Today in Middle Eastern history: the Arab-Israeli War begins (1948)

I need to begin this post by telling you that the title is not really correct, in that to say the Arab-Israeli War “began” on May 15, 1948, is to gloss over the fact that the Arab Israeli War was really the third act of an Israeli war of independence that stretched back to 1944. Its first act pitted the Yishuv (the pre-Israel Jewish community in what was then Mandatory Palestine) against the British mandatory authorities, and its second act pitted the Yishuv against Palestinian Arabs. It wasn’t until Israel became independent, on May 14, that Israel came into being and the surrounding Arab states became directly involved in the conflict.

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