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.

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

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

Response
Feb. 10 2020
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).


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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More about: David Ben-Gurion, Haganah, History & Ideas, IDF, Israel & Zionism