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Chapter 10: Separation—Only Separation
 
 
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CHAPTER 10

 

Separation—Only Separation

 

bA double miracle occurred in 1948. The Almighty saved the bJews of the new State of Israel from the Arabs—and from them- bselves.

bThe greatest blessing to befall the Jews as their state came binto being was the wild, panic-stricken, apparently illogical, ir- brational flight of the Arabs from the territory of the fledgling bstate. Against all reason and contrary to their own interests, bmore than 500,000 Arabs fled, ridding the State of Israel of a bhuge minority that would have destroyed it from within. The bblessing was a particularly difficult one for the G-d of Israel to bshower upon His people, since, as so often in the past, they went bto extraordinary lengths to attempt to reject it.

bHad the Arabs remained, fully 40 percent of the new nation bwould have been Arab. The pitiful economic machinery of the bstate could not possibly have absorbed a million refugees in a bdecade. Between a quarter and a third of the Knesset would bhave been immediately Arab. A fifth column and social tensions bof massive proportions would have developed. Many, many Jews bwho eventually did come to live in Israel would not have, in view bof the bombings and civil strife that would have resulted. It was ba divine blessing, an unexpected gift that even a child could un- bderstand and be grateful for.

bBut the Jews of Israel? Consider. The mixed Arab-Jewish bcity of Haifa fell to the Haganah, the Jewish defense force, on bApril 22, 1948. Panic seized the Arabs; the first exodus began. bThe Jews pleaded with them to stay, offering to continue the bequal binational municipal council. The Arabs would not listen. b 

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Chapter 10: Separation—Only Separation