|Purpose and Rationale of the World Machal Website|
From the perspective of Jewish history, there can be no doubt that the Declaration of the State of Israel and the War of Independence (1948-49) were the absolute pinnacles of 2,000 years of Jewish history. The War of Independence, in which Israel was attacked by six invading Arab Armies, was undoubtedly Israel’s most fateful war, as Israel’s very survival was at stake”. MACHAL 1947-49 The word “MACHAL” is an acronym for the Hebrew words “Mitnadvei Chutz L’Aretz”, meaning “Volunteers from Abroad”, and the word “MACHALNIKS” means the members of Machal. Approximately 4,700 Machalniks from 56 countries – men and women, Jews and non-Jews, volunteered to help Israel in its “War of Survival”. As most of the Machalniks were World War II veterans, their experience and expertise were invaluable to the Israel Defense Forces. They served in 14 branches of the IDF – Air Force, Navy, Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Intelligence, Medical Corps, Engineers, Anti-Tank, Radar, Communications. The Machalniks played a pivotal role not only in winning the war, but also in establishing the foundations on which the IDF was founded. 123 Machalniks, 119 men and 4 women, lost their lives in the War of Independence.
The World Machal Website is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of MACHAL for future generations
The World Machal Website also incorporates the following:
These volunteers came to serve and help the State of Israel at the time of the Sinai Campaign in 1956, and continued to come in waves until 1965.
For the past 10 years or so young Jews from the Diaspora, aged 18-23 years, and numbering 150-200 per year, volunteer to serve in the IDF for periods of 14.5 to 18 months, confirming that the spirit of volunteering by Jews from abroad for service in the defense of the State of Israel continues to this very day.