Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947
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A landmark history, based on newly available documents, of the battles between Jews, Arabs, and the British that led to the creation of Israel
Anonymous Soldiers brilliantly re-creates the crucial period in the establishment of Israel, chronicling the three decades of growing anticolonial unrest that culminated in the end of British rule and the UN resolution to create two separate states. This groundbreaking book tells in riveting, previously unknown detail the story of how Britain, in the twilight of empire, struggled and ultimately failed to reconcile competing Arab and Jewish demands and uprisings. Bruce Hoffman, America’s leading expert on terrorism, shines new light on the bombing of the King David Hotel, the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo, the leadership of Menachem Begin, the life and death of Abraham Stern, and much else. Above all, Hoffman shows exactly how the underdog “anonymous soldiers” of Irgun and Lehi defeated the British and set in motion the chain of events that resulted in the creation of the formidable nation-state of Israel.
This is a towering accomplishment of research and narrative, and a book that is essential to anyone wishing to understand not just the origins of modern-day Israel or the current situation in the Middle East, but also the methodology of terrorism. Drawing on previously untapped archival resources in London, Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem, Bruce Hoffman has written one of the most detailed and sustained accounts of a terrorist and counterterrorist campaign that may ever have been seen, and in doing so has cast light on one of the most decisive world events in recent history. This will be the definitive account of the struggle for Israel for years to come.
declared, “it will have to use constant and brutal force to do so.”20 That same day, Gort left Palestine for the second time in a month. A persistent illness described to the press as a “feverish chill” had left him bedridden during his home visit earlier in June, but X-rays and a complete physical examination had found nothing wrong. The high commissioner had accordingly returned to Palestine. But he continued to feel unwell and decided to go back to London for more tests. Doctors again could
so prevalent by September that Cunningham was forced to defend himself and his administration against accusations emanating from Whitehall as well as Palestine. He assured Hall that military action was never undertaken for punitive reasons, was always based on solid intelligence, and was specifically designed to impact the community as little as possible. The high commissioner flatly denied that the army had taken over.19 The Yishuv saw things differently, as the meeting of Weizmann and other
Palestine, they argued, was unique so far as policing was concerned. The military had already assumed the dominant role in maintaining security, and as long as the new man’s deputy was a long-serving PPF senior officer, a soldier was thought to be the better fit given the need for close coordination and cooperation between the army and the police. Moreover, several recent commissioners of Scotland Yard had proven successful despite having no previous experience in law enforcement. Accordingly,
of Jewish terrorists to indefinite detention in Eritrea. The response at that time had been a sharp rebuke from his superior, Assistant Undersecretary Sir John Martin, but by the spring of 1947 such misgivings were no longer confined to idealistic junior officers. “Quite frankly, I share Mr. Trafford Smith’s dislike of the High Commissioner’s proposal” to sequester Jewish funds, Sir Thomas Lloyd, the permanent undersecretary, wrote in a minute intended for Creech Jones’s attention.40 Yet three
Poland, 6.1, 7.1, 12.1 Police Mobile Force (PMF), 8.1, 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 18.1, 18.2, epl.1 creation of disbanding of, 16.1, 18.1 Wickham’s criticism of Polish currency crisis (1925) Poppendorf Porath, Yehoshua, 1.1, 2.1 Posner, Shlomo Potsdam Conference (1945) Privy Council, 16.1, 17.1 Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), prf.1, prf.2, epl.1 Public Information Office Qalqilya Qatra Q Patrols Radio Security Service Rahman, Abdur Ramat Gan, 4.1, 6.1, 15.1, 16.1, 17.1, 18.1,