Dunkelman joined the Machal (foreign fighters for Israel) in 1948 at the onset of the First Arab-Israeli War and was active in helping the fledgling Israeli Army break out of Jerusalem and find a road to Tel Aviv. The Burma Road—named after a Second World War Burma supply route—was a makeshift route from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv. Israeli soldiers, including Dunkelman, drove a convoy at night along a little-used route to reconnect the two cities. Later in the war, commanding the 7th Brigade, he captured Nazareth and northern Galilee. After Dunkelman had left the Israel Defense Forces in 1949 to seek work as a businessman, he kept in contact with the armed forces of Israel through such organizations as the Jewish War Veterans of Canada, the 7th Brigade Veterans Fund, American Veterans of Israel, the Association of Jewish War Veterans, and the Mahal Association.
Scope and Content
Series consists of reports, clippings, correspondence, photographs, and maps and documents recording Ben Dunkelman's involvement in the First Arab-Israeli War. The series branches into the following topics in this order: Machal; the 7th Brigade; Operation Hiram; Operation Dekel; the Burma Road; the Israel Defence Forces; a Profile of Ben Dunkelman; and Arab-Israeli War veterans.
Israel-Arab War, 1948-1949
Some records are fragile.
See fonds 2, series 6 for more information on the war. Dunkelman wrote an autobiography, Dual Allegiance, based on his experiences in the First Arab-Israeli War and the Second World War.