In this 46-minute video recorded Dec. 25, 2022, two emeritus professors from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem joined President Ken Stein to discuss the key period when the Zionists succeeded in creating and securing a state while Palestinian Arabs did not. They talk about the failures of Arab leadership going back to the Ottoman period, the competing interests of neighboring Arab states, and the attitudes and approaches of the British as their empire crumbled after World War II. Also addressed are the roots of the Palestinian national movement, the growth of the Arab population in Palestine during the British Mandate, and why Arabs left their homes before and during the 1948-49 war.

Recorded Dec. 15, 2022, this webinar is part of the Center for Israel Education’s Israel@75: A Yearlong Exploration

The following links provide more information on the topic of CIE’s Dec. 15, 2022, Israel@75 webinar, Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1945 to 1949:

• 1945-1949, Reasoned views for the Palestinian Arabs’ dysfunctional state of affairs (six authors), (10 pp.).

• 1947, Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha rejects any compromise with the Zionists (Espanol), (Hebrew).

• 1947, U.N. partition resolution (Espanol).

• 1947-1949 period, Critical turning points in Zionist/Israeli/Palestinian History: sources and context (Espanol).

• 1948, Israeli Declaration of Independence (Hebrew), (Espanol), (Polish), (Portuguese), (Italian).

• 1948, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 concerning Palestinian refugees.

• Israel Yearbook, “Summary of Israel’s Independence War and Initial Laws and Regulations,” 1950-51, (49 pp.).

• Israel YearbookThe Zionist Movement, 1951 (14 pp.).

• Great Britain. Termination of the Mandate, 1948 (an overview) (Espanol).

• Musa Alami, “The Lesson of Palestine,” Middle East Journal, Vol. 3, No. 4, October 1949, pp. 373-405.

• Moshe Naor, “Israels 1948 War of Independence as a Total War,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 43, No. 241 (2008), pp. 241-257; with permission of the author, December 2022.

• Yehoshua Porath, “Social Aspects of the Emergence of the Palestinian Arab National Movement,” in Menachem Milson (ed.), Society and Political Structure in the Arab World, Jerusalem Van Leer Foundation, 1973, pp. 93-144.(with permission of the author).

• Avraham Sela, “Arab Historiography of the 1948 War: The Quest for Legitimacy,” in Laurence J. Silberstein (ed.) New Perspectives on Israeli History, New York University Press, Chapter 7, 1991, pp. 124-154.

• Ken Stein, “The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 — A Short History, 2020.


Dr. Alon Kadish

Professor Kaddish was born in the United States. He received his B.A. in 1974 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D. at Oxford in 1980. He taught in the history department at the Hebrew University from 1980 to 2019, served as chairman of the department from 1984 to 1992, and headed the history department within the Israel Defense Forces General Staff from 2007 to 2014. His research has focused on economics and economic history, especially the 1940s in Palestine.

In 2019 he published a significant book, The British Army in Palestine and the 1948 War: Containment, Withdrawal and Evacuation. At the end of World War II, Great Britain had two major objectives as it considered winding down its presence in Palestine: how to disengage politically and how to maintain political continuity until its departure. While the British Foreign Office and the government decided to turn the Palestine issue over to the newly formed United Nations, the British army’s main mission in Palestine was to contain Jewish and Arab attacks and illegal immigration. Kadish’s book is a record of the British army’s actions and policies during the final years of the Mandate and the army’s impact on the outcome of the 1948-49 war.

Dr. Avraham Sela

A professor emeritus of international relations, Dr. Sela was a senior research fellow at the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1987. His doctoral dissertation was on The Arab States and the Palestine Question 1945-1948. Before his academic career, he served for 16 years in the Research Division of Israel Defense Forces Intelligence and was attached to the Israeli delegation to the peace talks with Egypt (1978-80) and was part of the Israeli delegation to the military talks with Lebanon (1984-85).

He was a faculty member of the Hebrew University for 25 years and taught on various aspects of Middle Eastern politics and society, such as “The Military, Society & Politics in the Middle East”; “Arab & Jewish History Under the British Mandate”; and “Myth, Memory and Historiography: The Case of the 1948 Palestine War.” He has published extensively on contemporary Middle East history, politics and society, especially on inter-Arab and Arab-Israeli relations, Palestinian politics and society, and foreign Islamic fighters in the Afghanistan war. He worked with Alon Kadish onRepresentations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives of the 1948 War (2016) and is completing a book titled The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution: Can Apology Help?