|Jewish immigrant in 1880s-1900s farming in Palestine|
In 1920, we were finally making progress in taking steps to return to the land of our fathers in Palestine through the Europeans who were fighting WWI against the Ottoman Empire of which Palestine was part. In 1918, the end of the war, the British were given a 30 year mandate to rule the land and then turn it over to the Jews. It didn't always go that way. On their own, the British decided to give 80% of the land to Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia so that he could be a king. The Jews living in Palestine were being thwarted in not receiving the backing from the Brits they had promised to give.
The Jews formed a clandestine organization for Jewish self-defense in Palestine called HAGANAH (Defense), in Hebrew. They had replaced Ha-Shomer in 1920 and lasted until 1948. It's members were then transferred to TZEVA HAGANAH LE-ISRAEL. Finally, after Israel was born on May 14, 1948, they finally turned into the Israel Defense Force (IDF).
|1920 map shows the land mandated for Palestine|
amounted to 46,512.1826 Sq miles or 120.466 Sq. Km.
Israel finally got 8,000 Sq miles .Britain gave 80% to Abdullah to make Jordan..
Israel had long land frontiers that made her particularly vulnerable to assault-either by direct attack or by infiltration. Sabotage and murder originating mainly from the Gaza Strip and from the TransJordan area were a constant nuisance, and didn't stop despite Israel reprisal raids. Against direct attack, immense efforts were made to build up and equip the armed forces of TZEVA HAGANAH LE-ISRAEL.
Much effort was put into strengthening the Haganah following the 1929 Arab riots that were so bad in Jerusalem. The rioting resulted in a British policy of appeasement of the Arabs! In 1931, the Haganah split and the minority, the right-wing groups, formed a separate organization, reuniting with the Haganah in 1936 with some elements remaining outside the group. They were the ones who formed the nucleus of the IRGUN TZEVAI LEUMI, known as (ETZEL).
They also organized illegal immigrations to Palestine of Jews, for the Brits were allowing Arabs in while keeping Jews out, and their mandate was to help create a Jewish Homeland, not an Arab one.
In 1941, military commando units called the PALMAH were set up, at first in collaboration with the British, but with the object of obtaining their withdrawal of the 1939 WHITE PAPER (see explanation end of article) that was putting an end to Jewish immigration!
By June 1946 after the war, the British administration undertook an extensive counter-operation which did not bring success to their objectives. At this time, the Haganah didn't struggle against the British. From the end of 1947, the Haganah concentrated on defense against the mounting Arab attacks.
Though other underground groups had been formed out of the Haganah, such as IRGUN TZEVAI LEUMI AND LOHAME HERUT ISRAEL, their relations with Haganah were strained at best. However, they did cooperate from 1945-1946 and from 1947 to 1948.
Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
|Menahem Begin (1913-1992) Born in Poland,|
joined Betar as a teen, immigrated in 1942 with the Polish army and became commander of
IRGUN TZEVAI LEUMI.
1977 6th Prime Minister of Israel
In 1944, IRGUN renewed their anti-British activities because of the continuing ban on Jewish immigration, so they organized "illegal immigration" from Europe where they so badly needed to escape from certain death. The cold-hearted British arrested and exiled many of their members in response, determined not to let anymore Jews in the "Jewish Homeland!" By 1946 Irgun numbered membership at 3,000 to 5,000. After November 1947, the Irgun carried out a number of attacks on Arab villages that were attacking Jews. They also announced their entry into the Haganah when statehood was proclaimed. By September1948, their military framework was completely dismantled, first continuing with a lot of tension with the new government. Irgun turned politically to the Herut party.
|Yitzhak Shamir b: 1915|
Mossad (Israeli Secret Service) 1955-1965
1973-Herut Party in Knesset
1983 Prime Minister after Begin
Another fighting group besides Irgun was LOHAME HERUT YISRAEL (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) also known as LEHI and known by their opponents as THE STERN GANG.
|Avraham Stern, called Yair, 1907-1942, Leader of Irgun,|
and formed Lehi. (Stern Group)
killed by British police at age 35 while being arrested.
|Stanley Goldfoot with wife and 2 daughters in Tel Aviv|
b: May 2, 1914 South Africa d: November 24, 2006 Jerusalem, Israel
A year later, the PALMACH (Strike Forces) split from Haganah on May 15, 1941. They were active from 1941 to 1948. It was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. Its aim was to defend the Palestinian Jewish community against two potential threats. First, the occupation of Palestine by the Axis in the event of their victory over the British in North Africa. Second, , if the British army were to retreat from Palestine, Jewish settlements might come under attack from the Arab population.
"Week of July 1, 1946 in Time Magazine
TIME's London bureau reports that "Britain is on the verge of an Anglo-Jewish war in Palestine." Angered by Britain's refusal to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine, the Zionist underground Haganah army blew up several bridges into Syria and Trans-Jordan, warning the British that it was prepared to fight if necessary.
By the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War it consisted of over 2,000 men and women in 3 fighting brigades and auxiliary aerial, naval and intelligence units. With the creation of Israel's army, the 3 Palmach Brigades were disbanded. This and political reasons compelled many of the senior Palmach officers to resign in 1950. Its members formed the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces high command for many years, and were prominent in Israeli politics, literature and culture.
I believe it was the 1960 movie, Exodus, that centered on an illegal ship with Paul Newman in the main role. They also had scenes of being taken into Lehi with Sal Mineo. "The film is based on events surrounding the ship Exodus in Cyprus in 1947 and then on events in Palestine during the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, the film was based on the 1958 novel, Exodus by Leon Uris. Nurse Katherine "Kitty" Fremont (Eva Marie Saint) is an American volunteer at the Karaolos internment camp on Cyprus, where thousands of Jews -Holocaust survivors - are being held by the British, who will not let them go to Palestine. They anxiously wait for the day they will be liberated. Ari Ben Canaan (Paul Newman), a Haganah rebel who had been a captain in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army in the Second World War, obtains a cargo ship and smuggles 611 Jewish inmates out of the camp for an illegal voyage to Mandate Palestine before being discovered by military authorities.
When the British find out that the refugees are in a ship in the harbor of Famagusta, they blockade it. The refugees stage a hunger strike, during which the camp's doctor dies, and Ari threatens to blow up the ship and the refugees. The British relent and allow the Exodus safe passage. If you can't find the film, at least read the book. I don't think the Brits were ever that nice in real life.
WHITE PAPER OF 1939: "Statement of Palestine policy submitted by the British colonial secretary Malcolm MacDonald after the failure of conversations by the British with Jewish and Arab delegations. Declared the British intention of setting up after 10 years an independent Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would participate in the government proportionately to their numbers. 75,000 Jeews would be allowed to enter over 5 years to 1944 after which Jewish immigration would be dependent on Arab agreement. Land sales to Jews would be restricted or forbidden in the majority of the country. The document aroused the fierce opposition of the Zionist movement but guided British policy in ensuing years." It must be remembered that this was a radical turn-around in what was decided upon in 1918 when the British accepted the Mandate from the League of Nations where all countries decided that Jews should have their Jewish Homeland out of Palestine.
Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Genesis 1948-the First Arab-Israeli War, by Dan Kurzman-1970, 750 pages*****