Exhibition to honour Diaspora volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence
May 29, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
TEL?AVIV – During the War of Independence in 1948, 4,500 men and women from around the world volunteered to fight for their homeland.
Now, an exhibition is being created in Tel Aviv at Beit Hatfutsot (the Museum of the Jewish People), to honour those who rushed to Israel to fight for the newly established state.
The group was called Machal, an acronym of the words Mitnadvay Chutz La’aretz (Volunteers from Abroad).
The Machalniks were recruited by the Haganah, the underground defence force, and made up mostly of English speakers. Many were freshly discharged World War II veterans eager to put their combat skills to use.
Several members of the Machal joined the Air Force, while others made important contributions to the naval, medical, infantry, tank and artillery units. During the war, 123 Machalniks were killed. Around 500 decided to permanently settle in Israel.
The exhibition will highlight the importance of these heroic Jews who left their homes to help Israel during a time of need. It opens on June 1 and will feature original art, photos of life during the war and a short documentary.