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Underground Zionist Military Movements Essay

1159 words - 5 pages

Abigail Adler
Ilan Bloch
Final Assessment task (Choice 6)
The Haganah, the Irgun, and the Lehi were different Zionist military underground movements that were active during the duration of the British mandate. Their goal was to establish an independent Jewish state in Palestine. These movements fought hard and used particular strategies in order to reach their goal. However, many of the strategies they used to deal with the British and the Arabs during the period of the mandate are frowned upon by some and even viewed as acts of terror. In my opinion, the movements were definitely effective in attaining their goal of establishing an independent Jewish state as Israel currently exists; the methods the movements used to reach their goal can be viewed as immoral at first, but some of the movements' actions were justified whereas others were not.
The Haganah was created to protect Palestinian Jews from local Arab gangs since the British did not seem to be making any effort in order to protect the Jews. Another purpose of the Haganah was to warn the occupants of and beat back onslaughts by the Arabs. At first, the Haganah missed a powerful main authority as they were very decentralized and lacked the weapons that were necessary. After 1929,the Haganah's duty transformed impressively. It became a much bigger system that included almost all of the people in the Jewish communities, and many members from the cities. The Haganah was also able to get foreign weaponry and started to create workplaces to make bombs and uncomplicated military equipment, changing from an primitive military unit to a competent underground army. At first, the leaders of the movement decided to have a policy of “havgalah”- the fighters were told to just defend communities and not perform counterattacks against the Arab gangs or Arab communities. However, many fighters opposed to this policy and broke off into the Irgun, which was more militant.
Those who stayed in the Haganah worked to protect British interests and suppress Arab riots until 1939- the year the British issued the White Paper. The White Paper seriously restricted Jewish immigration, and this was the turning point for the Hagana. They were very angry and carried out several furious attacks in Palestine, such as the bombing of the land's railroad system, destruction raids on radar installments and British police bases. In addition, the Haganah carried out illegal immigrations of Jews. I think the actions of the Haganah were justified because they were assisting the British, yet the British did not care to assist them. At one point, Haganah even turned against members of the Irgun and helped the British interrogate and even deport some members, yet the British still did not care to help them out. Hence, I believe that though some actions that the Haganah carried out were immoral, they were definitely justified.
The actions of the Irgun, however, were very immoral and not justified in my eyes. Since the...

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