Monday, February 04, 2008

Irgun and Lechi More Than Justified

Rafael Medoff of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies sent me this news alert (what I call a press release):


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The government of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1944 secretly proposed creating a “Greater Syria” that would have shut Holocaust escapees out of Palestine and thwarted creation of a Jewish state, according to an Israeli scholar, citing newly-released French government documents.

“This raises important questions about Winston Churchill’s attitudes toward Jewish refugees and Zionism,” said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. “Further research will hopefully shed more light on whether the gap between Churchill’s rhetoric and his actions was in fact greater than previously realized, as these documents suggest.”

...Prof. Zamir’s findings about the Churchill government’s “Greater Syria” plan run counter to two recent books, Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert, and Churchill’s Promised Land, by Michael Makovsky, which portray Churchill as sympathetic and helpful to the Zionist cause and to Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust.

Writing in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz (Feb. 1, 2008), Prof. Zamir reported that in a previously-unknown British proposal to Syria’s leaders in August 1944, and in a secret British-Syrian agreement signed in June 1945, the Churchill government “assured Syria that it would limit Jewish immigration and thwart the emergence of an independent Jewish state in Palestine.”

For the full text of Prof. Zamir’s essay, please go here

Well, I also have thoughts on the matter:

a. if Ben-Gurion was almost a prophet (see Zamir's piece), what are we to do with Begin who declared a revolt in February 1944 or Yair, June 1940?

b. if Britain began its treason against the Yishuv in August 1944, then the claim that it was the Moyne assassination in Cairo that forced Churchill to abandon the partition idea and reject Zionism for a while is a non-starter for that shooting occured in November 1944.

c. so the Irgun and Lechi not only kicked the British out of Palestine but Syria and Lebanon as well.

It's a shame Zamir didn't go beyond the parameters of Ben-Gurion in his piece.

Further independent research is required.


The real point is that while Begin, et al. set out to remove the British regime, none of the "small issues" really made a difference - Britain was in the wrong in the most fundamental way and eventually, this recent material came out. BG & Weizmann's pro-British policies were what endangered the Yishuv more than just trying to be nice.

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