The Birth of Israel

The Birth of Israel

2008, History  -   235 Comments
Ratings: 6.47/10 from 185 users.

The Birth of IsraelDocumentary 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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1 year ago

henry; Herodotus, who was a greek and not an englishman called it palestine, also referred to as Philistia which was in the land of canaan.

1 year ago

Yes, Zionists fought the British in 1942 the worst year of WWII for the British. And the rise of USA

3 years ago

Whats that smell?

4 years ago

what has been taken by force, will only return by force.

Henry Turner
4 years ago

Jon do you even believe the God became man (the man JESUS CHRIST) died on the cross for the redemption os sin. That on the 3rd day rose again and is setting at the right hand of the Father and that the Bible is the word of God?

Henry Turner
4 years ago

There is no real name of Palestine or Palestine people. It was a name given to them years ago by a British leader. They have no right to the land God gave to Israel through Abraham.

6 years ago

Well, whether the world likes it or not, the word of God will prevail, no matter how it happened. The birth of Israel and subsequent impact on so called Palestinians were documented in the Prophets which indeed a prove that the God of Israel is a real God. May His name be praised for ever. Let me give this shocking observation of mine, if you guys are claim the Israeli are not the Chosen and the land was not 'WILLED' to them by The Holy One of Israel, why is it so easy for them to prosper on the land while others (Palestinians and Jordanians) were so poor on the same piece of land promised to the JEWS?

8 years ago

thank you for objective film

8 years ago

The problem with atheism is really gossip. They do not read the object of their hate and propagate bias thicker than the book or record of what they should have studied before making any comment,

In other words, no Science Procedure was implemented by atheists like verification of data. Data collection had been accomplished by others who have toiled to translate and compile ancient text into understandable language. All atheists need to do before creating sweeping conclusions is to verify data and test the hypothesis, which in this case is either if God or Israel exists.

The Promised Land was never given to Israel but to Abraham. Israel is the new label of Jacob after wrestling with an angel and prevailed. But the Land was actually populated by relatives, particularly Esau who is Jacob's twin. Aside from the twins who are descendants of Isaac, son of Abraham, there were other personalities that got birth rights to the same land too like Ishmael.

A wealth of information is available on-line. Just Google the names and discover important information.

The Genesis story was never about the beginning of the Earth as the gossip of atheists would make you believe. The plot of Genesis is to trace the root of the slaves in Egypt that Moses had been tasked to liberate. The nation of Israel was born in the Sinai desert where most, including liberator Moses, had to die because they were punished and not allowed to enter the "land promised to their ancestors,"

Fact is there was an instance where God offered Moses and his descendants the blessing intended for the slaves. Moses rejected the offer. He thought it was strange because that would make his initial efforts negotiating with the Egyptians to release the captives inutile. I think that would make the story, then focused on Israelites hilarious.

8 years ago

Seriously, there is a problem with Israelis claiming that a 'God' gave them this land, and it is that there is NO god or goddess who gives away land. Period. It's fiction my friends. You want me to believe that your 'God' created three different religions, the Jews, Christians and Arabs, gave them each a 'Holy' book that tells them to kill each other, so we've had endless warfare from when time began because the humans can't agree upon what is real and what is not real. How bizarre!

Here's what was said at the beginning: Theodor Herzl's 'Tagebuches, 1898, Vol II, p. 24: (from Maps and Mythology, E.F. Henderson, American Educational Trust:

"We shall try to spirit the penniless population (i.e. Arab} across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly. Let the owners of immovable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more that they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back."

And that is the spirit of what the Israelis call their religion, is it not? A superiority cult brought about by a fictional 'Holy Book'. And why not, the Jews are simply doing what 'God' himself does so well in the Torah, is it not? 'God' divides the people that he himself created, and incites genocide by the Israelis, who put to death all the current inhabitants, except virgin girls, steal their stuff, kill their animals and destroy their vineyards. If you could only understand that this is fiction and myth, then you could understand why half the world hates you.

Contrast the Christian, Jewish and Arab religions with Taoism or Jainism, or Shintoism, religions that aren't obligated by their God to kill indiscriminately........

Dan Courtney
9 years ago

Twice during this documentary the Jewish leaders blamed the Palestinians for rejecting the original partition of the country. I couldn't help but think what the reaction would be if the Russians invaded the US and then got the UN to give them everything east of the Mississippi. How many Americans would accept such an offer?

ameagher2 .
9 years ago

Did the Palestinians tell the Romans to be nice to the Jews? - dunno. It seems though that they were both there during the Roman conquest. ... funny that.

Eric Lawson
9 years ago

Learned a lot from this Doc. I understand the Palestinian side much more clearly now. It would seem once again Religion causes suffering and separation Peace!!

9 years ago

Israel is the Fourth Reich

9 years ago

Did anyone else notice they used the "Time Team" theme in the opening credits?

Chris Winslow
9 years ago

Finally I found a serious documentary about the creation of the current State of Israel.

9 years ago

We're going to trust the anti-Semitic BBC for an honest documentary about the creation of Israel?

Good promised the Land of Israel to the Jews as stated in the Bible for an eternal heritage.

It's children have come home for good.

Latrobe Ligonier
10 years ago

The BBC, as most British elite, are biased against the Jews. Muslims (aka "Arabs" to the BBC) have been killing Jews ("the vilest of animals", Quran 8:22) as fast as they can for 1400 years. Muslim massacres of Jews long preceded any idea of Zion or Israel. The BBC would have you ignoring this history.

Before the Haganah blew up the Brits in the King David Hotel they called in a warning to those about to die, advising them to seek safety and leave. It's rumored that the British responded to the phone call by saying, " We don't take advice from Jews." Such is the attitude.

The British military loathed the Balfour Declaration as did most British elite and to this day feel guilty about creating this perpetual conflict. They loathe the Jews for not losing and making it all go away. What they doesn't understand is that the same battle would be fought even if there was no Israel and no Lord Balfour. BBC, you may now forgive yourselves.

And never forget, "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people." Allahu akbar.

10 years ago

What Hitler did to the Jews was truly some very sick, sick stuff.... Actually- what Christian Europe has done to the Jews over the centuries is very sick stuff... but then, what the Jews have done reduces my sympathy for them. Given the opportunity, they treat others no better than they were treated. I understand that after centuries of being the under-dog and then being in a struggle for their survival again extermination, that the Jews would "come out swinging" for a land of their own. It's hard to be judgemental of the reactions of anyone who has been backed into a corner... but the Jews' actions have certainly been more "disgusting" than "noble". At least, post-Hitler, my sympathies are more with the Palestinians (not that they have been "angels" either).

Having said that - I hope for the day when both sides work together, without historic resentments.... "An eye-for-an-eye leaves the whole world blind". I'm dreaming of a post-religious world where we stop looking at our differences and start recognising each other's humanity. Think we'll ever get there?

10 years ago

This documentary details the struggle between the Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Palestine as the former strive to establish a Jewish homeland. In the process, both groups are marginalized, made refugees, and commit horrendous crimes against the other.

Although I found the documentary a little dry, the subject is fascinating, especially because it is so emotionally charged. I really liked how the documentary portrayed both sides of every argument, so that no side is an obvious winner. It made the debate much more interesting because you are forced to take input from both sides and then make your own decision. Conflicts like these are hard because there is no “good” or “bad” guy, but complicated people forced to make decisions in impossible situations.

Unfortunately, the people involved in this conflict are so entrenched in their situation that they cannot recognize the humanity of the people across the border. So many of the interviewees talk about the cruelty and inhumanity of the enemy, but then an interviewee from the “enemy” will say the same thing about the opposing force. I hope that we can all try to imagine each other complexly, and realize that we all share a common humanity that should unite us despite other divisions.

10 years ago

I cannot understand why the Arabs have to pay the price for what the Germans did. The Jews should have been brought to Germany to start their state or country. As I see it the Jews became the Nazis and did to the Arabs what the Germand did to them. And what a surprise where there is a war there is a " Bush" and where there is a " Bush" there is big money funding both sides and big " PROFITS" . All that we see is big world banks doing business as usual, create a war, profit from the war, and create the media to blame one side or the other. In this case the Arabs are the scape goats and now we know they will be made the scape goats again in a big smoke screen called 911.

10 years ago

Great movie showing both sides of this long-rooted and maybe still existing 1948 War and its roots

10 years ago

Call me naive. Heres what you do. Draw a circle around Jerusalem, like they have done at Vatican city. Call it the City of Abraham, and share its religious significances between Christians, Jews, and Islamist as equal custodians, under the security of the UN. Then draw a line from there east to west. The south becomes the state of Palestine, and the north becomes the state of Israel. Then secure your boarders, encourage tourist, respect human rights, and become peaceful people. Religion can not solve this problem. They are the problem.

10 years ago

I stand corrected, debs, much obliged

10 years ago

I think , after watching this depressing programme, that part if not a great deal of the problem being faced is that for some reason these religions consider the bricks and mortar of Jerusalem to be 'Holy'. I have no problem as a Christian minded person in saying that this is not so. Places and items are being endowed with supernatural characteristics by all the concerned religions. A tree, a brick, a cave, anything you care to mention, cannot be Holy. Only a person's inner self has the ability to be Holy.
Jesus carried his cross along the Via De La Rosa. jesus was holy, not the street or the cross he bore.
Mohammad preached under a tree or in a building. He was Holy, not the tree or the building.
Moses spoke with The Creator on the mountain. He was Holy, not the Mountain.
Perhaps once you take the materialistic and worldly obsessions out of all these great religions, perhaps then we might concentrate on what the messages from our God is about.
Who can honestly say that, after all the blood which has been spilt in 'Religious conflicts', the very person who holds human life so dear (our Creator) is happy with us.
The most important thing in existance in this finite universe of ours is the Human Being, and no one - NO ONE - has the right to end a life, especially in the name of any God.

11 years ago

something interesting:
True Torah Jews Against Zionism - Our Mission
The relatively new concept of Zionism began only about one hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology. This struggle is rooted in two convictions:
1. Zionism, by advocating a political and military end to the Jewish exile, denies the very essence of our Diaspora existence. We are in exile by Divine Decree and may emerge from exile solely via Divine Redemption. All human efforts to alter a metaphysical reality are doomed to end in failure and bloodshed. History has clearly borne out this teaching.
2.Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavored, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah centered understanding of our people hood with an armed materialism.

True Torah Jews is dedicated to informing the world and in particular the American public and politicians that all Jews do not support the ideology of the Zionist state called "Israel" which is diametrically opposite to the teachings of traditional Judaism.

11 years ago

Modern Israel is the best and biggest weapons manufactures in the world. What's so positive about that? The get funding each year from the US to produce weapons and i can't think of how many wars they fund. What's so positive about Israel today?

11 years ago

The whole story is tragic, and does not seem to present much reason for optimism about the future.

11 years ago

i certainly wouldnt be happy if a heap of zionist refugees came wandering into my land n said according to this book (bible) which is thousands of years old and may or may not be true this is our land blah blah blah. and then a third party (british) try n divide the land that isnt theirs evenly????? dont think so. the jews have occupied land that isnt theirs end of story. the arabs just went the wrong way about claiming it back. now the state of israel is oppressing and killing thousands of people and no one gives a f--k about it. pretty sure when this happened to poland,czechoslovakia etc in world war 2 everyone was up in arms. whats the difference between the jews being oppressed by hitler and the palestinians being oppressed by the jews?????

11 years ago

Imagine Big Brother coming to your house and saying that you do not need the "extra" space. It should be shared with a family that is deserving of it. From now on, you will need to give that "extra" bedroom to this very nice family. Although that nice family is entitled to this home, as it was owned by their ancestors years ago, they will only take the extra bedroom for now. End of discussion. Guess what? The new occupants turned that chabby bedroom into paradise. It is now beautiful, well maintained and clearly superior in style to the other chabby bedrooms which you and your family are occupying. How would you react? The constant presence of these people in your home will probably move you to madness. Yes? That is the case of the Palestinians people. Although I am a big fan of the Jewish people, I understand and appreciate the agony of the Palestinians people. I wish I had an answer but I honestly don't see an end to this madness.

11 years ago

This documentary is doing its best to rewrite the history of Israel's existence. Imagine going to a casino, winning a small amount of money, but also losing all the money you brought with you. You even sell your watch, a family heirloom, in order to cover your loses. With not enough left to gamble you have to leave, but on the way out you insist on taking the watch you either sold or traded because it has been in your family for generations and,although you have been reckless, the casino should give it back to you because it was yours and, being who you are, in your and your families mind, it must always remain so. To the Arab and Islam no one else has rights and everything belongs to them, especially land.

11 years ago

To whom it may concern :

There is one recent comment of mine here missing that supposedly needed approaval form the selective censership here : see the filthy racist comments you did allow here below instead i had to respond to .

Please try to be fair .

11 years ago

Read Edward Said' "Orientalism " great book , guys : a great book that's been getting more accurate & actual by the day , explaining how you still view the "East " via your western imperialistic "superior " racist unscientific lenses & self-projections .

You , "westerners ", haven't changed a bit , for the most part at least, since the former western imperialism worldwide : you just confirm the conclusions of Said every single day while we have been experiencing western & israeli neo-imperialism as well ...

Even the 911 is an inside job or a false flag operation , so

Congratulations .

11 years ago

Folks :

Try to say something intelligent or just have the decency to just shut up , please .

Emotions cloud your judgement as well as blind hate .

Well, even the so-called reason is just a form of subjectivism = subjectivism rationalized .

Rational thought is also dynamic , relative, historic & cultural : see all those biological, psychological , social , cultural, political, economic , ideological & other "mechanisms " that shape human thought thus human behaviour , science is not yet through with, if ever

Intuition is a higher form of intellect at the other hand though

See the psychology of thought : feeling , emotion, intuition influence deeply human thought, so

Thanks, appreciate indeed

Roshan George
11 years ago

The arabs deserve this they could have lived in peace but they wanted everything and wanted to deny Jews everything hence Jews had no choice but to destroy Arabs. Plus the Arabs are stupid and dumb by nature

11 years ago

Listening to all this back and forth religious nonsense makes it clear that mankind will always hate others of different opinion and belief. If apes could read they would be embarrassed that humans evolved from them.

11 years ago

white folk just cant handle the truth. alhow, i can understand that it is tough to accept, that u are infact the devils spawn. sooner u acknowledge it, the sooner we can rid our souls of satan ..n wud ya's please stop spttin ur sectarian bile on this decent non-bias site..white cristian incase u wonderin

11 years ago

where is my first reply to Mark Roberts , please ?

I thought the freedom of speech was held high in here

11 years ago

I would expect this type of biased documentaries to be broadcated on Arab television and not BBC. I happen to talk to a Palestinian lady who lives in Beirut, she fled Haifa in 1948 but not because she was afraid of the Jews, but because she said the Arab leaders promised them that they could be back a few days later to a land cleansed of Jews. Most of the Palestinians still wait for it to happen. If Jews wanted to get rid of the Palestinians, then how come 20% of the Israeli population are Palestinians? Another good question is, why are the 20% Jewish population of the West Bank the obstacle to peace? Why is it right for the Palestinians to have a Jewish free land, but not for the Jews? Hypocricy doesn't bring solutions!
I also don't recall this documentary telling the story of 1,000,000 Jewish refugees from the Arab world, who had to leave all of their lands and posessions and run for their lives!

11 years ago

This is a good documentary, pretty much well balanced. Well, it did not include the many commissions on Palestine throughout the years, which all warned of the Arab opposition to the establishment of the Jewish state. It also omitted to mention & evaluate the British political games in that period. But still, overall, I think it presented some established historical facts in a rather unbiased manner.

11 years ago

Jezz! I always read the comments before watching the doc and after reading all this I can't even be bothered to watch the program now! Tell you what... Despite the fact that we're all people we clearly hate one another so why don't we all launch a full nuclear exchange... global annihilation. We'll make it so even bacteria won't survive then there will be peace on earth. Must be gods plan!

11 years ago

This documentary is Ok. A voice was given to both sides. But I just don't understand how any Jew/Israeli could still feel in a state such as Israel with it's not so great History...It doesn't make any sense...Where is the sense of Shame? Are they Humans too?!.

11 years ago

The world would be a better place if people would stop clinging desperately to their cherished beliefs. Unless we can, once and for all, regurgitate that poison we were fed at mothers knee (Russell), and give up old conditioned emotions and conditioned ways of thinking, and learn to face the reality of life without coloring it with lifelong biases, then the world will always be full of men who imagine it is their duty, even their right, to HATE everyone who sees things differently. Whether or not the plight of the Palestinians meets your personal definition of genocide, the sixty year long campaign against them by Israel -- 60 years of taking their land, destroying their homes, forcing them into what are essentially giant concentration camps called Gaza and the West Bank, and even murdering old men, woman and children -- is among the most horrible crimes against humanity in human history. Perhaps not equal in scale to the Nazi holocaust, but every bit as equal in terms of misery, horror, and ghastly criminal behavior. And when the Palestinians resist and fight back, Israel and its ally the U.S. label the Palestinians who resist, fight for their homes, fight for their dignity, fight for their freedom, and fight for their very lives, as "terrorists". All because some powerful Jewish people actually believe that, thousands of years ago, God, the invisible magic man in the sky, promised the Jews, Gods specially chosen superior beings, the land which by any unbiased and honest accounting belongs to the Palestinians. The fact that even in the 21st century humanity has not yet evolved beyond the point where they would allow such ignorance and such brutality as displayed by Israel leaves me feeling less than optimistic about the future of the human race.

11 years ago

First I would like to tell of my background: my mother's family are Jewish so it can be said that I am somewhat biased on the issue of Isreal. However my family have been secular ever since they came to Briton about 100 years ago, and I do not consider myself to be a Jew, and infact I have more Muslim friends than Jewish ones. I am above a humanitarian.

I see no reason to doubt that at least the mojority of people calling themselfs Jews are ethnicly semitic. Non Jews have hardly ever converted to Jewdaism and Jews have mostly married in their community, this has been the case ever since the Jews left Palestine. And we know that Jews did once live in Palestine because the Romans say so.

Anyway the right of Isreal to exist is infact irrelevant to the situation because Isreal DOES exist now, and it has the power to support itself. It is a waste of time to try and defeat Isreal, and doing so is only hurting Palestinians more! If the Arab world couldn't defeat Isreal 60 years ago how can they expect to now? It was Isreal and Briton's fault that the Palestinian people are in a bad situation in the first place, but keeping themselfs there are the Palestinian people just as much as the Isrealies.

It has to be up to the side in the weaker position (Palestine) to accept some losses to end the war, and they are the ones with the interrest in doing so. Isreal is perfectly happy if Palestine continues to be a non existant state made up of the memories and dreams of refugees, this can only makes Isreal stronger as we keep seeing with all the illigal land grabs. There is no one who can deny them the ability to do this; but if Palestine accepts a treaty, even with the losses that entails Palestine will actually exist, and it will have a voice! The people should have the right to no longer be refugees and this hostility to any treaty is denying them that right!

If peace reigns it may even happen that Isreal allows Palestinians to return to their homes in what is now Isreal. Is that not what Palestinians say they want?!

12 years ago

Israel belonged to the Jewish/Israelites all the way back to Abraham, Joshua, Caleb, David, etc. This land was given to them by God Himself. If someone has a problem with this, let them talk to God and ask Him because all the land of the earth belongs to God and He sets up kings and kingdoms and He takes them down. Ask Him and see what He says. Oh by the way, if you don't know who God is, well, The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and all the believers of Jesus Christ. Read the Bible and you'll know, it's God's Word given to us directly from Him.

12 years ago

Shouldn't the jews have to at least provide genetic proof that they are semetic (if we accept that people from 2000 years ago CAN return and steal land "back").

Because from what I can see - "jews" appear to be white.

Semetic ppls are not white.

This will be the nail in the coffin of the "Jewish" ancestry issue.

12 years ago

It's funny how this documentary is subconsciously made in favor of Palestine, out raging and completely bang out of order. WHO'S EMPIRE WAS THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL (B.C.)?DAVID, SOLOMON.. IT WAS LATER SEPARATED INTO THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH WHO SURPRISE SURPRISE WAS ALSO A JEW.
The name Palestine itself derives from “Plesheth”, a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as “Philistine”. Plesheth was a general term meaning rolling or migratory given to Greeks by the Romans
study your history before you hit out with your own imaginative "kickass" facts

12 years ago

The question is why???? why Palestine ? they do not belong there so why are they there??? If they were expelled or thrown out why Palestine ? would any of u allow any cast to come and settle down in your country ? the only answer which makes sense here is that they want the holy place , they want Jerusalem, they want their respect,and last but not least they want their holy place.I am shocked how they covered that all, a man comes and just manages to enter any of your room in your house and then proclaim that it is his territory ???? but u know what, this issue is going to settle and it will settle catastrophically.A war will end it and we vow that we won't stop unless we won or there remains none of us :O

12 years ago

Disgusting documentary, so biased in favour of the "palestinians". And i am actually beginning to despise white people, they deserve the fate which awaits them when their people and civilisation will diminish and end. All people except for whites look after their own interrests, the arabs are sided with the palestinians, other muslims and arabs, the jews are sided with the jews, blacks are sided with each other, positively discriminating their own. They all feel for each'es own group, they condone their own groups wrongs, excuse them, while constantly watching with hawk eyes for all others misdoings. In every way they can they want to advance their own groups objectives, the more power and influence they can seize the better.

But white people don't side for them selves. They cry over the fate of the palestinians, and how the arabs (who stole the land from the jews) "lost control over their homeland", while at the same time doing everything they can to give up Western civilisation, so that white people no longer will have a single bit of land where they can look after their own interrests. Arabs coming to the West are still arabs, on the side with other arabs, they don't start defending Western civilsation, they don't defend the right of jews to have a state of their own in their historical homeland, no they side with their own.

No one else sides with white people and Western civilisation, not even westerners themselves. So as westerners pay for muslims to become the majority in Europe in less than 50 years, the fate of white people and Western civilisation soon will be a thing of the past. All you sucidal leftwing lunatics, you are worth nothing, and you will get what you deserve one day, just wait and see, and when you wake up it will be to late. Worthless scum!

12 years ago

FOOLS! Each of you who have ANYTHING to say against Israel obviously do not read your Bibles! YHWH commanded Israel to drive out and kill off the heathen nations that occupied the land HE gave them! If muslims would read their own text they would admit they are wrong, as the koran confirms this!