By Tom Segev
The founding of Israel in 1948--one of the seminal occasions of the century--offers a heroic narrative with few parallels in smooth historical past. In 1949, a arguable best-seller in Israel, Tom Segev attracts on hundreds of thousands of declassified files besides own diaries and correspondence to reconstruct the unvarnished tale of Israel's first year.
Segev unearths the lofty aspirations that guided the state's leaders in addition to the darker part of the Zionist utopia: the friction among the early settlers and the immigrants, the shortcoming of good-faith negotiations with the Arabs; the conflict among non secular and secular factions; the day-by-day collision of the Zionist delusion with the critical realities of lifestyles within the new country. Unflinching in its observations, this daring chronicle is indispensible for knowing the dilemmas that proceed to confront--and divide--Israeli society.
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Extra info for 1949: The First Israelis
The interests of France—Zaim's ally—also favor peace between Syria and Israel. If—as Makleff believes—an armistice agreement is signed this week, it would be desirable to send Sasson to Damascus to inspect the situation. 57 18 1949: T he F irst Israelis hai M akleff. As in the talks w ith Lebanon, U N officials H enri Vigier and W illiam R iley were present, but the m ain effort was made by Ralph Bunche, operating from N ew York. He m aneu vered as he knew best, often deceiving both parties and finally bringing th em to the point of com prom ise.
Israel now controlled the entire Negev, except for the G aza Strip,- a new city would soon be b u ilt at the southern tip, w hich would be called Eilat. Ben-G urion's praise was jubilant: "T h is could w ell be th e greatest event of th e last few m onths, if not of the entire war of liberation and the conquest. "43 Abdullah conceded his defeat and did not break off the talk s. He was greatly concerned about the Gaza Strip. "44 T h e King hoped th at Israel would eventually allow h im to annex the Strip to Jordan.
Aharon Cizling, Minister of Agriculture, said, I've received a letter on the subject. I must say that I have known what things have been like for some time and I have raised the issue several times already here. How ever after reading this letter I couldn't sleep all night. I felt the things that were go ing on were hurting my soul, the soul of my family and all of us here. I could not imagine where we came from and to where are we going.. . I often disagreed when the term Nazi was applied to the British.
1949: The First Israelis by Tom Segev