Monday, June 27th | 28 Sivan 5782

May 22, 2012 1:54 pm

Israeli Museum to Open Exhibit on Foreign Volunteers in War of Independence

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A "Machalnik," meaning foreign volunteer, during the Israeli War of Independence. Photo: Beit Hatfutsot.

Beit Hatfutsot, the “Museum of the Jewish People” in Tel Aviv, announced the opening of a new exhibition focusing on Jewish volunteers from around the world in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence in 1948. The exhibition will open on June 1.

In November 1947, the UN General Assembly decided to divide the country into a Jewish and an Arab state. After Arabs objected to the plan, surrounding nations attacked the new Jewish state and the War of Independence broke out.

Most of the Jewish foreigners who volunteered to fight in the war on behalf of Israel were from English-speaking countries and significantly contributed to naval, medical, infantry, tank, and artillery operations. They were known as “Machalniks”—4,500 volunteered and 123 were killed.

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