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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true story of a great leader,
This review is from: The Revolt: Story of the Irgun (Hardcover)
Menachem Begin, was undoubtedly one of the greatest soldiers and leaders of the 20th century.
In this book he writes with great passion, depth, humour, love, humility, total honesty and total lack of bitterness.
It is the true story of the dreams of a nation to throw off 2 000 years of persecution, death and homelessness, and to re-establish a Jewish State in the eternal home of the Jewish people-Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel).
He writes of the struggles faced by the Jewish people, and particularly the brave young men and women of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Jewish Partisans of freedom, who gave all (often their lives) for the rebirth of a free and proud Jewish nation in their ancestral homeland.
While this is a true story, it is thrilling to read, and Begin proves that he is also an accomplished and entertaining writer.
He shockingly highlights the cruel role of the British in suppressing the Jews in their own homeland, including sending a million Jewish men, women and children back to Hitler's ovens, and the, cruelty displayed by the British occupation forces to captured Jewish prisoners.
We also learn how the British armed the Arabs and did everything possible, collaboration with the Arab forces, to try and ensure the total destruction of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel (i.e. a second holocaust)
This information makes it particularly sickening to see much of the British establishment, including the British media (epitomized by the hate speech of the likes of Robert Fisk, and the BBC), politicians like George Galloway and Tom Dalyell, academics like Tom Paulin and others, leading the international campaign to vilify and harm, while glorifying the terrorists that cruelly murder Jewish men , women and children.
They are showing the same callousness in regard to Jewish men, women and children being murdered today, as they did during the British Mandate.
I have noticed that it is quite popular in pro-Arab and anti-Israel circles to point to the brave fighters of Irgun Zvai Leumi and Lehi (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) and accuse them of having been terrorists , using the dangerous argument that `If the goal of establishing a homeland for displaced, disenfranchised people was valid for Begin and the Irgun, can the same not be said for the Palestinians?'
This is in fact grossly dishonest.
The Irgun and Lehi never, at any time, targeted civilians, and Begin describes in `The Revolt' how the Irgun took great pains to avoid civilian casualties, often at great risk to their own soldiers.
The Irgun specially planned the bombing of the King David Hotel (headquarters of the British occupation army) so that no civilians would be hurt, and warned the British in advance of this operation, urging all civilians and women to be evacuated. They even chose a time for the bomb when they thought that no civilians would be in the building.
The response of the British police official responding to the warnings was `We don't take orders from the Jews'.
The Irgun also never deliberately harmed Arab women and children and always took great pains not to do so, contrary to the anti-semitic myths.
Compare this to the deliberate aims of the PLO, Fatah-Tanzim, the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PFLP, the DFLP, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, and all other Arab terrorist organizations, to strike specifically at Israeli women and children , specifically choosing targets where the greatest death and injury can be done to them.
Arab homicide bombers by their own testimony search out the busses and bus routes where the most women and children traveled on, in order to target them.
Arab terrorists have entered Jewish homes and shot Jewish children in their beds.
The Irgun did none of this. So to use the struggle of the Irgun to justify Palestinian mass murder is reprehensible
Most importantly Menachem Begin highlights the indestructible spirit of the Jewish and Israeli people:
"If we learn and remember, we shall overcome our enemies, They will never succeed in enslaving us again. Never. Even if they overwhelm us we shall throw off their yoke...They will not break us.'
Those engaged in the current campaign to destroy Israel , should remember those words.
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The Revolt by Menachem Begin (Hardcover - Jun 1979)
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