Israel: A history of terrorism

Some of the members of Irgun declared a truce with England in order to help them fight the Nazis, but others continued performing terrorist acts against the British.  By February of 1944, Menachim Begin (eventually a Prime Minister of Israel) revoked the truce:

In February of 1944, under the new leadership of Menachem Begin, Irgun resumed hostilities against the British authorities. The purpose of these attacks was to increase the cost of British mandatory rule and influence British public opinion so as to encourage British withdrawal. It included attacks on prominent symbols of the British administration, including the British military, police, and civil headquarters at the King David Hotel and the British prison in Acre. Although these attacks were largely successful, several Irgun operatives were captured, convicted, and hanged. Refusing to accept the jurisdiction of the British courts, those accused refused to defend themselves. The Irgun leadership ultimately responded to these executions by hanging two British sergeants, which effectively brought the executions to an end. (Emphasis added)

So two future Prime Ministers of Israel authorized the kidnapping and execution of British soldiers.  That fact seems relevant to today.

From Wikipedia’s King David Hotel bombing

King David Hotel bombing (July 22, 1946) was a bombing attack against the British government of Palestine by members of Irgun –a militant Zionist group. The Irgun exploded a bomb at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which had been the base for the British Secretariat, the military command and a branch of the Criminal Investigation Division (police). 91 people were killed, most of them civilians: 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish, and 5 other. Around 45 people were injured.
The attack was initially ordered by David Ben Gurion, who was in the United States. Both Ben Gurion and Menachem Begin, head of the Irgun, would later become Israeli Prime Ministers. The attack was commanded by Yosef Avni and Yisrael Levi.

The attack on the hotel was the largest attack against the British in the history of the Mandate. Some claim this act should be considered in light of the escalating violence in the region and the conflict between the three main forces in the region: British, Jewish and Arab. In particular, the attack was made in retaliation for the British mass arrests Operation Agatha of June 29 1946, when British troops raided the Jewish Agency and confiscated large quantities of documents, such as information about Jewish Agency operations, including intelligence activities in Arab countries. At about the same time, more than 2,500 Jews from all over Palestine were placed under arrest. A large number of seized documents were taken to the hotel. However, the bomb attack had already been planned.

The British began to give up.  The Irgun then took things a step further:

Deir Yassin, also Dayr Yasin, was an Arab village that was captured by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. It is most known for the massacre that took place there, as a result of which the village was de-populated.

I guess ‘de-populated’ is Hebrew for Genocide.

After that, Irgun changed it’s name to the IDF but didn’t change it’s policies.  If anything, they became even more brutal towards the Arabs.  But that is another diary entry.

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