From Gaza 2014 Back To Jerusalem 1948

Jerusalem Jews evacuating their homes in 1948 - not to be able to return until 1967

Jerusalem Jews evacuating their homes in 1948 – not to be able to return until 1967

My friend Gavin Gross just posted the most amazing conversation he had on the bus this morning in Jerusalem:

“Those were the worst times I ever experienced:” while listening to the news of the war in Gaza, a 79-year old Israeli widow sitting next to me on a Jerusalem bus gave me her historical perspective:

Born in Jerusalem into a seventh-generation family in 1935, she recalled the 18-month War of Independence (1947-1949) as Israel’s toughest moment. The Arabs set up ambushes and blockaded the road from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem, so food and supplies were scarce for the city’s Jews. She said that water was rationed, and as families queued to collect their daily bucket, Jordanian planes bombed the lines and she saw people blown apart. Inside the city, there was fighting between Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods.

She reminded me that 6,000 Jews died in that war, an immense 1% of the then population of 600,000 (the equivalent would be 80,000 dead in today’s Israel and 3 million dead in today’s U.S.).

She finished by telling me that she wakes up every day and thanks God for the way her city Jerusalem has developed, and how successful and powerful the State of Israel has become, something she couldn’t imagine as a 12-year old girl when the new nation was fighting for its life.

Today every Israeli feels the death of our soldiers in Gaza as a painful and personal loss, but I received this woman’s story as an important one, of how far the State of Israel has come in its short history.

A peaceful and quiet Shabbat to everyone.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

Facebook Comments

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Everybody thinks that Obama and Kerry are schmucks for the way they have conducted themselves during the current fighting. Back in 1948, Truman recognized Israel over the strenuous objections of the State Department and proceeded to impose a UN arms embargo on all parties, so that all American arms Israel received at that time was smuggled. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal was a rabid anti-Semite who makes Hagel look like a man of goodwill. The UN was no better than today, with their mediator Count Bernadotte trying to amputate the Negev from Israel until the Stern Gang gave him his just reward. And when the IDF broke through Egyptian lines and headed toward El Arish, the UN immediately ganged up to deprive Israel of its decisive victory. This history is important in showing how the more things change, the more they remain the same.

  • Mr. Idaho

    Anyone have their favorite book on this period that they would recommend?

    • Norman_In_New_York

      My favorite is “The Pledge” by Leonard Slater, which describes how foreigners, mainly Americans, assisted in the armament of the Jewish state even before independence and the exploits of foreign volunteers in the war. The book is 44 years old and still a good read.

      • Mr. Idaho


    • juvanya

      No, but I do recommend the book Zion before Zionism, a history of the region from 1830 to 1880 that tells how empty it was and full of bandits.

  • juvanya

    Oh I love you. I cant wait to show these pictures to the bozos who send me pictures of Arabs leaving Israel

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