Tuesday, May 09, 2006

They Translated Me

My letter that was published in last Friday's magazine supplement of Ha'Aretz and which I posted here in the original Hebrew was translated in English and published in their English edition here.

In wake of Minister Livni's confused and inaccurate comments implying that there is a philosophical distinction between civilian targets and military targets, and between "freedom fighters" and terrorists (a distinction that does not exist at all in the minds of the terrorist groups), Tom Segev comes and once again raises the claim that there is no difference between the armed struggle of the Irgun (pre-state underground) soldiers and that of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. However, the Irgun fought two wars.

During the Irgun revolt that was declared in 1944 for the purpose of obtaining national liberation from British rule, there was no combat against civilian targets. This doesn't mean that no civilians were injured, but in the hundreds of operations that were carried out, there was no deliberate intention to harm a British civilian. Moreover, steps were taken to prevent such casualties, including the cancelation of operations, the posting of warning signs and more. Nor was the bombing of the British embassy in Rome an operation aimed at "a civilian target," as Segev wishes to designate it. It was from this building that the movement of Jews who wished to return to their homeland in accordance with international law (which the British ignored) was monitored. The explosion was planned to go off late at night, so as to avoid hurting passersby.

The second war waged by Irgun personnel, against local Arabs, was indeed different. This was an intra-communal war and was waged entirely, from both sides, solely against and among civilians. The Irgun had no choice but to fight back against an enemy who chose first, starting from the 1920 Passover riots in Jerusalem, to try to physically wipe out the Jews in their land.

Yisrael Meidad [sp! Medad]

In any case, thanks to the Ha'Aretz editorial decision to do me and the public a great favor!

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