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Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel — The Middle East
 

Machal / מח"ל

Volunteers from Abroad

 
 
Machal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jerry Klinger
1. Machal Marker
Inscription.  During Israelís War of Independence, 1948-49, more than 4,800 volunteers, including 168 Christians, came from 59 countries to Israelís aid. Some had served as crew on the 10 American-purchased Aliyah Bet ships that brought so many Holocaust survivors through the British naval blockade of Palestine. All risked not only their lives but often their citizenships in their native countries. The volunteers, known as “Machal,” the Hebrew acronym for “Volunteers from Outside Israel,” were mostly veterans of World War II. Their contributions not only aided the the war effort, but served to train a new generation of native Israelis in the mechanics and tactics of modern warfare. As Israel declared Independence on May 14, 1948, Arab leaders announced the coming war would be a momentous massacre, a war of extinction of the Jewish People. Machalniks brought knowledge of artillery, armor, engineering, signal corps and medical corps services. They formed 95% of the Air Force flight crews. Without American, Canadian and South African volunteer pilots, Israel could not have airlifted the desperately-needed weapons it received from Czechoslovakia, nor could it have wrested control of the skies over Israel from enemy forces. “Machal” Volunteers from Abroad Mickey Marcus, a U.S. West Point graduate, became the first person to hold the rank of general in the Israeli Army. He was killed while commanding forces attempting to rescue Jerusalem. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Paul Shulman, was named first commander of the Navy. 123 Machalniks were killed during the War of Independence. Machalís legacy is the enduring role they made in building the foundation of the Israeli Defense Forces. “You (Machal) came when we needed you most, during those dark and uncertain days in our War of Independence. You gave us not only your experience, but your lives as well. The People of Israel and the State of Israel will never forget.” Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel
 
Erected 2017 by Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corporation, World Machal.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation Markers marker series.
 
Location. 31° 47.849′ N, 35° 13.678′ E. Marker is in Jerusalem, Jerusalem District. Marker is on Machal Street. Touch for map. The marker and memorial are located directly across the street from the entrance to the Ammunition Hill Museum in Jerusalem. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Crucifixion (approx. 1.5 kilometers away); Gethsemane (approx. 2.3 kilometers away); Jaffa Gate (approx. 2.3 kilometers away); Western Wall (approx. 2.4 kilometers away); Absalom's Tomb (approx. 2.5 kilometers away); Jehoshaphat's Cave (approx. 2.5 kilometers away); Ritual Baths and Water Conduits (approx. 2.5 kilometers away); Double Gate Monumental Stairs and Observation Plaza (approx. 2.5 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jerusalem.
 
Regarding Machal / מח"ל. Approximately, 1/4 of the volunteers who came to Israel defense during Israeli's War of independence were from the United States. 93% of the infant Israeli Air Force at this time were Americans, Canadians or South Africans. The first General of the Israeli Defense Forces was Mickey Marcus, a West Point Graduate. The first Admiral of the Israeli Navy was Paul Schulman, an Annapolis graduate. The foreign volunteers brought desperately needed military skills and organizational ability that significantly aided the Israeli victory, against incredible odds.
 
Also see . . .  From the Old Maccabees to the New Maccabees “A wrong made right”. (Submitted on June 1, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida.)
 
Categories. Notable EventsWars, Non-US
 
More. Search the internet for Machal / מח"ל.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Last updated on June 1, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. Photo   1. submitted on May 31, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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