Why the Irgun Fought the British

Personal Archive
posted on:
1 In jan 1900
States - Britain/England. Underground - British Mandate, Deir Yassin, Etzel, Gallows Martyrs, Haganah, Underground Operation. Jewish Heritage - Holocaust. Individuals - Moshe Sharett. Security - Reprisal Actions, War of Independence
During a visit to Britain, Begin responds to an op-ed in "The Times" accusing him and Etzel of being terrorists and of carrying out a massacre at Dir Yassin. Begin is willing to speak about the revolt; however, the British government owes the Jews an explanation for its refusal to allow the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. Etzel fighters fought valiantly and morally, trying to avoid civilian casualties and giving warnings of their attacks beforehand. After the British were defeated and the Arabs attacked and carried out massacres. Etzel initially resisted counter-attacking, but eventually took the offensive after their pleas for peace went unanswered. To relieve the siege on Jerusalem, Etzel and Lechi conquered Dir Yassin. Etzel gave advance warning for civilians to leave, forfeiting the element of surprise. The battle was intense, resulting in many casualties on both sides. Begin and Etzel regretted all civilian casualties, but maintain that no massacre took place.
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