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Jews and the MilitaryA History$
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Derek J. Penslar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138879

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138879.001.0001

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1948 as a Jewish World War

1948 as a Jewish World War

(p.225) Chapter Seven 1948 as a Jewish World War
Jews and the Military

Derek J. Penslar

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which emerges from and constantly returns to 1948. For over twenty-five years, ever since Israel's archives made sources from 1948 available for historical research, scholars have striven to understand why Israel emerged victorious in its war against the Palestinians and Israel's neighboring Arab states. There is a broad consensus among scholars that Israel enjoyed relative military strength compared with its Arab foes. Although far smaller in population and land mass than the array of Arab states, Israel was able to field more soldiers, its army was better trained and had higher morale, and, although at a material disadvantage during the war's first months, in time it was able to acquire superior weaponry. In Israel, victory in 1948 was made possible by not only the tenacity and innovative spirit of its fighters, but also the marshaling of credit and capital, both within Israel and throughout the Jewish world.

Keywords:   Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel, Palestinians, Arab states, military strength, credit, capital, Jewish world

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