Ben-Gurion's Fight over Israel's Military Was Not Just about Its Preparedness

The pre-state militia had actually prepared well for the outbreak of war in 1948. But its commanders generally hailed from rival political parties to Ben-Gurion’s.

February 10, 2020 | Benny Morris
About the author: Benny Morris is a visiting professor in Israel studies at Georgetown University and the author of, among other books, 1948: A History of the First Arab–Israeli War (Yale, 2008).
This is a response to Ben-Gurion's Army: How the IDF Came into Being (and Almost Didn’t), originally published in Mosaic in February 2020

Haganah troops patrolling after the capture of Haifa in 1948. Bettmann via Getty.

Martin Kramer’s new essay in Mosaic is the most recent installment in a series by him reconsidering the events surrounding Israel’s declaration of independence in May 1948. As with its predecessors, the present essay, focusing on the military issue, has much of interest to say, though I fear that in the end it is less significant than his prior contributions.

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