In the evening of May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel emphasizes the long hardship endured by the Jews and the legitimacy of Israeli independence, covering its history from the Old Testament to the Holocaust. It also closes with remarks that the co-existence and co-development with the Arabs will be pursued.
May 15, the following day, is literally called the day of “catastrophe” by Palestinians. With the establishment of Israel, cruel and merciless migration policies were implemented on Palestinian residents. While Palestinians cried, Israelis cheered, clapped in front of TVs and radios, and gave out food for free on the streets.
Young Israeli officer Yitzhak Rabin, who later became a war hero and Prime Minister of Israel, was watching TV with his subordinates at a barrack. His parents were Zionists who migrated to Israel and fought with guns. Rabin joined a special Jewish army organized by the U.K. at the age of 18 and fought against Vichy French forces.
He was especially moved by the independence of Israel. As a fervent fighter for national independence, Rabin ordered to turn off the TV even before the end of Ben-Gurion’s speech. As soon as Israel proclaimed its independence, five neighboring countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, attacked the country. Rabin was not afraid of wars but angry at the unprepared and reckless wars. He thought countless comrades and subordinates would be sacrificed.
The first Arab–Israeli conflict, about which Rabin was pessimistic, ended with Israel’s win. Even though it is called a miraculous victory, modern military historians believe it was only a natural result. Powerful nations’ support was an important factor, and the level of Arab troop’s training was too poor. The untrained military cannot serve its function no matter how good the size, weapons, spirit, and causes may be. I deeply sympathize with the grievance of Palestinians, but it should not be forgotten that not having well-trained and well-organized troops were the cause of the tragedy.