Welcome to the Ayalon Museum – where underground Zionist militias started preparing the Palestinian Nakba years before 1948

An Israeli museum proudly tells the story of how Jewish militias were preparing for their “war of independance” to expel Palestinians long before 1947/48. The Jewish National Fund (KKL in Israel) today conducts regular day-long educational tours for groups of (mostly American Jewish) tourists visiting Israel. The Ayalon Institute – an underground munitions factory for Zionist militias – was one stop on the tour I took. Read more….

Our guide led our small group down a narrow spiral staircase under a modest looking building in what was once a “kibbutz” in the northern Negev desert in Israel. In the cramped basement quarters, I saw a model of men and women preparing guns and ammunition in preparation for a coming war. This is the Ayalon Institute, today an Israeli museum, which I visited on a day long tour of the Negev organized by The Jewish National Fund known in Israel as the KKL.

Hidden beneath what appeared to be just the Kibbutz laundry – a munitions factory

Beginning in 1932, this building was ostensibly the bakery for a kibbutz. But under each of the rooms there lay a trap door; one beneath the bakery’s 10-ton oven and the other under the drum of the deceptively lightweight washer.

By moving the fake washer, entrance was gained to the underground weapons factory.

A young Israeli guide explained to our group that as early as 1932, Zionist pioneers worked clandestinely under the eyes of the British, to produce the bullets they planned to use in the coming military struggle to take over Palestine and create a Jewish State.

Read more and see more pics at Ayalon Institute website.

Models demonstrate how the underground bullet factory worked

The Zionists were preparing for what they would call Israel’s “War of Independence”. The Palestinians would call it the “Nakba”.

NOTE: My tour took place before current COVID restrictions on travel to Israel were applied. A description of the entire JNF organized tour can be found at “One Day Tour of the Northern Negev” and will probably be eventually reinstated. During the whole day, we didn’t see any Palestinians or any Bedouins. In fact, they were hardly even mentioned. Remarkable.

Of the 7 participants on my tour, only two of us were not Jewish. But in principle the tour is open to anybody interested. At $50 US, including lunch, the JNF tours are cheap and interesting for anyone interested in Zionist history and Zionist thinking.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org

If you find this article valuable please feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested


  1. Thank you for posting an opinion “to expel Palestinians (you must have meant Arabs as all residents were referred to as Palestinians at the time) long before 1947/48” without knowledge of the facts. The Arab riots of 1920, 21, 29, and 36-39 proved the Arabs would never peacefully accept Jews with political power. The Jewish Agency wisely decided to manufacture arms based on the genocidal threats emanating from the Arab League who sponsored the 5000 man Arab volunteer Army that invaded the region prior to the Brits departure.

    1. Thank you Mr. Sigman, for an interesting comment. I’m afraid you are in error – accidentally, or intentionally, I don’t know – on several points.
      1. Of course there were Palestinians of many different religions. Palestinian Muslims, Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Jews. The Zionists of course were interested in expelling the Christians and Muslims, not the Jews, even though few of them were Zionists.
      2. You are right that Palestinians were going to resist the takeover of their country by immigrant Europeans of whatever faith. Ben gurion and Jabotinski recognized this quite openly. Who wouldn’t? If Russians or Chinese started to take over part of the USA, I think you would do the same.
      3. No Arab volunteers entered Palestine until well after Zionist militias had started expelling Palestinians. In fact there is a museum in Jaffa, called “The Etzel” museum which explains clearly that the Zionist offensive began the day after that UN vote. You can visit it if you want. I did.

      1. Peter, very nice response to some one defending the acts of what were known as of the day, terrorist actions by the British authority.

      2. While Zionists were interested in having a homogenous state, they had no plans to accomplish that. While the Palestinian Civil War was raging, and the Arab invasion was near, the Jewish Agency decided that they must empty the front-line Arab villages as Khalidi indicated, they would all assist the invading Arab forces.

        The Arabs of BMP did not resist, they were bent on genocide. If the Chinese represented 1/3 of the US population, and poorly organized white supremacists started a genocidal campaign against them, and there was an eminent invasion coming from Canada and Mexico to rid the US of the Chinese, the exact same result likely would have occurred.

        The “Zionist” offensive did not start until March of 1948. The ALA started their “invasion” in early January 1948.

      3. Hello Mr. Sigman,
        Thanks again. You really should visit the “Etzl Museum” in Jaffa next time you are in Israel. Zionists have also given it the unofficial title of “The museum of the liberation of Jaffa”. That is written on the plaque outside the museum

        The series of educational panels inside the museum contradict your statement that “The “Zionist” offensive did not start until March of 1948.”

        Under the UN partition plan Jaffa, a coastal city and the largest Palestinian city, was to be part of the new ARAB state, not the JEWISH state. Nonetheless, on November 29, 1947, the Zionist forces began attacking Palestinians and driving them out. The Zionist militia leader was Menachem Begin, who later became PM of Israel. Tens of thousands were expelled.

Comments are closed.