abbreviation of Plugot Machatz [Strike Force] sprang from the Haganah, a
volunteer military organization that was established in 1920 when the British
Mandate ruled pre-State Israel.
By the early 1940s, when the Germans invade Africa, and Syria and Lebanon
are under the control of the Vichy regime, the British train and employ the
Haganah/Palmach forces to help defeat an Axis invasion. But when Rommell
retreats from Egypt in 1942, the British, with no more need of extra forces,
tell the Haganah to return their uniforms and weapons, and disband.
The Haganah and Palmach leaders decide the time has come to go underground.
But funds are badly needed. The mutually beneficial plan presented by the
kibbutzim to the Palmach and Haganah leaders, whereby Haganah and Palmach
members would work and train on kibbutz, proves to be an excellent solution.
Over a three year period, from 1942-1945, the Palmach train men and women.
The naval platfrom of the Palmach trains SEALS and brings over refugees from
Europe, in defiance of the British Mandate. New settlements are created for
the newly arrived Holocaust survivors.
In 1947 the historic vote in the United Nations accepted the Partition
Plan, thereby creating the Jewish state side by side with a Palestinian state.
The Partition Plan, however, was not accepted by the neighboring Arab
countries, and in 1948 the newly created Jewish state was attacked by Arab
armies. The 7000-member Palmach lost 30% of its men and women fighting
for the new state.
And when the walk through history is over, and you find tears running
down your face, you ask when will the fighting stop? When will two peoples
be able to live side by side, in peace? And you pray that day is here.