Ben-Gurion Outlines Five Keys to Success in 1948 Independence War

April 6, 1948

Between the November 1947 Partition Resolution and early April 1948, more than 900 Jews had already been killed by Arab attacks. Leadership in the Yishuv had already begun to mobilize the population for more intense attacks still to come. Ben-Gurion placed before the Zionist General Council, the supreme body of the World Zionist Organization that met regularly, steps to be taken if there was to be a Zionist success in the coming 1948 Independence War.

Ben-Gurion said that the immediate needs included mobilizing manpower, purchasing military equipment, putting the Yishuv on a footing to establish procedures for the economy, not be satisfied to simply defend the Jewish population but attack at the right time, and most of all establish a single source of authority to direct the other four priorities.

Ben-Gurion feared that there were too many decision-making centers in the Yishuv and that urgency and immediacy demanded one single voice.  Over the next year, the Jewish Agency was able to concentrate power and authority into its hands. Separatist political voices and military and para-military entities heeded his call.    For example, not without difficulty, the Palmach, Irgun and others folded into the Hagannah. Splintering of the Jewish community into potentially devastating fragmentation was avoided; the focus was aimed at the Arab armies. It was decided to establish two new institutions to carry out the coming tasks of governance: a Provisional Council with three-dozen members, and a provisional government (Cabinet) with 13 members.

The photo shows Hagannah troops training in October 1948.