Did members of the British Army’s ‘Jewish Brigade’ go on to become terrorists?

Jewish Brigade 'terrorists'

Jewish Brigade ‘terrorists’ (image stolen from http://www.israelnationalnews.com)

On 25 September the Imperial War Museum apologized for an exhibit that allegedly portrayed Jewish soldiers who fought the Nazis during World War Two as ‘terrorists’.

The exhibit featured a display on the Jewish Brigade of the British Army that was described as ‘terrorist activities‘.

According to www.israelnationalnews.com,

A poster of Jewish warriors was captioned: “Terrorist activities: Men of the First Battalion Jewish Brigade during a march past”; adding, “The Jewish Brigade was formed in September 1944 and fought in Italy under the British Eighth Army. Many of its members went on to join the Hagana and other illegal formations.”

The Hagana was the largest of several Jewish paramilitary groups which operated during the British occupation of Israel, known at the time as British Mandatory Palestine.

It took a less active role than more radical resistance groups such as the Irgun and Lehi in fighting the British occupation, focusing primarily on defending existing Jewish communities – though its more elite strike-force, the Palmach, did at times carry out offensive operations against Arab militias and British occupation forces. As the precursor to the IDF it played a central role in fending off the combined Arab invasion during the War of Independence.

I have reproduced the offensive picture above.  The poster was captioned:

‘Terrorist activities: Men of the First Battalion Jewish Brigade during a march past’; adding, ‘The Jewish Brigade was formed in September 1944 and fought in Italy under the British Eighth Army. Many of its members went on to join the Hagana and other illegal formations.

The Hagana’s elite strike-force, the Palmach, did at times carry out offensive operations against Arab militias and British occupation forces. As the precursor to the IDF it played a central role in fending off the combined Arab invasion during the War of Independence.  In other words, the Palmach (and, by association, the Hagana) was a terrorist organization, as were the Irgun and Lehi.  I fail to understand what the problem is in saying this: apart from that dead horse ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.’  Yawn, pass me a comfy duvet.

As “Emmanuel Goldstein” has written:

Without Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorists’ King David Hotel bombing, the Officer’s Club Bombing, the “Night of the Beatings”, the Acre Prison Break, the Sergeant’s Affair, and the many other attacks on the British military, the Union Jack would still be flying over the Holy Land today.

A case can even be made that Begin’s terrorists were responsible for hastening the end of the British Empire. When in India, Malaya, Burma, Ceylon, Cyprus, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Jamaica, etc they saw how a few Jews in Palestine had forced the withdrawl of the British, they were emboldened to follow likewise.

Bearing mind all the current talk about apologizing for slavery and even paying reparations [link][another link], wouldn’t now be a good time for Israel to say sorry about their terrorist atrocities (King David Hotel, Officer’s Club Bombing, Night of Beatings’, etc etc ad nauseum)?  Let’s not forget that Irgun, after some extremely deadly teething troubles, integrated into the Israeli Defence Force we all know and love; and that in 1980 the Israeli state instituted the ‘Lehi Ribbon‘, basically a medal for Lehi terrorists, making Lehi respectable and a source of pride.  The latter part of the Wikipedia article about the Lehi group enumerates some of its acts of terror and violence, and there is a whole article about attacks and atrocities by Irgun.  Will the Israeli state make an apology, even a mealy-mouthed conditional ‘sorry’?  I doubt it.

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