Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Aug. 25, 2016
I found a couple of interesting little historic bits this week, next to each other, in the Sept. 15, 1949, issue of the Jewish Chronicle. These were published roughly six months after the official end of Israel’s War of Independence.
Generally, the war raged from May 15, 1948, upon the declaration of a State of Israel, to the spring of 1949, when Israel signed a series of armistices with Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
Of course, one could easily argue that, in essence, the Arab-Israeli War began in 1947 and it has never ended. But, it is a fact that in 1948, Israel was established, defended itself against all odds and is still there.
The War of Independence was Israel’s costliest war, with more than 6,000 Israelis killed and 15,000 wounded.
The two items from 1949, however, were most encouraging.
The first noted that shortly after the war, after only one year of existence, Israel’s population had topped 1 million people. In short, despite the recent war and with hostile forces on every front, there was still a flood of Jewish immigration to Israel.
The second item noted that the first train ran in peace on Israel’s newly reopened line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Not that far a ride, but a great accomplishment in 1949. *
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist