier to new immigrant.

Israel partition stamp - 1948 - Jewish State


Israel Birth of a Nation Video

(There are several versions of this video. in YouTube. This film has been removed and replaced because of bogus copyright complaints. If the links below do not work, consult YouTube Search - Latest versions updated February 2, 2010)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 1 (Partition)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 2 (Gush Etzion, Tirat Tzvi, Ben Yehuda Street bombing, Jewish Agency bombing, the war of the roads, Bab el Wad, Ha'apalah,)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 3 (April 1948 - Operation Nachshon, Dir Yassin, Hadassah Hospital convoy massacre, Safed, Tiberias, Haifa) - Note - some details of the battle dates are probably incorrect in the film.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 4 (Battle of Gesher, Jaffa, San Simon, Declaration of the State and the Arab invasion, Battle of Degania)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 5 (Iraqi attack on Gesher, Battle of Yad Mordechai, Fall of the Old city of Jerusalem and Esther Cailingold's story)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 6 (Battles of Latrun, "Burma" Road, Mishmar Hayarden, Truce, Altalena)- The number of Jewish casualties at Latrun that is given is exaggerated.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 7 (Altalena, Jenin, Lod, Ramleh, Negba, Assassination of Folke Bernadotte, Beersheba, Liberation of Yad Mordechai, Operation Hiram

Israel - Birth of a Nation - Part 8 (Operation Horev, Battle of Nitzana, Downing of British planes, Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, Rhodes armistice, First Knesset Session, Operation Uvda - Conquest of Eilat)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 9 After the war - Immigration, building an army. Life in Israel 1949.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 10 After the war - Aftermath of the war, summation.



1949: UN General Assembly Resolution 302 - created the United Nations Relief Works Agency for assisting Palestinian Arab refugees.

1949: UN General Assembly Resolution 212 - This resolution provided interim aid to Arab refugees from Palestine.

1949: Armistice Agreements - Under the aegis of UN Mediator Ralph Bunche, negotiations were conducted between Israel and the four neighboring states that were at war with it. The agreements incorporated lands that had been allocated to the Palestinian state into Israel, Jordan and Syria, and left the Gaza Strip under Egyptian administration Armistice between Israel and Egypt - February 24, 1949   Armistice between Israel and Lebanon - March 23, 1949   Armistice  between Israel and Jordan - April 3, 1949 Armistice  between Israel and Syria- June 20, 1949

1948: UN General Assembly Resolution 194- This resolution, adopted near the close of the Israel War of Independence (1948 War), calls for repatriation of any Palestinian refugees who are "willing to live in peace with their neighbors," and compensation for loss of property as a result of the war.

Second plan of Count Bernadotte for settlement of the Arab-Israeli war of 1948  - The second plan of Count Bernadotte called for tiny Jewish state and internationalization of Jerusalem.

First Plan of Count Bernadotte for settling the Arab-Israel war of 1948.- This plan of the UN mediator ignored  General Assembly Resolution 181  and called for annexation of the Jewish areas of Palestine as an enclave within Transjordan, with limitations of Jewish immigration.

1948: UN Security Council Resolution 62 - This resolution called on the parties in the Arab-Israeli war to conclude armistice agreements that would lead to a lasting peace.

1948: Arab League Statement- Immediately following the Israeli declaration of independence, the Arab League states declared war on Israel and issued a statement announcing their intentions to restore the state of affairs prevailing prior to partition - in other words, to eliminate the State of Israel.

1948: Jews in Grave Danger in All Moslem Lands - A news report outlining the steps taken by Arab and Muslim countries against Jews just prior to the outbreak of the Israeli War of Independence. Arab countries planned not only ethnic cleansing of Jews in Israel, but also draconic steps against their own Jewish citizens. Eventually, most Jews in these countries had to flee, many leaving behind extensive properties. A report on the danger had been submitted to the UN, but the UN never acted to protect Jews in Muslim countries and never recognized these Jews as refugees or provided them with any relief or legal rights.

Ben Gurion Reading Declararation of Independence - 19481948: Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel - Issued May 14 1948, as the British were departing Palestine, the declaration of independence promised equality to all citizens of Israel in a "Jewish State."

1948:Situation in Jerusalem and Palestine, April 1948 - These assessments by Jewish officials leave no doubt at all that they perceived the defense situation to be perilous and the outcome of the civil war to be very much in doubt.

1948: Haganah Intelligence Report Regarding the Situation in Jerusalem - Following the decision of the UN to partition Palestine , Arabs tried to put into effect a blockade of Jerusalem that would force the surrender of the Jewish community there. As this Haganah report shows, the situation had become desperate, belying the claim that the Jews had clear military superiority over the Arabs.

1948: British Police Report Regarding Arab Evacuation of Haifa- In the chaos that ensued following the decision of the UN to partition Palestine , Palestinian Arabs began fleeing from major towns, including Haifa. Part of the flight was directed from above, by the Arab higher command, part was due to fear following the attack of Jewish dissidents on Deir Yassin, in which over a hundred civilians were killed. In Haifa, Jewish attacks by the Haganah and Irgun as well as Arab attacks and Jewish counter-attacks, turned the city into a battle field. Some Jewish authorities intervened to try to convince Arabs to stay, but the leadership explained that Arab higher committee members had left, the community was disintegrating as they talked, and there was nothing they could do.

1948: Truman Statement on Trusteeship for Palestine- Issued March 25, 1948, it was Truman's way of defusing the trusteeship plan that had been backed by the State Department and advanced at the UN without his approval. The purpose of the trusteeship plan was to prevent Israeli statehood. Truman's statement turned trusteeship into a prelude to statehood. In fact, the idea was never implemented. Support of the Truman administration for Israeli statehood is discussed here.

1948: Plan Dalet (Plan D)- The general plan developed over several years by the Haganah for defense in case of Arab attack on the Jewish state. 

1947: The Silver Platter - Poem by Hebrew poet Natan Alterman, written in 1947 in anticipation of the coming bloody struggle.

1947: Draft Arab League Law Against Jews (Excerpts) - Following the partition resolution of the United Nations, the Arab League drafted a proposed law that would force all Jewish citizens of member countries to register, and that would lead to freezing and confiscation of their assets, reminiscent of draconic Nazi-era legislation,

1947: Haifa Refinery Riots- Following the announcement of the partition plan, violence erupted sporadically throughout Palestine. Here is one account of a major incident in Haifa.

Palestinians: Palestine Partition 1947 - Jews celebrating in Jerusalem

Palestinian Jews celebrating the partition decision in Jerusalem

1947: UN Partition Plan for Palestine: General Assembly Resolution 181 - Plan to partition Palestine into two states after the British Mandate ended.

1947: The Consequences of Partition of Palestine - CIA Report - The CIA estimated that the Arab states would not dare to attack Israel and defy the UN, but that Israel would lose a guerrilla war against the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters. The opposition of the Arab states was based on their claim that Palestine was part of the Arab world, and not on fears of dispossession by Jews or the issue of self-determination for Palestinian Arabs.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine Partition- November, 26, 1947 - The USSR favored the partition plan.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine - US Position -The US supported the partition plan.

1947: Report of UNSCOP - The UN Special Commission on Palestine- On September 1, 1947, the UN Special Commission on Palestine submitted this report, recommending partition of Palestine.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine - Remarks of Soviet Representative Andrei Gromyko, May 14, 1947 - The USSR supported a one-state solution at this time, but would support partition if the one-state solution was unworkable.

1946: Report of the Anglo American Committee of Inquiry - The Committee rejected partition and recommended allowing 100,000 Jewish immigrants to enter Palestine. Palestine would remain a cultural "Jewish Homeland" but Jews and Arabs would work together. The report of the commission provides an excellent detailed summary of the history of Palestine under the mandate and of security conditions, as well as appalling documentation of the Holocaust and its effects on European Jewry. 

1946: Arab Office Report to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - The Arab Office in Jerusalem rejected any partition plan or binational state, and called instead for the establishment of an Arab state in the whole of Palestine, that would safeguard the rights of the Jewish minority as well.

1945- American Council for Judaism Proposal for Palestine - The anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism proposed in effect, a trusteeship for Palestine that would limit immigration to absorptive capacity, without discriminating among immigrants of different origin, and without a realistic solution for Jewish displaced persons.

1945: Rabbi Milton Steinberg Creed of An American Zionist - An historic article outlining the case for Zionism and a democratic Jewish state just after World War II.



Israel War of Independence - Map of the Arab Invasion 
Israel War of Independence - Map of Battles of October 1948.
Israel War of Independence Map of operation Ayin (uvda) (conquest of Gaza and Eilat).

Map of UNSCOP Partition Proposal for Palestine - 1947

UN Palestine Partition Plan Map - 1947

Map of Arab Invasion, 1948

Map of Jerusalem - UN 'Corpus Separatum' and Divided Jerusalem


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