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Ben-Gurion’s Army: How the IDF Came into Being (and Almost Didn’t) » Mosaic
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Ben-Gurion's Army: How the IDF Came into Being (and Almost Didn’t)

On the eve of Israel’s statehood in 1948, with the massed forces of five Arab nations threatening invasion, David Ben-Gurion picked a fight with his own army. Why?

Maj-Gen. Yigal Allon, Lt-Col. Shimon Avidan, Maj-Gen. Yigael Yadin, David Ben-Gurion, and Lt-Gen. Yaakov Dori reviewing the Givati Brigade in 1948. Fred Chesnick, IDF Archive.

Maj-Gen. Yigal Allon, Lt-Col. Shimon Avidan, Maj-Gen. Yigael Yadin, David Ben-Gurion, and Lt-Gen. Yaakov Dori reviewing the Givati Brigade in 1948. Fred Chesnick, IDF Archive.

Essay
Feb. 3 2020
About the author

Martin Kramer teaches Middle Eastern history and served as founding president at Shalem College in Jerusalem, and is the Koret distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


The Jewish general, his visage grim and his words deliberate, spoke as follows:

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More about: 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Declaration of Independence, Israeli War of Independence