Jewish terrorists

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Dec 19 07:58:09 MST 2001

Village Voice, Week of December 19 - 25, 2001

>From the Irv Rubin Bust to the Stern Gang: The Rich Recent History of
Jewish Terrorism
Oy, McVey
by Jason Vest

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a moment when the popular mind-set once again links the
words "Arab" and "Islamic" with all things retrograde and
threatening—including terrorism (cue the new Charlie Daniels anthem and
revel in the poetry: "This ain't no rag, it's a flag/And we don't wear it
on our heads. . . . /We're gonna hunt you down like a mad dog hound")—it
came as a surprise to some that the latest malefactors accorded POW status
in the "War on Terrorism" turned out to be Jewish.
Arrested and charged last week with intriguing to do explosive little
actions on a Culver City, California, mosque and the offices of Lebanese
American U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, Jewish Defense League chief
Irving David. 


But what's even more vexing to others is the apparent inability or
unwillingness to discern similarities between the current Palestinian
milieu and Israeli operations of 50-plus years ago, which secured statehood
from colonialist occupiers—as well as similarities between violent,
internecine struggles among disparate underground groups. "It's peculiar,
it's paradoxical, that Sharon and Likud should be the ones who are trying
to equate any authentic resistance in Palestine with some of the terrorist
activities, as terrorism in Israel really started with Begin and Shamir and
later Sharon," says Clovis Maksoud, the former Arab League ambassador to
the United Nations. "It's a very valid question as to why they see no
similarities between themselves under the British and the Palestinians
under their occupation." Especially, he adds, as the Israeli government
supports museums that honor assassins and terrorists—including one located
on a street named for a terrorist. 

The thoroughfare in question runs between Florentine and Emeq-Yisrael, and
bears the name Stern Street—in honor of Avraham Stern, a 1920s Zionist and
charter member of the Haganah, then a loose-knit Jewish militia organized
as a self-defense mechanism against Arab violence. Finding the Haganah
insufficiently proactive in realizing the goal of a Jewish state that would
encompass "both sides of the River Jordan," erstwhile Mussolini follower
and early-day ultra-nationalist Ze'ev Jabotinsky broke with the militia and
formed the Irgun, which devoted itself to terrorist operations against the
British. Once an enthusiastic Irgunist, Stern was appalled when the Irgun
decided to make common cause with the British against the Nazis, and
created the even more underground and more violent Lehi (Lohamei Herut
Yisrael, or Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), also known as the Stern
Gang, which held there was no greater threat to the Jews of Palestine than
the mandate's British administrators. 

To this end, Stern actually made overtures to the Axis powers; September
1940 found him in dialogue with an emissary from Il Duce in Jerusalem, and
in January 1941 he dispatched an agent to Vichy-controlled Beirut with
instructions to convey a letter to representatives of the Reich. In it,
Stern held that the "establishment of the historical Jewish state on a
national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German
Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future
German position of power in the Near East. Proceeding from these
considerations, [the Lehi] in Palestine, under the condition [that] the
above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are
recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in
the war on Germany's side." 


Louis Proyect
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