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 glossy heritage. In 1949, a debatable best-seller in Israel, Tom Segev attracts on hundreds of thousands of declassified records in addition to own diaries and correspondence to reconstruct the unvarnished tale of Israel's first year.
Segev finds 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 inability 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 nation. Unflinching in its observations, this daring chronicle is indispensible for figuring out the dilemmas that proceed to confront--and divide--Israeli society.
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Extra resources for 1949: The First Israelis
54 June 5, 1949. Sharett to Eban: " . . Bunche beseeching we not give up meeting. . [His representative] freely granted [that] we have been hundred percent right procedurally but Syrians suffer unconquerable inferiority complex vis-a-vis us, therefore we should bear with them... " 55 A fter prolonged hesitations and consultations w ith BenGurion, Sharett announced that he was w illing to go to Syria to m eet w ith Z aim and discuss tw o subjects w ith him , arm istice and peace, in th at order.
Once an arm istice agreement was achieved, including a Syrian w ithdraw al to the international border, it w ould be possible to ta lk about peace. T h e Syrians were no t interested in such a discussion. Sharett hastened to conclude th at th e w hole thing was a fraud. He com m ented: "A p parently th ey assum ed . . th at w e would lis t such subjects as m edieval Arab poetry or Bedouin lore, or m aybe even C artesian philosophy or Japanese art. . * T h e arm istice talk s w ith the Syrians were held in H irbet Warda, the no-m an's-land, betw een M ahanayim and M ishm ar Hayarden.
But they must be investigated.. "82 The Green Line 27 to formulate a policy. The Foreign Minister's reply was that those inhabitants who wished to remain could do so, provided the State* of Israel did not have to support them. " E. Kaplan: "Discussed the problem of the population of Ramlah and Lydda with the Minister of Defense [Ben-Gurion] and received an answer which to a certain extent contradicts that of the Foreign Ministry. "83 Tw o days later Ben-Gurion w rote: "T h e Arab Legion has wired th at there are 30,0 0 0 refugees m oving along the road b e tw een Lydda and Ram lah, who are infuriated w ith the Legion.