World Machal is pleased to announce that the English Edition of the Machal booklet, "Machal-Overseas Volunteers in Israel's War of Independence" is now available on line in PDF format and downloadable from the website of present day Machal volunteers to the IDF: www.mahal2000.com/about/machal.pdf.
The booklet brings to light the inspiring story of the Overseas Volunteers, known as Machal, approximately 3,500 men and women, Jews and non-Jews, who came in 1948 from 44 foreign countries to fight for the fledgling State of Israel during its struggle for survival and independence. It adds a proud and authentic voice to the history of that pivotal period and will be of special interest to educators, researchers, organizations and institutions concerned with Jewish and Israel Studies, especially in connection with Israel's forthcoming 60th anniversary celebrations in 2008.
Originally published in Hebrew by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the World Machal Committee in Israel, the 47-page Internet Edition in colo`r, includes photographs, a bibliography of books written by and about Machal, as well as a list of films, videos and Machal websites.
English-speakers worldwide will learn of the heroic exploits of the overseas volunteers in Aliyah Bet, the Haganah, the Palmach, the clandestine recruitment activities abroad, integration of Machalniks into the Israeli Defense Forces, the invaluable help of Machal in shaping the early Air Force, Navy, Armoured Corps, Paratroopers, Infantry, Medical Corps, and other units, as well as the significant contributions of Machal to the war effort and its victorious conclusion. At the dedication of the Machal Monument in the Sha'ar Hagai Forest in memory of the 120 volunteers who lost their lives, the late Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin said of Machal:
"They came to us when we needed them most, during those dark and uncertain days of our War of Independence". Machal press release April 2007