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Things that Yoram knows: were we few against many?

Perhaps he asks: Were we few against many in the War of Independence?

Briefing at the Negev Division of the Palmach before going into action. From Wikipedia
Briefing at the Negev Division of the Palmach before going into action. From Wikipedia

In 7, against all odds, we defeated XNUMX strong armies that threatened to destroy us. It is hard to find a graduate of the Israeli education system who does not have this myth burned into his mind.

So that's it, maybe in none of the stages of the war of liberation did we stand "few against many". The war that began with the partition decision at the United Nations on November 29, 1947 and until the invasion of Arab armies with the end of the British mandate on May 15, 48 bore the character of a civil war between the Jewish settlement and the Palestinian population.

The Jews were indeed a minority on the Mandatory Island, but they had more weapons at their disposal: from the defense, from the underground and thousands of freedmen from the British army who were trained as part of the regular army: a total of 30,000 fighters. The Jews had more weapons and the only force between the sea and the Jordan that had a military capability beyond guerilla or defensive: the Palmach. About 25,000 Palestinian fighters stood in front of them: the urban Arab mass was engaged in the struggle from the beginning, but the majority of the Arab population in Israel was rural and its mobilization was slow and hesitant. At this stage, the Jews had a numerical superiority and superiority in weapons that decided the struggle for the cities involved and their periphery. The Arabs managed to conduct a guerilla war and mainly to disrupt transportation, but they almost never initiated the occupation of Jewish settlements.

With the declaration of the state, regular Arab armies invaded the country, but in 1948 Egypt under the rule of King Farouk was far from being a military power and the force assigned to the campaign was small and poorly equipped. Disappointment with the Egyptian army's unpreparedness for war motivated the formation of the "Young Officers" group that overthrew Farouk's rule in 1953. The armies of Syria and Lebanon (which sent 436 of its soldiers to the battlefield) were even weaker. The departure of the British brought into the war a regular, strong and well-trained military unit: the Jordanian Legion, except that in accordance with prior agreements with the heads of the settlement, the Jordanian army refrained from attacking areas allocated in the partition plan to the Jewish state. On the other hand, the young country receives military reinforcement from the USSR, which at this stage supports the Israeli side without hesitation. The hardest battles take place between the declaration of the state on May 15 and the first ceasefire on June 10. Those who describe the War of Independence as a war of the few against the many mean those 25 days during which the heroic defensive battles of Nirim and Vaid Mordechai took place. On the relationship of forces between the parties at this stage there is a dispute between historians for the war against the IDF in which about 30,000 served, about 10,000 Egyptian soldiers entered the campaign in the force that entered the Negev, about ten thousand soldiers from Syria and Iraq, and about 10,000 Jordanian soldiers including the Legion soldiers which was the most significant military force in terms of equipment , training and command but, as mentioned, limited in its goals. That is, the forces are roughly equal in terms of personnel, even according to the version of the historians who most generously evaluate the Arab order of forces, the IDF is not fighting at this stage when it is at a "Spartan" numerical disadvantage and, with the exception of the air field, not at a qualitative disadvantage either. The first lull in the fighting and, like it, the second lull in July, are well used by the Israeli side to recruit fighters from among the new immigrants and equip themselves with weapons so that the next stages of the war stand as a sign of a distinct advantage on our side. In total, the IDF numbered over 100,000 soldiers at the end of the war, while the total Arab forces numbered slightly more than half of this number.

These numbers are not secret and not even sensationalized by "new historians" and yet for some reason it is difficult for us to give up the idea of ​​"few against many". The enigma is even greater when it turns out that the founding myths of other nations are actually about the victories of "the many against the few". Such is the pride of the Russians in their victory over Nazi Germany in the "Great Patriotic War", such is the pride of the Americans in the victory of the many from the north over the few in the south in the civil war and the Muslim pride in the victories of the large armies of Salah a Din over the smaller army of the Crusaders. There is logic in this pride: a commander who succeeds in recruiting, equipping and using a large force in a way that leads to victory in the campaign should be valued. This is how the king of the Greeks (the Achaeans) Agamemnon boasts of a numerical advantage of more than 10 to 1 over his opponent in Troy

 ” If... there were freshly prepared dishes, everything that has a stove

But we will live functioning ten ten,

And each faction took a Trojan man to pour wine for it

Many, many dozens will be without a waiter today" (Iliad, second poem Tschernihovski translation).

The Greeks did not see any lack of honor in this victory of the "many" but on the contrary: they praised the abundance of ships loaded with warriors that sailed to the rescue of Helena.

When we check who shares with us in the admiration of the "few against the many" war, we find ourselves in rather awkward company. The king of Sparta, Agis II, is quoted in the arrogant statement "The Spartans do not ask how many enemies there are, but where they are" but humanity has no special reason to miss this totalitarian city-state.

The Spanish conquistadors were a handful of warriors who conquered large empires in Central and South America, but in historical memory they were mainly recorded as mass murderers and enslavers. The romance of "few against many" feeds the Polish myth, but it is hard to envy the destruction that the wars of the few against the many have wrought on this nation. As a general rule, a war of the few against the many is evidence of the leadership's stupidity, collective madness or a colonial robbery campaign in which the "many" are poor and backward and the few are well-armed and organized.

The Zionist movement reached its great achievements precisely because it avoided heroic confrontations and made sure not to be alone in front of many: from the British support in the First World War and after that through the alliance with the USSR in 1947-1948, with France in the 50s and 60s and of course the strategic alliance with the USA. Ben-Gurion was not spartan, he was very interested in the strength of the enemy and was very careful not to enter into a war of "few against many".

An episode of the Takuma series describing the phase from the establishment of the state to the end of the War of Independence. It claims that towards the end of the war, the IDF was indeed strong and could even occupy the territories that were conquered later in 1967, but Ben-Gurion decided to comply with the cease-fire and divert resources from war - to absorb it

Few versus many in the Bible

The idea of ​​the few against the many is fundamentally theological, and is the biblical narrator's way of illustrating God's control over events. To show the greatness of God, the chosen people must be eternal Contrast to the power relations. The role of the descriptions of the war in the Bible is not historical documentation but the strengthening of faith and thus it is better to be among Abraham's 318 "apprentices born in his house" and not in the ranks of Kader'Omer's army (Genesis 32,00). Gideon cuts the number of warriors from 300 to XNUMX due to the boss's fear of a war that is not a war of the few against the many. Tim chapter XNUMX). The midrash summarizes the concept of Jewish history into a short dialogue between Rabbi Yehoshua and the Roman emperor "Andrianus Caesar said: Great is the sheep that stands among seventy wolves. He (Rabbi Yehoshua) said to him, "Great is the shepherd who saves."

The Zionist story clothed the sheep in khakis, the wolves in khakis and erased the shepherd: a move required for those seeking to mobilize masses who have lost their religious faith. This is how the Hanukkah story was revised and became a cornerstone of national education when the religious war became a campaign for national liberation. The myth of "many in the hand of the few" migrated from the prayer "On the Miracles" to the Zionist education program, while the continuation of the sentence: "The impure in the hand of the pure, the wicked in the hand of those who practice your Torah" the educators left deep between the pages of the Siddur. Since the Hasmonean war was primarily a war between brothers and the "unclean" were not foreigners but Greek Jews, the original myth is problematic: a few oppress the "many" through them.

 Over many years, Zionism managed to juggle between emotional speeches about the heroism of the few and a reality in which the leadership was careful to prevent a situation of the few against the many. For example, Meir Yaari takes pains to cool the heroic enthusiasm in the Yishuv following the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 "This deposit (the Jewish Yishuv) does not allow us to think on its side and a line of its side. We are not fighting the last battle. It will not be clear to us a beautiful death, not even a beautiful heroic death. We will not die because we will live."   

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For an article on the relationship of forces in the War of Independence on Wikipedia

More of the topic in Hayadan:

34 תגובות

  1. Excellent article.
    Yes, this is the false and stupid Zionist ethos,
    And these are the facts
    As if there is such a thing: an enlightened conquest or a moral army
    The very act of hiding and distorting the facts speaks for itself
    And there is enough documentation and evidence.
    The most glorious Zionist enterprise is the success of raising generations of people who agreed to swallow and internalize cruelty and lies
    And for that we all pay to this day.

  2. The writer is wrong in everything, and mixes up periods. I haven't seen such an amateur historical story in a long time.
    The Jordanian Legion did not have 10 thousand soldiers but much less
    Israel had many troops, but this was only in the second pause and beyond. Before there were few soldiers because there was no order, not really his brother-in-law, and most members of the Haganah were without any military training.

    We had two difficult periods. One at the end of March 1948, with several disasters in the convoys and blocking the road to Jerusalem. Until then we couldn't use organized force because the British were in control. Later, in the 6 weeks until the Arab armies invaded, the British no longer interfered and we won in Safed, Tiberias, Haifa and almost Jaffa when the British intervened. The Palestinian forces were destroyed.
    On May 15, the day the Arab armies invaded, we were in the most dangerous situation. The Arabs had heavy weapons, we did not, such as fighter planes, tanks, armor and cannons. In all the battles then we stood with few forces and with only light weapons against many forces with heavy weapons. About 6 weeks until the first truce, we were saved because of the hesitation and lack of initiative of the Arab armies.
    The 4 weeks of the first remission were a miracle. We organized, trained forces, weapons arrived and we left in reasonable condition for the 10 day battles.
    Later, during the second lull period and beyond, we were already in a good position against the Arab armies.

  3. I don't understand why you attack a whistleblower, what are the facts.

    Indeed, we had more soldiers than the Arabs at every stage of the war of liberation. The Palestinians were very poorly organized and poorly equipped. The Arab armies, especially the Jordanian legion, were equipped and strong but did not outnumber us, which is the subject of the article.

    Precisely in the first phase of the war before the declaration of the state, the weak Palestinians managed to push us into a corner, and after the first lull we seized the initiative against the powerful Arab armies, thanks to the assistance from the Soviet Union.

    Stalin's frustration is understandable. After he starved the Ukrainians who massacred the Jews in the civil war in Russia, saved the Jews who survived the Holocaust, supported the establishment of the state and saved it in the war of liberation, the Jews turned their backs on him and supported the West.

    He was quite anti-Semitic, but he didn't just hate the Jews, he hated everyone.

  4. Well done. You managed to create a distorted image that matches your opinion - not the real situation in question.
    Your claim that the Jews were better organized is a complete distortion of the facts on the ground! At least learn the history before you try to change it!
    This whole article is unnecessary - it's not an article - it's philosophizing that has no place.

  5. When seven countries attack including the local Arab population at the same time a country that has just arisen. whose total population is many times greater than the Jewish population. It is the few against the many. The fact that they failed to recruit a router and manage their resources properly does not detract from the statement that the few are against the many. If our numbers and training were so good why didn't we manage to capture Letron. Why did Gush Etzion fall? Why was there such a hard battle for Jerusalem? Why did the Egyptians reach Kiryat Gat and Ashdod and threaten to occupy Tel Aviv? I suggest the author consult with academic colleagues before publishing articles on this platform.

  6. Nice "Hidan" did you get support from bds or do you just like to distort history?
    Too bad... really too bad.
    Until now I was an avid reader

  7. what a bummer…
    You destroyed all the beauty of the movie "300"!
    Nor does it fit with a number of battle stories, but let the experts debate the facts.

    Chutzmaza, it's quite logical, the Jewish myths without the religious element. This also appears with Bar Kochba, also in the story of Hanukkah and so with the other heroes of the Bible who were "stripped" of their religious-national identity and were left with only their national identity.
    In this - I think you are very accurate (it also goes well with Ben Gurion who was very fond of the Bible but chuckled when asked if he believed in God..)

  8. A pile of bluffs and knots.
    How many tanks did the army have? Years stolen from the British.
    The Arabs, mainly the Egyptians and Syrians, had many dozens.
    How much armor did the Israelite army have?
    The army had trucks that were converted to armored vehicles
    How many did the Arabs have? hundreds
    Were the guns for the army? Thousands mostly guns from before the First World War.
    Only after the first lull did Czech guns arrive.
    How many did the Arabs have? Tens of thousands to all armies.
    How many planes did the army have? Pipers and Austrians, the Messerschmitt arrived after the first lull, and these were Messerschmitts composed of a German body with a Czech engine that did not fit the plane, most of them crashed in accidents.
    One advantage was that the army had a unified command, and the movement and concentration of the forces.

  9. The scientist is wrong and misleading. The general sums of the heads (regardless of whether they are correct or not) have no meaning. Did you maybe check what the balance of forces was in the battle of Safed? In Kaoji's siege of the Emek kibbutzim? In the battles in Gush Etzion? In the battles for the axis to Jerusalem? It's just a shame that this demagoguery that is published under the guise of being "serious and academic" permeates the younger generation who do not have the opportunity to communicate directly with the fighters who operated in the field and most of whom are no longer with us.

  10. It certainly seems that the evangelists do not know not to say misleading. It is difficult to ask the generation of the parents, most of whom took their memories elsewhere, but from what they have told and what they remember in Dagenia and Negba and Beid Mordechai and Nitzanim, it seems that this is another invented fantasy. If you count the Egyptians as "the force assigned to the campaign is small and poorly equipped", I assume that the Gahelnikim and the Machelnikim were equipped with advanced missiles, computerized drones, etc.
    Too bad, just too bad

  11. With all due respect to Dr. Yoram Sorek for his knowledge in many different fields of science, this article does not seem too credible to me. Surfing into inclusive theories and examples from the distant past is not serious to me. In any case, if the author writes about the recent past, he is asked to provide sources and references for his theory. Because without them it's another article of personal opinion.

  12. Disappointed that the scientist allows such a political and trending article. Even if we ignore the fact that the writer presents partial and mostly unverified facts, and omits facts at will, it is difficult to understand the scientist who claims to be scientific and accurate. I enter this site to escape politics and lies that are on current affairs sites.
    Again, very disappointing

  13. Another mind engineer who twists history for his progressive leftist agenda. Come talk to my father for 5 minutes and hear what really happened and don't make up nonsense and distort facts!!!

  14. Another attempt to disintegrate what seems to attribute our successes.
    From the beginning it is clear that this is nonsense in the juice.
    We were in a ratio of one against two and there is no debate about that at all.
    Our military experience was more or less zero and we do not find even one senior in the defense ranks who knew how to run an army and how to conduct a war.
    Since the Arabs were able to take out a lot of people in favor of offensive activity, we had to split our forces in favor of every locality in the country that might be washed away by the Arabs.
    In addition, even if they took all the men between the ages of 16 and 46 (at the price of shutting down all production and distribution operations of food, fuel, products and services) an army of about 120000 men would be received, the vast majority of whom are untrained and there are no training facilities and instructors.
    Out of this number, the ratio between those who shoot and those who are called logistics, was about one to five or six.
    So we found ourselves with about 20000 armed men on all fronts and in a state of paralysis everything that is not an army.
    The only significant advantage (besides the need to fight for our lives) was our organization that was able to transport people and equipment in time to where it was needed.
    In no battle in this war did we attack or defend in greater numbers (and usually with poor and generally uneven equipment) than what our enemies brought.
    It also helped that the Arabs, on the one hand, believed the nonsense they published and, on the other hand, crumbled morally when they did not succeed.
    Where we fought against a real army, we hit hard.
    Don't confuse your mind with the stories of 'the many we were'.
    The next chapter will surely be how we attacked the Arab countries.

  15. As far as the War of Liberation is concerned, it's simply a combination of lies, half-truths to present things out of context, the ratio of the IDF + the Haganah + the rest of the underground fighters was infinitely lower than the numbers shown, the number shown refers to the total of all members of these organizations but is very far from the total of all fighters , not to mention the means that were at the enemy's disposal, starting with the Egyptian Air Force and the tanks that were at his disposal and ending with the quantities and quality of the anti-tank weapons that were at the disposal of the Arabs of the country compared to those that were at the disposal of the Jewish settlement.
    It's simply a shame and disgrace that a website that claims to present historical and scientific knowledge free of bias and agenda publishes such a shallow article. From here on, everything published on this site in any field should be treated negatively.

  16. Embarrassing article by a radical Zionist post
    This is called mind engineering. But it's not bad, the sane part of the people is growing and the post is dwindling.
    Good luck abroad.

  17. An article full of mistakes, half-truths or lies. Anyone who wants to see what happened, should go visit the military section in a long-standing settlement and count the fallen of the War of Independence. A country that sends untrained camp survivors to war does not do so because of the advantage it has on the battlefield.

  18. In my humble opinion, the entire Jewish population in 48 numbered half a million people, how is it possible that there were a hundred thousand soldiers? Also, my late uncle said that he fought in the Western Galilee against a Lebanese army with uniforms and weapons much better than ours. In Beit Rimon, a handful of men and six women fought against a large crowd of Sudanese, with a Croatian commander. The old-fashioned rifles they had received a few days before they were attacked got so hot that the teachers had to take turns firing frequently. Not to mention the immigrants from North Africa and Holocaust survivors who were sent to attack without weapons, or without bullets. See that the author of the article has a strong desire to rewrite history and it is interesting to know why.

  19. A shallow article full of lies. All the facts here are simply not true!!! In the War of Independence we fought 7 Arab armies and the British. The Arabs of the Land of Israel were not relevant to the war. The big mistake was that we did not eliminate them in the war.

  20. I have never read an article so shallow and full of lies. All the facts here are simply not true!!! In the War of Independence we fought 7 Arab armies and the British. The Arabs of the Land of Israel were not relevant to the war. The big mistake was that we did not eliminate them in the war.

  21. Write all the way to the end.
    The Jews had spaceships from Star Wars, with the help of the Ninja Turtles, the Transformers, and let's not forget Chuck Norris..
    Shelvad defeated the Egyptians at Mithla

  22. An article that is partially true but most of it is wrong, misleading, pretentious and above all includes personal perceptions (again, only some of them are true) on various topics that are supposedly related (the Bar Kochba rebellion for example) with the criticism of the presentation of the events of XNUMX.
    The most important of all is the mistake of the writer about "few against many". This is a concept that cannot be precisely defined at all, but there was more justice in the position, however declarative, that presented the reality in this way during the War of Liberation until the first ceasefire than the "factual" analysis presented in the article.
    At the beginning of the war that started already in November for the defense that was the militia! There was less manpower than all of the arms bearers in the Arab population. Also, the amount of NCL in their possession was far greater than the legal and illegal weapons in the hands of the "Yishov". It is true that the organization and command of the defense were somewhat better and hence the realization of the success. Yes, with the invasion there is again a very large advantage in armaments and military organization on the Arab side, and therefore also the great difficulty of the containment battles and the huge 1% price! from the total loss during the entire war. It is true that a significant part of the victory was due to the fact that the Arabs were much divided, but the IDF, yes the IDF of the entire State of Israel, was forced to fight and suffer casualties from those who breached the fence from the battle of the camp (Altalana affair) and there were also many errors, blunders as in any war and army, But indeed, by and large, "David defeated Goliath" at least until the first intermission.

  23. "Things that Yoram knows", really?
    I don't remember reading an article with so much historical inaccuracy. The Aganda cries out to the sky
    1. The total Arab armies contained more soldiers, more tanks and more planes than the Israeli army in all four phases of the war
    2. Mainly in the first phase there was a serious ammunition problem. So severe, that there was an order for each soldier to shoot only 40 rounds a day (!) for battles that lasted hours.
    3. The Israeli army had a huge disadvantage, while Arab armies attacked from all fronts with clear borders, the IDF had to secure remote settlements, supply them with food against the siege of the Jordanian legion and fight on 4-5 different fronts.
    4. It is not clear where you got the lowering of the value of Arab armies. All Arab countries were more mature than Israel by at least a year, which gave them a huge advantage. The Jordanian Legion was also trained by the British and was a very strong army, it is not clear where the nonsense you said about the agreements came from, the Jordanian leader who wanted peace with Israel was murdered, and in response we received a siege on the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem, which forced the IDF to fight it with all its might. including several difficult battles (Hela, Hextel, Operation Nachshon, etc., etc.)
    It was a war against all odds, evidence of people who stopped Egyptian tank convoys with Baktabs on the coastal plain. People who lost their entire family in the Holocaust, only to die on this land.
    It is not clear why the article that pretends to be historically accurate does exactly the opposite

  24. Does the article refer to the battles in which settlements were evacuated, such as in Gush Etzion, against the Egyptian column, Sangor, Yad Mordechai, and more?
    Seems problematic

  25. Let's start with the fact that the Palestinian people have not yet been invented in 48.
    The Palestinian people were only born in 67.

  26. Were the rabbis on the Israeli side in the 48 war primarily armed or service forces? Did the number of fighters on the Israeli side exceed their number on the Arab side?

    In 67, the Arabs had a large numerical advantage in people and equipment, didn't they?

    And also in 73, especially in the opening stages.

    Ben-Gurion did want to avoid a war of the few in 67 (although he was not in the leadership, but he was still influential). Happily, history proved him wrong.

    The victory of the Israeli few in 67 can be compared to the revolts against the Romans, where by the way we were the many but suffered Holocaust defeats and exile. The question is, did Rabbi Akiva and Bar Kochva make a mistake when they rebelled, or is the mistake only in retrospect? After all, if we had suffered a defeat and a holocaust in 67, as Ben-Gurion and many in Israel feared, and it does not seem at all imaginary in certain situations (early Egyptian attack, Operation "Hashahar"), Eshkol Rabin and Dayan would have been denounced as causing another holocaust on the people.

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