By March 28, 2018 Read More →

May 15, 1948 Palestine’s Arabs Welcome Advancing Arab Armies

Arabs and Jews Fighting in 1948As the civil war gave way to a multi-front invasion from Arab nations, the sentiment of Palestine’s Arab population toward the Jews was still further established when

crowds of Arabs stood by the roads leading to the frontiers of Palestine, enthusiastically welcoming the advancing armies

But it was not just local Palestinian Arabs excited about the coming military assault on Palestine’s Jewish population. The invasion enjoyed widespread, frantic support among the Arab states that would soon be engaged in it:

Public opinion was “all in favor of the war, and considered anyone who refused to fight as a traitor.” As Muhsin al-Barazi, Syria’s foreign minister, put it in April: “[The] public’s desire for war is irresistible.” … The same considerations applied in Baghdad, where the leaders looked both downward, at a turbulent politically involved middle class and an excitable “street,” and sideways, at fellow Arab leaders; a failure of militancy would enhance the position of the anti-Hashemite bloc (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria) in inter-Arab jockeying and rile the masses to the point of dangerous disturbances or worse.”

In most Arab states the opposition parties took a vociferous, pro-war position, forcing the pace for the generally more sober incumbents. From late November 1947 until mid-May 1948 the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad were awash with noisy “pro-intervention” demonstrations, organized at least in part by the governments themselves. The press, too, both reflecting and fashioning opinion, chimed in with belligerent rhetoric, growing in stridency as 15 May approached.

Source: Frantzman, Seth. Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine? Jerusalem Post. Aug 16, 2007; Gilbert, Martin, and Martin Gilbert. The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. London Routledge, 2002. 17-21.; Palestine Facts. Why did Arabs Leave the New State of Israel? (Site accessed Feb. 12 2008); Morris, Benny. 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2008. 182-183; Morris, Benny. 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2008. 186-187;

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