The journey through time experienced at the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel, takes the visitor back to the 1940s, a stormy decade around the world, and a turning point in the history of the Jewish people.
The virtual tour in the bunker-like museum allows visitors to see history through the eyes of those who were instrumental in creating the State of Israel. Palmach, an abbreviation of Plugot Machatz 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. However, 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. However, 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 platform of the Palmach trains SEALS and brings over refugees from Europe, in defiance of the British Mandate.
The Partition Plan, however, was not accepted by the neighboring Arab countries, and in 1948, Arab armies attacked the newly created Jewish state. The 7000-member Palmach lost 30% of its men and women fighting for the new state.
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