The Birth of Israel

Documentary examining the the events leading up to the Israeli war of Independence in 1949, its continuing impact on Arab/Israeli relations and the implications for the Middle East peace process.

Sixty years ago Israel established itself in the wake of the British Mandate of Palestine.

For the Palestinians, expelled from their homes in the process, the Israeli War of Independence is still known as The Catastrophe (al-Nakba).

Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor examines the events leading up to the conflict, the war itself and the lasting legacy for the Middle East.

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  • far

    Judaism is a religion it is not a race!!!

    Israel is one big lie!!!

    • Jacob

      Correct, Judaism is not a race, it is a religion. But Jews, those who practice Judaism, comprise a nation.

      Israel is the state of the Jewish nation. Please get past simplistic hyperbole in the future.

      • Asdj

        fuck you and fuck israel! you will fucking burn in hell for what you and you’re ‘chosen’ ‘race’ are doing to the world. Self fulfilling bullcrap is getting old!

      • Masoudd

        correct this fool and your stupid state before end of time israel will be forgotten and destroyed, its blood thirsty people full with their crap belief that they where promised .

    • Gwen J Weeke

      You are a fool!!

  • Luke

    I had never realised that Hamas was the remains of a group of people fighting for the defense of their homeland. I know it’s obvious, really, but I’m so used to simply hearing of them as ‘terrorists’. It makes me wonder about the interests of the media, to be honest.
    But with the opportunities allowed by the internet for shared independent thought, it’s relieving to think that the truth with come out after a while, and Israel eventually won’t be allowed to operate so blatantly as a criminal state.

    • Gwen J Weeke

      Luke—Israel was given to the Jewish people by God Himself!!!

      • wet willy

        ha ha ha god gave me this world too…. Now everyone get out!!!

  • Gwen J Weeke

    Perhaps some did not catch the phrases, “the Jews PURCHASED the land that Palestinians SOLD to them”!! And, “The Palestinians REFUSED to compromise” in the beginning. Also, please note that Israelis WON the war even when 5 Arab states came against them!! Could it be that Someone was on their side?? GOD, perhaps??!!
    I have been to Israel and I have seen first hand how much the Israelis love and want PEACE!! They have NOT forced out the Arab people but live & work side by side. the Arabs control The Temple Mount BUT only because the Israelis ALLOW them to do so!!

    • David

      Maybe you should got to occupied Palestine and really see how much the Israelis want peace.

    • FuckChrist

      Just because your bronze age religion says your good buddy jesus comes back if the jews get Israel dosen’t mean american treasure and lives should be sacrificed for them. Get your fucking zombie worship religion out of my country’s foreign policy. If you want to support Israel move there.

      • Ellie

        …nasty name, nasty post…

    • Did you forget the detail about the ammo the Jews got from East europe as they had
      jews already there.
      the people with most advanced technology and weapon won the war.

    • Did you forget the detail about the ammo the Jews got from East europe as they had
      jews already there.
      the people with most advanced technology and weapon won the war.

  • Rum bum

    very good documentary. shows the weakness and mistakes of both sides and the reasons for this conflict. pretty unbiased too. The point is no longer who is right or wrong but the point is one of solution. How one expect reasonable action from arabs who feel wronged is another problem . Remember they we are talking about Arabs and Zionist here. One has got to hand it to the jews though for achieving what they have – resilience is a word that comes to mind, Tough luck Palestinians your Arab brothers screwed you over, time to make peace and move on. 

  • Sergio IN

    No mention whatsoever about the ~800.000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Too biased for me.

  • Sergio IN

    No mention whatsoever about the ~800.000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Too biased for me.

  • Wolfe Tone

    The 800,000 jews from arab countrty’s had lived in relative peace with their arab/muslim neighbours for century’s,it wasn’t till zionism and mass jewish migration from europe the problems arose,the jews in arab country’s were treated better in many circumstances than the jews in europe through the century’s.

  • Wolfe Tone

    Try to spirit the penniless [Palestinian] population across the border by denying it any employment in our own country … Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.

    Theodore Hertzl,Founder of Political Zionism. 1895

  • Wolfe Tone

    Try to spirit the penniless [Palestinian] population across the border by denying it any employment in our own country … Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.

    Theodore Hertzl,Founder of Political Zionism. 1895

  • Wolfe Tone

    Try to spirit the penniless [Palestinian] population across the border by denying it any employment in our own country … Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.

    Theodore Hertzl,Founder of Political Zionism. 1895

  • Okay, now this make more sense, about the history.
    glad i watched.

  • Okay, now this make more sense, about the history.
    glad i watched.

  • Okay, now this make more sense, about the history.
    glad i watched.

  • Okay, now this make more sense, about the history.
    glad i watched.

  • Bluebird2008

    the Jew must die

  • Bluebird2008

    the Jew must die

  • Abc

    the SS and Gestapo had the jews in a camp for 4 years ,

    the jews have a concentration camp for the last 60 years and keep the Palestinians in 

    I prefer the SS Gestapo ,

    make me wander could it be that Hitler was right ? 

  • RKR

    Wow deeply mixed feelings on this one, Israel is both beautiful and yet ugly; far more complex than simply a good guy bad guy scenario. May there be peace in Israel and a workable solution for the Palestine. 

  • Mise

    Israel was never born, it was spawned from lies of religion, western politics and guilt generated by the holocaust.

  • Bat

    From the first couple of minutes: Israel fought and won for its independence. Israel was not an existing country before palestine, and there was nothing for them to fight against. they moved into palestine, took their land by force, then made up this story.

  • Craig

    Religion of any kind is divisive and not in the best interest of the human race. We don’t learn our morals from religion. We learn our morals from our social survival instinct within communities. Religion should be outlawed, this planet is way too small.

  • Stonez

    Judaisum may be a religion but The jews are also a race, they are one of the 12 tribes of Israel, from the tribe of Judah. They also owned the land 2000yrs ago before the Romans booted them out and changed the name from Judeah to Palistine. A lot of Russian Jews Immigrated back to Palistine around 1880. By 1947 the jew’s had built the roads, Hospitals and infrastructure of palistine while the palistinians continued there third world living. The jews gained a homeland in Palistine because that was there original homeland and they had returned in huge numbers and built the infrastructure of palistine. It is the Foolish arabs that have caused all the problems because they refuse to accept that homeland. So, they have provoked Israel and as a result, lost there land…

    • kiowhatta

      The Jews did not ‘own’ the land anymore than the british owned palestine. Your Historiography is not based on cross statistical data nor objective geo-political history.
      The Israelites were a tribe who fought other tribes such as the hittites and assyrians. They descended from Canaan and their is competing evidence as to their true origin and evolution, thanks to the overbearance of old testament mythology, really a form of propaganda, in which the Israelites proclaimed they were the chosen people, and Yahweh was the one and only true god.
      Their is some suggestion the the nomadic tribes conquered and dominated one another, attempting to control the fertile regions of the crescent.
      The real blame for the current turmoil in the middle east is Britain, which controlled various parts of the middle east up until post WWII, then pulled out and let the various states fight it out amongst themselves.
      The U.S only inflamed the situation by creating a political ally with Israel founded on religious similarities and mutual interest. The U.S had another state to supply arms to, who almost certainly would be a life time customer, and in return, as with Saudi Arabia, although for different reasons, the U.S gained strategic and political influence in the middle east.
      The reality is today, the U.S is responsible for almost completely destroying any stability that may have existed in the region die to it’s preferential treatment of Saudi Arabia (The fourth largest military spender in the world) and Israel, which it allows to browbeat it into foreign policy decisions.
      The crucible of ISIS was formed out of the Saudi state religion of wahhabism, an extreme form of Sunni Islam, and when the U.S fumbled and bumbled the installation of a strictly pro Shia provisional government in Iraq, which immediately alienated and offended the Sunni minority, giving the extremist Sunni Jihadist movements such as Al-Qaeda, IS and so on all the provocation it needed to readjust the imbalance.
      most telling of all was Israel’s PM lecturing Obama in front of the media on the oppressed history of the jews (yawn) for two hours, simply because the U.S chose to negotiate in good faith with Iran over nuclear development and the lifting of economic sanctions.
      Israel has been so puffed up by it’s lucky victories in the fleeting desert wars in the 60’s and 70’s, in conjunction with unabashed U’S support, they believe they can direct foreign policy, and continue to commit human rights violations in the west bank, because it is all in the name of ‘survival’.
      I fear Judaism will never break free of the chains of what Nietzsche termed ‘master-slave’ ressentiment; in which the Jews will always be enslaved to a philosophy that is based in reactionary-ism, perpetual existential justification, a constant need to focus on an ‘adversary’, or ‘oppressor’, which they continuously use to rationalise their criminal actions.

      • Jake Orkadmon

        so what exactly is your point? are muslims not eternal slaves to the prophet muhammad an his vision? you are obviously shia and the conflict between shia and sunni is more destructive than any war between islam and other religions. ok so you correctly point out that there are conflicting historical narratives. here’s one: the so-called palestinians have lost the the war against the zionists. and by teh way it wasn’t the brits who created israel but germany. why should the jews give up on their holocaust experiences when it plays so well into the continuing arming of the jewish state. the israelis have nuclear strike submarines from germany more than four what do the palestinians have? big piles of rubble and a few homemade rockets. good luck with that. they can’t even hold on to their hummus which has also been hijacked from them. there are 15 million jews in the world and a hundred times that amount of muslims. you have lost jerusalem and al aksa and still you cant get it back because the jews have won a few ‘lucky’ wars. or are all the arabs just unlucky? or just plain stoopid?

  • kiowhatta

    The jew’s have hijacked the holocaust as their own epoch in time, and use it 70 years after the event to justify human rights abuses, foreign policy manipulation and to perpetuate their self serving myths to justify their arrogant existence. The Romani’s, Socialists, Homosexuals, the disabled, poles and various russian pow’s don’t use the holocaust as an tool to hold the world to ransom.
    You’ve got your homeland, dictate western foreign policy in the middle east, and run a concentration camp in gaza and the west bank in Palestine. What will satiate you?

  • Norm_de_Plume

    Average rating 6.66. Oooooh…