The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs – 1948 War + Background

A clip from the 1999 PBS documentary “The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs,” this video (08:21) presents a relatively balanced introduction to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, including the role of international bodies in the recognition of the declaration of the State of Israel, the immediate invasion of Arab armies on all fronts, and Israel’s unlikely victory, given the lack of manpower and arms. Through interviews with key individuals from both sides and archival video footage, this is an excellent resource about the War of Independence.

For more background and historical footage, see the two preceding clips below: Land Division (10:05), which covers the end of the British Mandate, the UN Partition Plan of 1947 and the civil war between local Jews and Arabs, and the Israeli Massacres of 1948 (09:26), which discusses the massacre of the village of Deir Yassin and the role of the United States of America in the conflict.