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The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs
The conflict in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors is given comprehensive treatment in this two-video set produced by PBS. Using archival footage and extensive interviews with participants, the production begins by explaining conditions in Palestine at the end of World War II and the crisis created by the exodus of European Jews who went to the Middle East after the Holocaust. The withdrawal of the British, who had controlled Palestine for decades, is detailed, as is the creation of the state of Israel. Much of the region’s history is complex, with the local struggles being conducted at times as a part of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, but these videos do an admirable job of explaining the complexities of the situation. The segment on the Six Day War, for example, is masterful, with the scenes shifting from Israel to Egypt to Washington to Moscow, the story developing before the viewer’s eyes. The 50 Years War is often a tale of mistrust and betrayal, but this production strives to present a balanced view of history, and is not only impressive for its command of the facts but for its skillful and often dramatic presentation of history. –Robert J. McNamara

The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs


  1. Over 600 Palestinians are killed from November/2000 to August/2001, and about 30% of them are kids and about 4 infants…what type of peace does Israel want?! palestinians and Arabs never destroyed temples, nor burn farms, or attack foriegn reporters, but Jewish setllers are doing so all the time, and its on newspapers and international TV stations! The case is so easy and simple…Land has been taken by force from its owners and a new immigrants have come to replace them. Importing citizens never happened in any other country in all history, but it happened in Palestine, with the help of Britian and the USA, who always brag about human rights and peace! So-called “Israel” should learn how to live in peace with its neighbours, instead of spreading hatred and create bloodshed all the time. Arabs dont need this country as much it needs them for security and peace of its own servival and future of its kids.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. []this documentary shows/tells the ABSOLUTE truth about the struggle for the tiny Jewish state, and how 22 arabs states tried to destroy it for the last 50 years. Running throughout the documentary is the brilliant subplot exposing arab truculence and intractability. You can’t help but marvel when the Jews establish and maintain the state of Israel with little or no help from the Western world. And then continue to defend their homeland against barbaric hoards. The ’48, ’56, ’67, and ’73 wars are covered in great detail and explain how a little country with limited resources defeated supposedly superior arab forces. Was it the hand of G-d??? Watch the documentary and you decide.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. After watching this DVD, I was amazed at how countries play war as though it were a game. Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon fight over land that the Jews took from the Palestinians.

    What I am curious about is, if Jews wanted to live in Israel so badly and felt it was their right to take the land, why did they willingly live in other countries prior to 1948.

    It does not really seem fair to the Palestinians to be kicked off the land they had occupied for several years.

    It’s probably something similar to the White Man taking over North America from Native Americans.

    Another amazing thing was how easily the Palestinians gave up their land originally considering how bitterly they have fought the Israelis from that point on.

    You have to give the Israeli’s credit too; they knocked out Egypt, Jordan and Syria when those countries decided to wage war on Israel.

    According to the DVD, the Jews were outnumbered 40 million to 1 million and still won. That’s pretty impressive.

    While nobody should be forcibly removed from their land, the methods the Palestinians or more specifically the P.L.O. used in trying to regain the territory is ridiculous.

    If the Israeli’s weren’t going to back down to 3 more powerful countries who were going to attack them, what do you think of the probability that suicide bombers and having kids throw stones at the Israeli military will do?

    Another troubling thing about the Palestinians was their hardheaded attitude in negotiating with the Jews.

    For example, when P.L.O. leader Arafat was offered the Gaza strip, he demanded a road to the West Bank as well which would have split Israel in two. He also demanded Israel’s capital Jerusalem be handed over as well.

    Why not get your foot in the door and then work on getting more. By demanding all or nothing, Arafat guaranteed that nothing for the Palestinians would improve.

    Even when a peace treaty was finally worked out, Palestinians continued the suicide bombing which gave Israel any permission it needed to continue the Palestinians oppression.

    I worked with a Jewish person once and tried to get insight as to how Jews think.

    He told me that because the Jews laid down and were almost eliminated in WW2, the people have a new attitude about survival.

    The new attitude being, “if you step on my foot, I’m going to try to break your leg.”

    Ariel Sharon definitely adopted this model and let us not forget that Israeli’s can play hardball too. They have terrorist groups just as the P.L.O. does.

    Overall, it’s a good study on two very tough-minded peoples who will fight for their own way to the end.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. Basil claims that Israel burns down Muslim holy sites. He is just spouting hate and rhetoric, the same kind of language that is used to brainwash terrorists. Ask Basil why the Palestinians burned downed Rachel’s Tomb? One of the holiest sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
    Rating: 4 / 5


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