web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



1,000 Jews Vs. The British Empire: The Story Of Lehi: An Interview with Historian Zev Golan

Historian Zev Golan

Historian Zev Golan

The Irgun is famous; Lehi – the other Jewish underground that fought the British in the 1940s – less so. With only 1,000 fighters, as opposed to the Irgun’s 5,000, Lehi is sometimes thought of as the Irgun’s “kid brother.”

Yet Lehi possesses a history of its own. Founded in 1940 by Abraham Stern, Lehi devoted itself to an uncompromising war against Great Britain. Unlike the Irgun, Lehi fought the British throughout World War II, and while the Irgun generally gave the British time to evacuate buildings before it blew them up, Lehi did not.

Lehi’s goals were no less radical than its deeds. In its 18 “Principles of Rebirth,” Lehi called for conquering all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (the Irgun “only” called for conquering both banks of the Jordan), as well as rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash.

A new book by Zev Golan, Stern: The Man and his Gang (Yair Publishing), relates the history and ideology of this unusual group while also profiling some of its more famous members. Golan has authored five previous books and, from 1992-2003, directed the Israel office of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.

The Jewish Press: For those unfamiliar with Lehi’s activities, can you recount some of the group’s more famous exploits?

Golan: Perhaps their most famous exploit, if you can call it that, is the assassination of Lord Moyne in Egypt. Lord Moyne was the highest British politician in the Middle East, and it was his decision not to save the Jews of Hungary. He said to the messenger who came to him with plans to save them, “What would I do with a million Jews? Where would I put them?”

Lehi didn’t know about that at the time – it was only revealed 15 years later – but Lehi did know that Lord Moyne was the highest British politician in the Middle East and responsible, therefore, for closing the gates of the homeland to Jews trying to get in [during the Holocaust]. So they assassinated him.

Another thing Lehi is famous for is its conduct in British courtrooms. Lehi’s fighters were the first to turn these courtrooms into a battlefield. Starting in 1944, when they were put on trial, they refused to recognize the court’s authority. Instead of claiming they were innocent, they said, “Yes, we carried arms, and we’re going to fight you and throw you out of the country.”

This changed the attitude of a lot of people in Eretz Yisrael in the 1940s from the idea that “We have to bow down to a foreign power” to “What are they doing in our country? We’re the descendants of King David; this was his country, and we have a right to be here – not them.”

What about Lehi’s assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte in September 1948?

That is perhaps Lehi’s second most famous action. It also was its last.

Bernadotte had been appointed by the UN to negotiate peace in Eretz Yisrael, and he decided to come with his own plan that he would force upon the parties. His plan took not only Yerushalayim but also large portions of the country that the UN had originally designated to be part of Israel, and gave them to the Arabs. He even wanted to ensure that no Jew of military age would enter the country, and intended to station agents at airports and seaports around the world for that purpose.

Lehi held a rally at which they said, “Leave the country, you’re not wanted here.” Bernadotte didn’t listen, so a group of Lehi members assassinated him. That ended the Bernadotte plan, but it also ended Lehi because Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used the attack as an excuse to arrest most of its members.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “1,000 Jews Vs. The British Empire: The Story Of Lehi: An Interview with Historian Zev Golan”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Ab-Jamal.
Convicted Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is College Commencement Speaker
Latest Indepth Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

obama

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Senior Hamas and Fatah leaders in Gaza City on April 22. Hamas and Fatah signed a deal to establish a unity government, but since then little progress has been made.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Ben Cohen

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/1000-jews-vs-the-british-empire-the-story-of-lehi-an-interview-with-historian-zev-golan/2011/11/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: