Tuesday, July 25, 2006

One Man's Terrorist ...

While I am a supporter of Israel, I try not to forget the bad, while appreciating the good. No Briton should forget the cruel fate of Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice, abducted and hanged in the then Palestine by terrorists led by Menachim Begin.

This makes the PR of the Orange Order look slick and sophisticated.

"As Israel wages war against Hezbollah “terrorists” in Lebanon, Britain has protested about the celebration by right-wing Israelis of a Jewish “act of terrorism” against British rule 60 years ago this week.

The rightwingers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister, are commemorating the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of British rule, that killed 92 people and helped to drive the British from Palestine.

They have erected a plaque outside the restored building, and are holding a two-day seminar with speeches and a tour of the hotel by one of the Jewish resistance fighters involved in the attack.

Simon McDonald, the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv, and John Jenkins, the Consul-General in Jerusalem, have written to the municipality, stating: “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”

In particular they demanded the removal of the plaque that pays tribute to the Irgun, the Jewish resistance branch headed by Menachem Begin, the future Prime Minister, which carried out the attack on July 22, 1946.

The plaque presents as fact the Irgun’s claim that people died because the British ignored warning calls. “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it states.

Mr McDonald and Dr Jenkins denied that the British had been warned, adding that even if they had “this does not absolve those who planted the bomb from responsibility for the deaths”. On Monday city officials agreed to remove the language deemed offensive from the blue sign hanging on the hotel’s gates, though that had not been done shortly before it was unveiled last night. "

Words fail me. Netanyahu ought to be ashamed of himself.

(via Pub Philosopher)


Anonymous said...

No matter how hurtful this might be to relatives of the British dead and the UK as a whole, we must remember that we were imposing foreign rule on another land. It would be like the Germans complaining about the French comemorating their resistance fighters or Free French soldiers (Charles de Gaulle, for instance!).

Anonymous said...

Er, Sam, Britain was there under a League of Nations Mandate. There was no "Israel" from which the Brits were expelled. If it was anything at all, it was Ottoman, before the damn thing folded!

Anonymous said...

The Mandate was another way of saying "occupied territory". The British ruled in all but name.

Anonymous said...

Yes - but it still wasn't Israeli territory.

You could just as easily argue that the Israelis are imposing foreign rule on Palestine. If it was OK for the Israelis to plant bombs and kidnap and kill people, then, following your argument, it is OK for the Palestinians to do the same.

Ross said...

Although neither side would ever admit it, the Irgun and the Stern Gang are an inspiration to Hezbollah and Hamas. Netanyahu comes across as a spitting image of George "I glorify Hezbollah" Galloway when he does this.

Anonymous said...

that we were imposing foreign rule on another land

Sounds like Hezbollah. Britain was exercising a Mandate of the League of Nations - exacvtly the same as if Peacekeepers were in a buffer zone in Lebanon.

It is clear that with this festival over the King David Hotel Massacre and the attack on UN Observers in Lebanon that NO outside force should provide a buffer zone and that Israel should call up more reservists to fight on.

Anonymous said...


Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and

Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval; and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and

Whereas by the afore-mentioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League Of Nations;

confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:

The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this mandate.
ART. 2.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.
ART. 3.

The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.
ART. 4.

An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the country.

The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the co-operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
ART. 5.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.
ART. 6.

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
ART. 7.

The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.
ART. 8.

The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine.

Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the afore-mentioned privileges and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have previously renounced the right to their re-establishment, or shall have agreed to their non-application for a specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the mandate, be immediately reestablished in their entirety or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.
ART. 9.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.

Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities and for their religious interests shall be fully guaranteed. In particular, the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.
ART. 10.

Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the Mandatory and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.
ART. 11.

The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted by the Mandatory, shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the public works, services and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.

The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits shall be utilised by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the Administration.
ART. 12.

The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.
ART. 13.

All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.
ART. 14.

A special commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.
ART. 15.

The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.

The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.
ART. 16.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.
ART. 17.

The Administration of Palestine may organist on a voluntary basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and order, and also for the defence of the country, subject, however, to the supervision of the Mandatory, but shall not use them for purposes other than those above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory. Except for such purposes, no military, naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained by the Administration of Palestine.

Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine from contributing to the cost of the maintenance of the forces of the Mandatory in Palestine.

The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed forces and the carriage of fuel and supplies.
ART. 18.

The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.

Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.
ART. 19.

The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration of Palestine to any general international conventions already existing, or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the traffic in arms and ammunition, or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation, aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.
ART. 20.

The Mandatory shall co-operate on behalf of the Administration of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions may permit, in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of Nations for preventing and combating disease, including diseases of plants and animals.
ART. 21.

The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of Antiquities based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment in the matter of excavations and archaeological research to the nationals of all States Members of the League of Nations.

(1) "Antiquity" means any construction or any product of human activity earlier than the year 1700 A. D.

(2) The law for the protection of antiquities shall proceed by encouragement rather than by threat.

Any person who, having discovered an antiquity without being furnished with the authorization referred to in paragraph 5, reports the same to an official of the competent Department, shall be rewarded according to the value of the discovery.

(3) No antiquity may be disposed of except to the competent Department, unless this Department renounces the acquisition of any such antiquity.

No antiquity may leave the country without an export licence from the said Department.

(4) Any person who maliciously or negligently destroys or damages an antiquity shall be liable to a penalty to be fixed.

(5) No clearing of ground or digging with the object of finding antiquities shall be permitted, under penalty of fine, except to persons authorised by the competent Department.

(6) Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or permanent, of lands which might be of historical or archaeological interest.

(7) Authorization to excavate shall only be granted to persons who show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience. The Administration of Palestine shall not, in granting these authorizations, act in such a way as to exclude scholars of any nation without good grounds.

(8) The proceeds of excavations may be divided between the excavator and the competent Department in a proportion fixed by that Department. If division seems impossible for scientific reasons, the excavator shall receive a fair indemnity in lieu of a part of the find.
ART. 22.

English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.
ART. 23.

The Administration of Palestine shall recognise the holy days of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days of rest for the members of such communities.
ART. 24.

The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.
ART. 25.

In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.
ART. 26.

The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another member of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
ART. 27.

The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.
ART. 28.

In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by Articles 13 and 14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants to pensions or gratuities.

The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives of the League of Nations and certified copies shall be forwarded by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to all members of the League.

Done at London the twenty-fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.

Anonymous said...


Sam Tarran sounds just like Hamas and Hezbollah which consider Israel to be buyilt on Occupied Territory

Murray said...

To put it bluntly, the King David Hotel was British Military Head Quarters and consequently a valid military target.

Arguably the British were in violation of the Geneva Convention by placing a military target amongst civilians.

Those that carried out the attack did so as part of a force that had no legal standing as a military organisation and would have been subject to sumuray execution if captured.

Much the same as the situation Israel faces in dealing with Hezbolah.

Having said that no one ever accused of Bebe of having either good manners or taste.

The best of that clan died at Entebbe.

Anonymous said...

To put it bluntly, the King David Hotel was British Military Head Quarters and consequently a valid military target.

Arguably the British were in violation of the Geneva Convention by placing a military target amongst civilians.

Total and absolute twaddle.

It was a League of Nations Mandate which was then assumed by the United Nations under UN General Assembly Resolution 181. (1947)

The King David Hotel was HQ for The Secretariat which included Military, CID, and administration

"On 22 July 22 1946, one of the most dastardly and cowardly crimes in recorded history took place. We refer to the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Ninety-two persons lost their lives in that stealthy attack, 45 were injured, among whom there were many high officials, junior officers and office personnel, both men and women. The King David Hotel was used as an office housing the Secretariat of the Palestine Government and British Army Headquarters. The attack was made on 22 July at about 12 o'clock noon when offices are usually in full swing. The attackers, disguised as Arabs, carried the explosives in milk containers, placed them in the basement of the Hotel and ran away.

Dressed as Arabs ? How intriguing.

The Jewish leadership publicly condemned these attacks. The Jewish agency expressed "their feelings of horror at the base and unparalleled act perpetrated today by a gang of criminals"

In July 2006, right-wing Israelis including Binyamin Netanyahu attended a 60th anniversary celebration of the bombing, which was organized by the Menachem Begin Centre. The British Ambassador in Tel Aviv and the Consul-General in Jerusalem complained, saying "We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.".

Anonymous said...

Some of you make it sound like I'm a terrorist myself! I was just saying I could see why the Jewish plotters did the act, and why I recognise their right to commemorate their resistance fighters.

dearieme said...

If Israel is "legitimate" because it was set up by UN resolution, it follows that the mandate government was equally legitimate, having been set up by the League of Nations. So the terrorists were illegitimate. And I suppose that they had earlier been, "objectively", allies of the Nazis, since they tied up British troops during WWII who would otherwise have been fighting the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

^ In fact, one Jewish terrorist group did actually offer to fight on the side of the Axis Powers at one point.

dearieme said...

I didn't know that, Sam. It's remarkable that the terrorist groups that the US supports or tolerates - I mean those Jewish ones in Palestine, and the IRA - are the Nazi-ally ones. Hey, ho.

P.S your allusion to the French Resistance is just about a passable debating point, but not the Free French, surely?

Anonymous said...

since they tied up British troops during WWII who would otherwise have been fighting the Nazis.

Menachem Begin fled Warsaw to Lithuania before the German Occupation and was interned by the Soviets. He managed to attach himself to the Anders' Poles whom Churchill rescued from Siberia by sending boots and clothes so they could be brought to Iran.

This is when the British discovered the officers were missing (murdered at Katyn). The Polish Army thus rescued fought at Monte Cassino in Italy...............Menachem Begin deserted in Palestine and joined terrorist groups fighting the British during the Second World War

Murray said...

Are you well Rick?

You call pointing out that the KDH was a military HQ twaddle then add a quote which includes.

"The King David Hotel was used as an office housing the Secretariat of the Palestine Government and British Army Headquarters."

Do you post massive amounts of cut n paste in the hope that we'll all be really impressed and not actually read it or what?

Copying in the emotive language of the time does nothing to make your claim more credibile either.

Shall we examine Bomber Harris for example. He has a statue for the deliberate targetting of civilian populations. Celebration of murder.

I would say that is on an exact par with Bebe and his team. Except the difference in numbers. Harris murdered a shitload more people.

Squander Two said...

Let me get this straight. If Britain rules over a foreign territory, that's imperialism and occupation, therefore wrong. But if Britain gets together with a handful of other powerful nations and they all then agree amongst themselves that they're going to jointly rule over a foreign territory and put Britain in charge of it, and Britain then therefore rules over that foreign territory, that's neither imperialism nor occupation and is perfectly OK?

If only the Nazis had caught on to this wheeze. They could have renamed the Axis something like "The International Fascist League Of Really Nice People", then simply told the French, "No, look, it's not just we Germans who've invaded you, we're simply administrating a joint decision that your territory should be ruled by our International League. In fact, it's not technically an invasion at all. And that means you're not allowed to fight back."

Laban said...

come on now sq2. The League of Nations was a kosher organisation, set up after the horrors of WW1, never again etc. Alas it turned out to be toothless when it needed to give Hitler a slapping.

Just like the UN really, set up after WW2 never again etc. Alas it turned out to be toothless when it needed to give (insert name here) a slapping.

Anonymous said...

The League might have been kosher for its member states, but why would non-members give a damn? The only point I'm making is that, from the point of view of people whose land is under military occupation, I can't imagine any reason why they might care whether it's under occupation by a single state acting on its own or a state acting on behalf of a club of which it is a member.

This has nothing to do with right or wrong, by the way. The D-Day landings weren't made any more or less right by having New Zealand on the Allies' side.