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The Iron Wall

Lenni Brenner

The Iron Wall

15. Yitzhak Shamir Takes Over


Begin Resigns

On 30 August 1983 Begin told his colleagues that he could not continue as Prime Minister. He gave no explanation for his decision, but the real reason soon emerged: the previous November he had gone ahead with a visit to the US, despite his wife’s hospitalization with emphysema, and took their personal physician with him. While he was in America, his wife died, and Begin blamed himself for taking their doctor away from her. [1] By June 1983, his gaunt, vacant look had drawn comment from David Shipler in the Times. [2] Later, after Begin’s announcement, Phepard Kanter, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, diagnosed his ailment from afar, in a letter to the Jerusalem Post:

... an extremely common condition which in the past has been called Involutional Melancholia and is currently referred to as Endogenous Depression. Often coming on late in life and especially likely to be devastating after the death of a beloved spouse ... this type of depression can be cured within three weeks with antidepressant medication, the success rate being approximately 80 per cent, or within two weeks with electroshock therapy, the success rate being approximately 95 per cent. [3]

Months later, however, Begin was obviously still in the grip of his malady, and his staff’s talk of a skin ailment keeping him from appearing in public was no more than harmless lies, designed to protect his reputation.

It seems that the only people who failed to grasp that they were dealing with a sick man were the leaders of his coalition, who saw him as holding their squabbling government together by dint of his charisma, and who desperately urged him to remain. In the end, the Herut Party chose as his successor, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, in preference to David Levy, in a contest in which neither ethnicity (Levy is a Moroccan) nor ideology played a decisive role. A majority of the Party Centre that picked Shamir (436-302) was Oriental, but their “Sephardism” has no democratic content; real power for the Oriental Jewish working class awaits the downfall of Zionism. Their present plebeian rage at their former masters, the Ashkenazi labour bureaucrats, had gone no further than backing Begin, another Ashkenazi, and now about half of the Oriental delegates at the meeting followed the advice of the most popular of all politicians among the Oriental stall-holders in the public market – the Ashkenazi Sharon – and they shouted themselves hoarse cheering for yet another graduate of Polish Betar.

The public and the pundits agreed that the new regime was a weak one, with an immediate poll showing that an Alignment list with former President Yitzhak Navon heading it would have beaten a Likud slate topped by Shamir. [4] Two of Begin’s leading spokesmen, Un Porat and Ehud Olmert, predicted a short stay in office for his successor, with Porat predicting “six weeks, maybe”, and Olmert guessing “thirty days”. [5] That Shamir lasted longer is attributable to the Alignment’s unwillingness to replace him, as they knew that they, like him, had no solution to the incredible economic problems that he inherited.


Shamir’s Background

The new Prime Minister was born Yitzhak Yzernitzky, in Rozeny, in what is now Byelorussia, in 1915. His father had founded a Hebrew school in the little shtetl and from his earliest years he was fluent in Hebrew. He attended the Bialystock Hebrew Gymnasium and then went on to the University of Warsaw law school. Already a Betari, he arrived in Palestine in 1935, where he enrolled at the Hebrew University. However, he soon abandoned the law for the Irgun, supporting himself by occasional construction work. With the 1936 Arab revolt he became an instructor in the “national cells”, a Revisionist youth movement, and was militarily involved in the Tel Aviv region. Little is known of his Irgun career, but one incident stands out. In 1938 Yzernitzky and a 15-year-old recruit, Eliyahu Bet Zouri, tried to blow up a WZO defence fund collection booth which levied a toll on Jewish travellers leaving Tel Aviv. They planted a crude gunpowder bomb which went off prematurely, severely burning Bet Zouri’s legs and scorching the face of Israel’s future Prime Minister. [6] But this bizarre incident was a mere nothing compared to his career as a leading figure in the “Stern Gang”.

The Maddest of the Mad

When Jabotinsky abandoned their terrorist campaign, the British released the Irgun’s commander, David Raziel, but they kept Avraham Stern and most of the Irgun’s High Command in gaol until June 1940. Stern believed that a one-sided “truce” was a surrender and he held out for a formal pact with the British, something London never even considered. A majority of the Irgun’s leaders and its ranks supported his position and he was able to pressure Raziel into resigning. [7] Six days before he died on 3 August, however, Jabotinsky reappointed Raziel, and by September Stern, now to be known as Yair – the Illuminator – after Eleazer ben Yair, the commander of the Zealots at Masada during the Jewish revolt against Rome in AD70, left “the National Military Organization in the Land of Israel” to form his own “National Military Organization in Israel”.

Stern, born in Suwalki, Poland, in 1907, had emigrated to Palestine in 1925 and in the late 1920s went to Florence on a scholarship, returning to Palestine in the early 1930s as a Fascist. By the late 1930s he concluded that the underground Irgun should not be tied to an above ground political movement that sought to work within the confines of Mandate legality. He had also come to see the incongruity of a fascist movement with a “Gladstonian liberal” at its head. Because of his understanding that Zionism was financially dependent on the charity of the Jewish bourgeoisie, Jabotinsky would not stoop to the plebeian social demagoguery characteristic of classic fascisms, but Stern had no such scruple. According to his disciple Nathan Yalin-Mor, Stern was “not a socialist, but he vigorously objected to the anti-socialist rhetoric of the Revisionists”. [8] That the Duce had turned towards Hitler did not disturb Stern. During the salad days of Italian patronage, the hard-core Revisionist fascists had become so committed to Mussolini that they invented a concatenated explanation for their hero’s betrayal. An American Revisionist organ announced that it really was the Jews that were to blame. After all,

For years we have warned the Jews not to insult the fascist regime in Italy. Let us be frank before we accuse others of the recent anti-Jewish laws in Italy; why not first accuse our own radical groups who are responsible for what happened. [9]

Once out of the Revisionist camp, Stern-Yair’s mind ran riot. His manifesto, Ikarei ha Tehiyyah (The Principles of Revival), defined their objectives: the Jewish people as the Chosen People were fully entitled to the entire Biblical patrimony as laid down in Genesis 15:18 – everything from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates. There was to be “an exchange of population”, i.e., the forced expulsion of the Palestinians, and the building of the Third Temple. [10] Firmly convinced that the Axis were going to win the war, Stern contacted Italy’s local agent, an Irgunist. [11] This man, however, worked simultaneously for the British CID, and Stern suspected that he was a double agent. [12] To be certain that they were in fact dealing with the Axis, the Sternists sent Naphtali Lubinczik to Vichy-controlled Beirut where, in January 1941, he met two Germans, Alfred Roser, a Military Intelligence agent, and Werner Otto von Hentig of the Foreign Office. On 11 January 1941 they sent the Sternists’ memorandum proposing collaboration to their embassy in Ankara, where it was found after the war. [13] As the document, entitled Fundamental Features of the Proposal of the National Military Organization In Palestine (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the Side of Germany, places Shamir in the starkest historic perspective, it is obligatory to cite it in full:

It is often stated in the speeches and utterances of the leading statesmen of National Socialist Germany that a prerequisite of the New Order in Europe requires the radical solution of the Jewish question through evacuation (“Jew-free Europe”).

The evacuation of the Jewish masses from Europe is a precondition for solving the Jewish question; but this can only be made possible and complete through the settlement of these masses in the home of the Jewish people, Palestine, and through the establishment of a Jewish state in its historic boundaries.

The solving in this manner of the Jewish problem, thus bringing with it once and for all the liberation of the Jewish people, is the objective of the political activity and the years-long struggle of the Israeli freedom movement, the National Military Organization (Irgun Zvai Leumi) in Palestine.

The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

  1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.
  2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,
  3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.

This offer by the NMO, covering activity in the military, political and information fields, in Palestine and, according to our determined preparations, outside Palestine, would be connected to the military training and organizing of Jewish manpower in Europe, under the leadership and command of the NMO. These military units would take part in the fight to conquer Palestine, should such a front be decided upon.

The indirect participation of the Israeli freedom movement in the New Order in Europe, already in the preparatory stage, would be linked with a positive-radical solution of the European Jewish problem in conformity with the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Jewish people. This would extraordinarily strengthen the moral basis of the New Order in the eyes of all humanity.

The cooperation of the Israeli freedom movement would also be along the lines of one of the last speeches of the German Reich Chancellor, in which Herr Hitler emphasized that he would utilize every combination and coalition in order to isolate and defeat England.

A brief general view of the formation, essence, and activity of the NMO in Palestine:

The NMO developed partly out of the Jewish self-defence in Palestine and the Revisionist movement (New Zionist Organization), with which the NMO was loosely connected through the person of Mr V Jabotinsky until his death.

The pro-English attitude of the Revisionist Organization in Palestine, which prevented the renewal of the personal union, led in the autumn of this year to a complete break between it and the NMO as well as to a thereupon following split in the Revisionist movement.

The goal of the NMO is the establishment of the Jewish state within its historic borders.

The NMO, in contrast to all Zionist trends, rejects colonizatory infiltration as the only means of making accessible and gradually taking possession of the fatherland and practices its slogan, the struggle and the sacrifice, as the only true means for the conquest and liberation of Palestine.

On account of its militant character and its anti-English disposition the NMO is forced, under constant persecutions by the English administration, to exercise its political activity and the military training of its members in Palestine in secret.

The NMO, whose terrorist activities began as early as the autumn of the year 1936, became, after the publication of the British White Papers, especially prominent in the summer of 1939 through successful intensification of its terroristic activity and sabotage of English property. At that time these activities, as well as daily secret radio broadcasts, were noticed and discussed by virtually the entire world press.

The NMO maintained independent political offices in Warsaw, Paris, London and New York until the beginning of the war.

The office in Warsaw was mainly concerned with the military organization and training of the national Zionist youth and was closely connected with the Jewish masses who, especially in Poland, sustained and enthusiastically supported, in every manner, the fight of the NMO in Palestine. Two newspapers were published in Warsaw (The Deed and Liberated Jerusalem): these were organs of the NMO.

The office in Warsaw maintained close relations with the former Polish government and those military circles, who brought greatest sympathy and understanding towards the aims of the NMO. Thus, in the year 1939 selected groups of NMO members were sent from Palestine to Poland, where their military training was completed in barracks by Polish officers.

The negotiations, for the purpose of activating and concretizing their aid, took place between the NMO and the Polish government in Warsaw – the evidence of which can easily be found in the archives of the former Polish government – were terminated because of the beginning of the war.

The NMO is closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in its ideology and structure.

The fighting capacity of the NMO could never be paralyzed or seriously weakened, neither through strong defensive measures by the English administration and the Arabs, nor by those of the Jewish socialists. [14]

Lubinczik told the Nazis that if the Germans thought a Zionist state would be politically inexpedient, the Sternists would agree to the “Madagascar plan”, i.e. the deportation of European Jewry to the island of Madagascar, under German domination. The Sternists believed this to be consistent with Herzl’s initial acceptance of Uganda as a temporary colony. [15] Jewish emigration to Madagascar had been one of the more fantastic “solutions” to the Jewish question discussed by Europe’s antiSemites prior to the war, and in 1940 the Hitlerites had spoken of a Jewish “settlement” there as a component of their projected African empire.

The Germans told Lubinczik that Arab sensibilities would have to take priority, and Berlin showed no further interest in the treacherous Zionists. [16] This, however, did not deter the Sternists. The Vichyites having been defeated in Lebanon-Syria in July 1941, Nathan Yalin-Mor sought to reach the Nazis again in neutral Turkey, but was arrested en route, in Syria, in December 1941, by the British. [17]

What was – and is – Shamir’s attitude towards all of this? Nicholas Bethell interviewed him for his 1979 book, The Palestine Triangle. Shamir told him that he had been:

against making approaches to Italy. I didn’t think it would do any good. But Stern had good memories of his work in Poland before the war. He had got many Jews to Palestine by exploiting the anti-Semitism of Polish officials. He thought it might work in Italy. At least he felt he had to try. [18]

In October 1983, after he took office as Prime Minister, Shamir was interviewed by the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. At least this time the Nazis came into the discussion:

There was a plan to turn to Italy for help and to make contact with Germany on the assumption that these could bring about a massive Jewish immigration. I opposed this, but I did join Lehi after the idea of contacts with the Axis countries was dropped. [19]

Even if we were to take his new tale as gospel, was not the Prime Minister of Israel nevertheless confessing that he had knowingly joined a pro-Nazi organization? But he was lying. There is evidence that he had been an early follower of Stern. Gerold Frank, in his 1963 book The Deed, a study of the Sternists’ later assassination of Lord Moyne, wrote, three times, of a meeting, “in the days immediately following the Raziel-Stern split”, where Yzernitzky tried to recruit the still undecided youths of the Irgun to Stern’s faction: “‘Men!’ his deep voice rumbled. ‘If you want to smell fire and powder, come with us!’” [20] Additionally, Shamir conveniently “forgets” that there were two attempts to ally with the Hitlerites, and there is no doubt that Shamir was a prominent member of the organization before Yalin-Mor made his unsuccessful effort to teach the Germans again in Turkey.

Although today Shamir denies that he was even a member when the Sternists tried to link up with the arch-enemy of the Jews, few can be expected to believe the crude official lie. Therefore, we will be told, unofficially, of course, that while the proposal was crackpot – the notions that Hitler might have armed the Jews, or that the Jews would have fought on his side, rank among the most grotesque productions ever concocted by the human mind – nevertheless it was made before the slaughter of the Jews had commenced, and was made only in the hope of saving Jewish lives. As we have seen, however, Stern had been in Poland in the years immediately prior to the war, and had done nothing to mobilize Polish Jews against the anti-Semites there, and Nathan YalinMor and Israel Scheib (Eldad) had fled before the German Army to Lithuania, and then made no attempt to return to Poland to organize the underground resistance. The Sternists had always thought that anti- Semitism was justified and inevitable and could never be fought. They were firmly convinced that Nazism was the wave of the future. As Zionists, they believed that “’tis indeed an ill-wind that blows no one any good”, and they sought to put Nazism’s wind in their sails. They tried to justify their singular position in a series of illegal radio broadcasts:

There is a difference between a persecutor and an enemy. Persecutors have risen against Israel in all generations and in all periods of our diaspora, starting with Haman and ending with Hitler ... The source of all our woes is our remaining in exile, and the absence of a homeland and statehood. Therefore, our enemy is the foreigner, the ruler of our land who blocks the return of the people to it. The enemy are the British who conquered the land with our help and who remain here by our leave, and who betrayed us and placed our brethren in Europe in the hands of the persecutor. [21]

Shamir still approves of the Revisionists’ dealings with the Polish anti-Semites, and told Bethell that “It was a political agreement. They helped us for anti-Semitic reasons. We explained to them, ‘If you want to get rid of the Jews, you must help the Zionist movement.’” [22] Shamir today pretends he was not fully involved in the Stern Gang’s pro-Nazi orientation, but we are fully entitled to conclude that his contemporary attitude towards collusion with the Colonels likewise reflects his thinking then, concerning collaboration with the Nazis.

Given Revisionism’s pre-war links with Mussolini, and the declared Fascism of many of its leaders as well as its ranks, we must likewise accept the Sternists at their word when they told the Nazis that they were totalitarians. It was his Fascist nationalism and his conviction that anti- Semitism was, likewise, a legitimate form of nationalism for gentiles, that led Yzernitzky to approve of the would-be pact with the Devil.


Stern is Killed

The new group rapidly lost most of its following as the ranks began to perceive where Stern was leading them, and they either returned to the Irgun or joined the British Army. The diehards only increased their intense isolation by funding themselves by robbing Zionist banks and extorting money from individuals. [23] Their anti-British activities in that period amounted to little more than a bomb at an immigration office in Haifa in protest against the deportation of illegal immigrants to Mauritius, some postering, and desperate gun battles with the CID as, aided by tips from both the Haganah and the Irgun, it closed in on them. In 1941, many of their cadres were arrested, including Yzernitzky. On 9 January 1942 the robbery of a Histadrut bank resulted in the murder of two clerks, and the British rounded up two prime suspects. In revenge the Sternists set a trap for the CID. On 20 January, what seemed to be an explosive mishap at one of their bomb factories brought the CID to the site, where another bomb killed two inspectors and wounded two others. Naturally this only made the CID redouble its efforts, and most of what was left of the organization was soon either rounded up or killed outright. Increasingly, Stern was turned away by sympathizers as he tried to hide. Having no other choice, he took refuge in the apartment of a comrade who had previously been arrested. On 12 February the CID raided the place, found him in a closet, and murdered him. [24]

The Further Path of Terror

Those of Stern’s followers who were still free were consumed with a desire for revenge against the police and on 22 April an inspector’s car was booby-trapped and on 1 May another policeman’s car narrowly escaped being blown up by an electric mine. These incidents were, however, their last gasp efforts, and then the organization virtually collapsed. It was the 1 September 1942 escape of Yzernitsky and Eliyahu Giladi from the Mizra Detention Camp near Acre that marks the rebirth of the movement, now to be renamed Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) or Lehi for short. [25]

Yzernitzky was slowly re-establishing contact with the scattered survivors when he concluded that Giladi had become a menace to the security of the group. The latter had decided that they had to embark on a campaign of assassinating leaders of the WZO, including Ben-Gurion, and he threatened to purge those within their ranks who opposed his scheme. Yzernitzky, acting on his own, ordered him to be killed without an internal trial, only afterwards assembling some of the group and offering to stand trial himself, then and there, if they disapproved of what he had done. Needless to say, they accepted his version of the affair. [26]

In the summer of 1943, Nathan Yalin-Mor sent an article out of his detention camp at Latrun, proclaiming that imprisonment was an unmitigated disaster for an underground fighter. Henceforward, any Lehi member caught in a dragnet was forbidden to discard his weapon in an effort to evade arrest. The order was “Kill, be killed, but no prison!” [27] The “rational” defence of the new command was the knowledge that they might get shot would make the police more hesitant to cordon a street off merely for a routine identity search, but in practice it led only to the deaths of a few more Sternists and police, while it only reinforced the public’s image of them as the ultimate desperadoes. They only effected an “internal disarmament” after Passover 1944, when Begin, then heading the Irgun, met Yzernitzky and convinced him that the policy interfered with planning “if at any moment there may be unplanned incidents between one or more underground men and enemy forces.” [28]

During the night of 31 October-i November 1943, Yalin-Mor and 19 other Sternists tunnelled their way out of Latrun and soon a triumvirate took charge of the FFI: Yalin-Mor and Scheib (Eldad) as their propagandists, and Yzernitzky as Operations Commander. Scheib (Eldad) was a right-wing mystic, capable of little more than rhetorical bombast, and it was Yalin-Mor who provided their distinctive political theorizing. The news of the Holocaust had made it psychologically impossible for them, as Jews, to continue as a Fascist , pro-Nazi tendency, but Yalin-Mor retained and developed Stern’s demagoguery. Now the FFI saw two more potential allies: the Soviets, who Yalin-Mor understood would revert to an anti-British posture after the war; and the Arabs. While still proclaiming their goal of a Zionist state from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, they now insisted that they were part of a broader anti-imperialist front in the Middle East.

Their new line provided much of the public rationale behind their 6 November 1944 Cairo assassination of Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne, Churchill’s Minister Resident in the Middle East. The youthful assassinations were Eliyahu Hakim and Eliyahu Bet Zouri, but the organizer was a full bearded Chassid in Tel Aviv: rabbi Dov Shamir. [29] Shamir still defends the assassination. Moyne

... was Colonial Secretary when the unfortunate immigrant ship, the Struma, reached Istanbul, and he was the one who pressured the Turks into pushing it back out into the Black Sea ... He was the one who asked, when there was a chance of saving one million Jews from the Nazi Holocaust: “What will I do with them?” [30]

However, as far back as 1940, Stern wrote to the Nazis to tell them of their military activities which, “according to our determined preparations”, would spread “outside Palestine”. When, in 1941, Yalin-Mor arrived in Palestine, Stern told him of his ambition to assassinate the Minister Resident in Egypt, as an illustration that their fight was not merely against the British presence in Palestine, but against the Empire as such. But when London appointed an Australian as the Resident, the plan had to be temporarily shelved, as the murder of an Australian would not be understood. The assignment of the former Colonial Secretary to the post, in 1944, revived the plan. [31]

In 1944, Zionism in Palestine was not of major interest for Egyptians who were still preoccupied with the British domination of their own country, and there was a natural sympathy for the two youths who had killed the representatives of the hated foreigners, and local illusions were only reinforced when Bet Zouri insisted that they were not Zionists. [32]

Although Moyne’s role in denying Palestine as a refuge to the Jews of Europe is Shamir’s pretext for the slaying, the assassination did nothing to help the still surviving Jews in Nazi-occupied territory, and it alienated much of the British public and governmental opinion from the Zionist cause, and proved the issue that permitted the Haganah to openly collaborate with the CID to suppress the Irgun. [33] (See chapter 11.) In fact, the FF1 was forced to curtail its activities, in a deal with the Haganah. [34] Begin, whose men were being hounded by the Haganah, relates that:

Our men were amazed to see active FFI members walking unconcerned in the streets of Tel Aviv. The riddle was solved later when the united Resistance Movement was formed. I was then told that in November 1944, the FFI promised Golomb (of the Haganah) that they would suspend operations against the British and consequently Haganah did not touch the FFI during that period. [35]

The Stern Gang’s New Respectability

The deal with the Haganah blossomed into the short-lived post-war Tnuat HaMeri, which suddenly gave the previously despised Fascists and terrorists of the Stern Gang a new respectability in Zionist eyes, but the alliance fell apart in the wake of the King David Hotel bombing, which also, indirectly, proved to be the undoing of rabbi Shamir. The British Army had concluded that the Irgun had organized the bombing of the Jerusalem Hotel from Tel Aviv and, in early August 1946, imposed a curfew on the city. Shamir, although disguised in a full black beard, black felt hat and long kaftan, was picked up in a street round-up and spotted by a detective who recognized him by his bushy eyebrows. [36] Two weeks later he was flown to imprisonment in Asmara in Eritrea. He and several Irgunists tunnelled out of their prison on 14 January 1947 and, after a stifling journey in a concealed comparment in a petrol lorry, he arrived in Addis Ababa. From there he managed to get to Djibouti in French Somaliland, where he was again gaoled. The Irgun’s representative in France, however, convinced Prime Minister Robert Schumann, who was anti-British in response to London’s successful effort to push France out of the Levant, to order the transport of Shamir and another escapee, an Irgunist, on a French naval vessel, and he arrived in France in early 1948 and was granted asylum. [37] He arrived in the new Israeli state in May.

Yalin-Mor’s propaganda had given the Sternists an anti-imperialist image, not merely to several hundred Jewish youths in Palestine, but also abroad. He told the world press that:

We are for a truly democratic, as well as free and independent Palestine. We are opposed to every kind of exploitation. We are not anti-socialist. We believe in a strong state encouraged by co-operative methods. The majority of the Jewish people in Palestine are workers – we believe they will govern the country well. [38]

The majority of the movement’s leaders were, however, still rightists who saw such rhetoric as a sly tactic. [39] Such militarist currents are notorious for their lack of ideological clarity, their ranks really do not care what is said in their name, as long as they are allowed to play with their bombs.

There was at least one meeting with Meir Vilner of the Communist Party of Palestine. [40] However, when the Soviet Union came out in favour of the UN partition plan of 1947, the Sternists denounced partition as a denial of the Jews’ right to all of Eretz Yisrael on both sides of the Jordan. All notions of the FFI as a progressive tendency utterly vanished with their participation in the carnage at Dir Yassin. (See chapter 12.)

The Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte

With the establishment of the Zionist state, the FF1 dissolved itself within Israel proper, and its supporters joined the IDF, but, like the Irgun, it continued to maintain an independent existence in Jerusalem. It was the 17 September 1948 assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Special Mediator for Palestine, that caused the FFI to self-destruct. For months their press had been ranting against Bernadotte, and when a completely unknown organization, Hazit HaMoledeth (Fatherland Front), took credit for the slaying, everyone understood that it was the Stern Gang that actually did it.

The murder was instantly perceived by the entire world as a crime, and the Ben-Gurion regime outlawed the FFI and arrested Yalin-Mor and other members of the group, with Shamir being forced to go into hiding. Naturally, most of the organizers have since been reluctant to fully describe the plot. The identity of the immediate perpetrator, Yehoshua Cohen, was, however, discovered many years later, and he confessed the crime to Ben-Gurion, who had become – and remained – his close friend. [41] The Israeli prosecutors decided that there was not enough evidence to directly link Yalin-Mor to the act, and preferred to try him and Matityahu Shmulewitz under the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, before a military court, as the ringleaders of a terrorist organization. [42] Yalin-Mor denounced Bernadotte before the tribunal: “He stood in the way of Jewish absorption of the Kingdom of Trans-Jordan, as well as the whole of Palestine.” [43] Yalin-Mor was sentenced to eight years and Shmulewitz to five years imprisonment. Yalin-Mor, however, had run in the 25 January 1949 election for the first Knesset on the Fighters’ Party list, had won a seat, and was amnestied on 14 February along with all those still in detention. [44] Shamir was able to come out of hiding.

Was Shamir one of the organizers of the murder? Thirty-four years later, he refused to grant an interview to Dr Amitsur Ilan, who was researching the affair, but, basing himself on published sources and other, successful, interviews, Ilan concluded that Shamir was the prime mover behind the deed. [45] Ilan’s verdict is the general opinion of those who have written on the subject, as with Benny Morris, who wrote the Jerusalem Post’s background article on the soon-to-be Prime Minister: “He is generally believed to have been responsible for planning the ... murder of the UN mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte in September 1948.” [46]

Shamir stayed with the short-lived Fighters’ Party while it lasted, but it immediately started disintegrating, with the ultra-rightists walking out in 1950. Yalin-Mor did not run again in the 1951 elections and the Party vanished from the scene. Shamir and Yalin-Mor set themselves up in business that soon failed. Shamir then managed a cinema house chain, and then tried his hand at setting up a construction firm in the Negev. [47]

From Underground Terrorist to State Terrorist

In 1955, the Labour government recruited the erstwhile organizer of assassinations into the Mossad. Naturally his career in the Zionist secret police is shrouded in obscurity. Who’s Who in Israel – 1978, in conformity with its standard practice concerning such operatives, merely listed him as having joined the civil service in a “senior post”. [48] He was reported to have been a top aide to the then head of the Mossad, Isser Harel, and to have organized several operations against German scientists in Egypt. [49] We are allowed to conjecture as to whether he had some connection with the letter bombs they received. It has also been reported that he was head of the Mossad’s European bureaux when he retired in 1965. [50]

After his retirement, Shamir became a small businessman and then a manager of various concerns, in the late 1960s managing a small rubber factory in Kfar Sava. [51] He became active in the Soviet Jewry’ movement, joined the Herut Party in 1970, and was made head of its new immigrant department. But whatever Begin may have thought of him in those days, when he first ran for the Knesset, in December 1973, he was only number 27 on the Herut list. [52]

Although there was nothing to distinguish his work within the Knesset, once in the parliament, his rise was rapid and in 1975 he was elected party chairman. In 1977, after the Likud triumph, he became Speaker of the Knesset. Always the hard liner, he abstained in the September 1978 vote on the Camp David agreement, and in March 1979 he abstained on the Egyptian peace treaty. He believed that Sadat only wanted to regain Egyptian territory before reverting to a rejectionist stance. [53]

In March 1980 he succeeded Moshe Dayan as Foreign Minister, after Dayan concluded that Begin was simply deceiving Carter regarding implementing even the inadequate “autonomy” called for under the Camp David accord. That he retains his time honoured ability to fantasize became glaringly apparent in his new post, as with his 5 October 1981 speech before the ultra-conservative Foreign Policy Association in New York:

Public opinion in the West is being exposed to loud clamors in support of the Palestinian cause ... Arab propaganda is calling for a homeland, as they put it, for the homeless Palestinians ... It is important to understand the “Jordan is Palestine” aspect and that the conflict is not, and never was, between Israel and a stateless people. Once this is understood, the emotional dimension that evokes problems of conscience in some minds will be removed. If it is perceived in this light, you have on the one hand a Palestinian-Jordanian Arab state, and Israel on the other, then the problem is reduced to a territorial conflict between these two states. The conflict will then have been reduced to its true and manageable proportions. [54]

The Massacre

As a member of the cabinet, Shamir bears full responsibility for every aspect of the invasion of Lebanon and the ensuing massacre, but he was singled out by the Kahan Commission for an individual dollop of blame:

The Foreign Minister, Mr Yitzhak Shamir, was sent a notice that he might be harmed if the commission determined that, after he heard from Minister Zippori on 17.9.82 of the report regarding the Phalangists’ actions in the refugee camps, he did not take the appropriate steps to clarify whether this information was based on fact and did not bring the information to the knowledge of the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defense.

In the Memorandum that the Foreign Minister submitted to us in response to the aforementioned notice, he explained that what he had heard from Minister Zippori about the “unruliness” of the Phalangists did not lead him to understand that it was a matter of a massacre; he thought, rather, that it was a matter of fighting against terrorists.

It is not easy to decide between the conflicting versions of what Minister Zippori said to the Foreign Minister. We tend to the opinion that in the telephone conversation Minister Zippori spoke of a “slaughter” being perpetrated by the Phalangists, and it is possible that he also spoke of “unruliness”.

Nevertheless, we are unable to rule out the possibility that the Foreign Minister did not catch or did not properly understand the significance of what he heard from Minister Zippori. The Foreign Minister likewise did not conceal that in relating to what Minister Zippori had told him, he was influenced by his knowledge that Minister Zippori was opposed to the policy of the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff regarding the war in Lebanon, and particularly to cooperation with the Phalangists.

The phenomenon that came to light in this case – namely, that the statement of one minister to another did not receive the attention it deserved because of faulty relations between members of the cabinet – is regrettable and worrisome. The impression we got is that the Foreign Minister did not make any real attempt to check whether there was anything in what he had heard from Minister Zippori on the Phalangists’ operations in the camps because he had an a priori skeptical attitude toward the statements of the minister who reported this information to him.

It is difficult to find a justification for information that came from a member of the Cabinet, especially under the circumstances in which the information was reported.

The Foreign Minister should at least have called the Defense Minister’s attention to the information he had received and not contented himself with asking someone in his office whether any new information had come from Beirut and with the expectation that those people coming to his office would know what was going on and would tell him if anything out of the ordinary had happened.

In our view, the Foreign Minister erred in not taking any measures after the conversation with Minister Zippori in regard to what he had heard from Zippori about the Phalangist actions in the camps. [55]

It will be recalled that the cabinet had heard, on 16 September, their own Chief of Staff’s statement that “I see it in their eyes ... what they are waiting for ... Amin has already spoken of revenge and all of them are sharpening their blades.” Here, again, we see how the Commissioners drew the minimalist conclusions from the plain evidence before them. Zippori had been alerted by Ze’ev Schiff, the military analyst for Ha’aretz, and it is reasonable to hypothesize that he either informed Shamir of his source, or the Foreign Minister asked him for his source. Additionally, Shamir may have personally disliked Zippori for his hesitations regarding the Chief of Staff’s policy, but Zippori was only confirming – the next day – the fears of that very Chief of Staff. Shamir disregarded, first, the Chief of Staff’s remark, and then Zippori’s accurate report, because, it seems – emotionally and consciously – he wanted a massacre. That is the only conclusion consonant with his entire career as one of Zionism’s pre-eminent murderers and fanatics.

Shamir Comes to Power: the Silence is Deafening

Why was there no outcry from within the ranks of Zion at the accession to power of a man with a record like Shamir’s? Only a few months before, in February, two journalists writing in Ha’aretz, the country’s leading daily, had discussed the Stern Gang’s proposition to the Nazis, on the occasion of the then Foreign Minister’s denunciation of left Zionist Un Avneri for interviewing Arafat. But beyond a call by M.K. Virshuvski of the tiny Shinui Party for an investigation, no one paid much attention to the exposé.

When Shamir was nominated to succeed Begin, the Israeli Association of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Victims of Nazism sent telegrams to President Herzog and the cabinet, pleading with them not to allow Shamir to take office, basing their appeal on the recent evidence that Shamir was “one who made efforts to reach an alliance with the official representatives of Nazi Germany”. [56] And Professor Yesheyahu Leibowitz, one of Israel’s most distinguished scholars and social critics, duly wrote a letter to Ha’aretz, demanding to know why there was indeed no such outcry at the fact that the country now had a would-be collaborator for its Prime Minister. The official opposition, the Alignment, was, however, silent.

Their silence was based on two considerations. Immediately, they had no real desire to take power in the wake of the collapse of the Israeli stock exchange, but there were also profound historical reasons for their lassitude. The Labour Zionists had been fully aware of the Stern Gang’s politics when they had allowed them into the Tnuat HaMeri, in 1945, and the Labour government knew Shamir’s personal history when they recruited him into their Mossad. They were familiar with Herut’s Fascist past when they took Begin into their cabinet in 1967. How could they, in 1983, suddenly pretend to be shocked by Shamir’s past? Additionally, they had linked themselves to so many criminals since the Holocaust – Nixon and Vorster immediately come to mind – that they had lost all interest in complaining about a mere would-be collaborator with Adolf Hitler.

The Economic Crisis

On 10 October 1983 Shamir was voted in, 60-53, but not before the customary concessions to the Aguda, so characteristic of the Likud. They were duly promised their pound of flesh: a bill curtailing the marketing of pork products (present law only bans the raising of pigs in non-Christian areas). And the government agreed to pressure the Mayor of Jerusalem into abandoning the planned building of a mixed (i.e., male and female) swimming pool in a neighbourhood near a projected Orthodox quarter. [57] But he was immediately confronted with a problem far more crucial than any number of pigs or scantily-clad bathers: the collapse of the boursa, the Tel Aviv stock exchange. For this he had the standard answer of reactionaries the world over: budget cuts. “The standard of living and consumption will be reduced, excepting those of the lower income groups.” [58]

Even before the crisis, the statistics clearly foretold that the economy was heading for disaster. While unemployment was only 5% nationally, it was averaging 23% for 18-24-year-olds in the development towns. Unemployment among youth in the urban Jewish slums was estimated to be nearly as high. [59] At the same time, August exports were down 15% from the previous August. “Security exports” were sharply off. [60] Israel’s agriculture was losing its markets as other states closed the scientific gap. The Moshav system, the private farms loosely connected via marketing co-ops, were in dire danger of going under as they had failed to follow the example of the kibbutzim, which had previously diversified into industry. On the other hand, imports were soaring as the trade deficit ran to $5 billion for 1982.

The annual inflation rate of 132% virtually compelled the broad public to look for ways to reduce their bills, and Yoram Aridor, Begin’s Finance Minister, had coolly calculated that the government would be in a better position if the people invested in stocks rather than in consumer goods. New issues were allowed on condition that some of the money taken in was then loaned to the state. [61] The market took off and the Index of Shares leaped 70% net of inflation. News that Israel had no capital gains tax brought in foreign speculators. Eventually the boom was followed by a bust, and the banks had to get massive loans from the government in their efforts to hold up the market and then, finally, shares in their own banks, as, by early October, the public began to sell these in their frantic rush to convert their fast devaluating shekels into dollars. The collapse of the local currency drove the people into the supermarkets with the certainty that prices were sure to rise. The stock exchange was forced to close down, and the 12 October Post ran three pictures: a happy Shamir, smiling as he sat down in the Prime Minister’s chair, a gloomy Finance Minister, and a line of shoppers lined up in a supermarket. By 17 October Aridor was out and Yigal Cohen-Orgad took his place. Only three months before, he had tried to speak at the Herut centre, and had gone only so far as to say that Aridor’s policies had failed, when pandemonium broke loose, and the meeting had to be adjourned for fear of his safety. [62]

The new minister could offer the public only a wave of cuts in their standard of living. An immediate 50% rise in the price of subsidized foods, fuels and other items, and a 23% rise in the cost of imported goods, were followed by a rise in interest rates and the doubling of the foreign travel tax. Taxes were put on child allowances and pensions. Fees were charged for children attending school. The proposal was made for compelling the unemployed to accept any job offered them within a 60 kilometer radius of their homes, or lose their benefits. [63] The declared goal is to lower the general public’s standard of living by 10% to 12%, and that of workers in the governmental sector by 15%. [64] It was assumed that unemployment would rise but Cohen-Orgad insisted that no more than 18,000 Jews would be unemployed as the first to go would be many of the 80,000 Arab workers from the occupied territories. [65]

The Histadrut bureaucrats, as usual, reacted in the most minimalist manner, with a two-hour strike on 16 October, despite the demands from local councils and works committees for a full-day walkout. [66] On 12 December 1983, even the editorialists at the Post complained that:

... the erosion of real wages between October and January may amount to 40-50 per cent. The great mystery in all this is what Yeroham Meshel, the Secretary-General of the Histadrut, is doing about it. Is he waiting for spontaneous strikes so as to be carried along on the crest of the waves of discontent? Or has he quietly accepted the argument that the only alternative for the present cut in real wages is mass unemployment, which he fears even more. [67]

If it is realized that Israeli industrial workers earned only an average $4.67 an hour in 1982, compared to Spain’s average industrial wage of $4.99, it is amply clear that their situation will become critical. [68] If either the Alignment or the PLO had the slightest strategic capacity, Shamir – and the Likud – would fall like a shot. As it is, he will almost certainly lose office in the not too far future, as broad discontent mounts, even if he is to be replaced only by another Likud figure or the do-nothings of the Alignment. Given the nationalist stagnation of the PLO, and its present internecine strife, the drift of the Oriental workers away from the Likud, a slow but sure certainty now, will not immediately develop in the direction of anti-Zionism. We are, however, witnessing the initial stages of the terminal illness of Zionism.

It is impossible for any conceivable Zionist regime to solve its economic problems without paying a staggering political price. As Jabotinsky correctly pointed out, Zionism is a colonizing venture, fundamentally at odds with the national aspirations of the Palestinians, and the pan-Arab masses. It is Zionism’s successful domination of Palestine, and now south Lebanon, that guarantees that it will remain isolated from the broader Arab market. Not even the opening of Egypt under the Camp David accord has altered this, as the Egyptian people refuse to buy Israeli commodities, especially after Lebanon. Additionally, Israeli products can find no open market in any Muslim country except Turkey, or any Communist state except Romania, and much of Africa and Asia is likewise barred to Israeli exports.

Zionism most definitely has made the desert bloom, its agriculture is its adornment. Nevertheless, agricultural exports now constitute only 10% of its exports and in 1983 it was estimated that 150,000 tons of citrus had to be destroyed as excessive costs of both water and land, and increasingly scientific competition from Morocco, Algeria, Spain and Greece, have eaten into Israel’s European markets. [69] The thrust of Israel’s economic evolution has been necessarily away from agriculture and toward high-tech industrial exports, notably arms, based on the skills of its educated stratum. Its recent metamorphosis into a classic colonial exploiter of native cheap labour has, however, created an unsolvable problem regarding its unemployed and under-educated youth in the Jewish slums and the development towns, who have no place in the new scientific order, and who can no longer reconcile themselves to poorly paid manual labour, which they now see as fit only for Arabs.[70]

The military has served to sop up the unemployment problem by withdrawing the youth from the job market for 28 months, and then demanding one month per year from virtually all Jewish males under the age of 45. It provides a career outlet for the surplus kibbutz population, who, even under a Likud regime they profess to despise, provide a disproportionate percentage of the air force and other specialist cadres. Additionally, contact with advanced military equipment has served to develop the entire workforce’s technical abilities. Nevertheless, Zionism’s hypermilitarism is a crushing economic burden. In 1982, debt repayment, largely for imported weaponry, constituted 35% of the GNP for 1982. [71]

America Comes to the Rescue

In its attempt to resolve the economic crisis, the Shamir regime has moved in two directions. Cohen-Orgad is recommending a partial freeze on further West Bank colonization. Thirty-one new settlements were proposed, but the Finance Minister wants to withhold funding from most of them. [72] The Settlers’ Organization, quite rightly, proclaimed his policy to be “ideological suicide” as any retreat, no matter how small, raises the spectre of the ultimate demise of the entire Zionist endeavour.

On 29 October 1983, the Reagan administration issued National Security Directive III, opting for an expanded Israeli role in Lebanon, and on Shamir’s 28 November-2 December visit to Washington he agreed to co-operate strategically with America. A committee will plan joint military exercises, arrange the American use of Haifa port and the warehousing of US supplies in Israel. At present, the US arms package to Israel is $1.7 billion, half of it a grant. In fiscal 1985 America will give Israel only $1.4 billion in weaponry, but all of it will be a grant. Fifteen per cent of the money is to be spent domestically by the Israelis on the development of the Lavie fighter, instead of on purchases of American planes, an unprecedented arrangement in the history of US military assistance to its clients. The Pentagon will be allowed to buy more Israeli goods and services. Negotiations will begin on a free-trade pact, which only Canada now enjoys. [73]

Under the Alignment, Israeli policy was to avoid unduly antagonizing the Soviets but the Likud now sells itself to American public opinion as a militant bastion of the “Free World” in the global struggle, and not merely in the Middle Eastern context. [74] Therefore the linkage with the virulently anti-Soviet Reagan naturally arouses broad concern within Israeli public opinion. Shamir is a plodding speaker, and no one believed his 5 December 1983 Knesset speech denying that he had made any secret military commitments. Ha’aretz bluntly stated that it was difficult to believe that the Americans and Israelis did not co-ordinate their air strikes against the Syrian and Lebanese national forces. [75]

The Future

Israeli opinion became increasingly polarized by the continued occupation of Lebanon, and the defeat of Gemayel’s forces in West Beirut and the subsequent withdrawal of the US marines has only exacerbated the internal tension. When Shamir visited South Lebanon in early November 1983, a reservist told him that it seemed to him as if he was in a film about the German conquest of Europe, and a huge minority of Israelis already agree with him. [76] In early February, even before the Phalangist defeat, Ha’aretz reported that 39.5% of Israelis favoured an unconditional withdrawal. [77] The Gemayel debacle and the Reagan retreat meant that the Likud had failed in its effort to impose a government in Beirut that would join it in policing the southern part of the country, and Shamir was left with two choices: withdrawal, which will be interpreted as a political, if not military, defeat, or permanent occupation of Southern Lebanon, with the certainty of more Israeli deaths, without bringing a political solution of the Palestinian problem any closer into sight. Further: in either case, Israel will never regain its popular support in the US. Reagan’s miscalculation was that he thought the “post-Vietnam syndrome” to finally have become a thing of the past. Instead he ultimately had to face the fact that the American people are not prepared to see their youth die in defence of the capitalist system. The anti-Zionist element in the US will know how to take advantage of the new “post-Lebanon syndrome” to mobilize against any attempts by the politicians to utilize an increasingly unwilling Israeli soldiery to do Wall Street’s dirty work.

In both societies the growing anti-war mood is stultified by the profound ideological backwardness of the broad masses, though for vastly different reasons. In rich America, reformism, based on that wealth, is endemically strong, and the matter is made worse in the case of Palestine owing to the financial dependence of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party – which, in all other cases, electorally expresses the anti-war sentiments of broad layers of the public, even if timidly – on the same rich Jewish donors who contribute to the Zionist coffers. [78] Professor Israel Shahak, the distinguished Israeli anti-Zionist, is absolutely correct when he writes that

We see ... how much the mainstream of American so-called human rights activism has been corrupted when the question is one of Jewish racism.. To this day (1983). you will not find very many organizations in the US that will utter a word of protest against this atrocity (destruction of homes which harbour alleged terrorists), and I mean not even those organizations which from time to time say a word or two about “solving the Palestinian problem”. [79]

In Palestine, the masses, both Arab and Jewish, are still dominated by nationalist ideology. The leaders of the Peace Now movement, by far the largest element within the broad Jewish peace camp, are incurable racists. Their commitment to Zionism is so deep that they do not seek to recruit members among the 17% Arab minority within the Israeli citizenry. [80] It is well understood that any “peace movement” that categorically refuses to recruit 17% of its country’s population automatically dooms itself to impotence. Peace Now relies on the Alignment inevitably replacing the increasingly unpopular Likud. To be sure, the Likud will inexorably fall, but to think that the colonialists and racists of the Alignment can solve the crisis of a colonial and racist society is to demonstrate extreme naivety.

For the Palestinian cause to go forward, it must overcome its nationalism, reformism and terrorism. The PLO is now deeply divided by its recent fratricidal civil war in Lebanon, and the subsequent visit of Arafat to Mubarak of Egypt. It is too early to tell whether it will continue as one entity, or even if any of its contending factions will continue in their present form. One thing is, however, absolutely certain: the struggle against Zionism will go on, and inevitably it will succeed.

Jabotinsky was quite correct in defining Zionism as a colonial and racist enterprise. He envisioned a triumphant Zionist state amidst a Middle East and a world dominated by imperialism, with the Palestinian population accepting their lot, as so many native peoples had been forced to do before them. He did not foresee our world, a world where most of the then colonial peoples have won their independence. He could never have anticipated a situation in which the Palestinians are the most educated element in the Arab world, and, inexorably, that will be the downfall of Zionist-Revisionism and its doctrine of the iron wall. For it is not in the nature of the modern educated mind to accept even the slightest inequality between nations. The Palestinians have endured many terrible ordeals, and further trials will be their fate, but they have the capacity for ideological growth, as do all oppressed forces, and they will, inevitably, develop the correct strategy for victory.

The antidote to the policy of the iron wall is a democratic secular movement for a democratic secular Palestine, an organizition uniting the Palestinian people with the progressive minority of Jews, a minority sure to grow as a result of the unending wars imposed on the Jewish population by the very nature of Zionism, and the economic crisis created by those same wars. To think otherwise, to believe in the permanency of the iron wall, is to hold that there will be an eternal exception to the drive toward a democratic secular world.


1. David Shipler, Begin Announces He Plans To Quit As Israeli Premier, New York Times, 29 August 1983, p.1.

2. Shipler, Begin, Too, Seems Among the War Weary, Times, 26 June 1983.

3. Phepard Kanter, Begin’s Health, Jerusalem Post, p.8.

4. Poll: Navon-led list could beat Shamir, Post, 28 September 1983, p.2.

5. Robert Rosenberg, View from the Likud inner circle, Post, 31 August 1983, p.3.

6. Gerold Frank, The Deed, p.61.

7. Yehuda Bauer, From Diplomacy to Resistance, p.131.

8. Nathan Yalin-Mor, Memories of Yair and Etzel, Jewish Spectator, Summer 1980, p.32.

9. Paul Novick, Solutions for Palestine, (1939), p.18.

10. Geula Cohen, Woman of Violence, p.232, and Uri Davis, Utopia Incorporated, p.150.

11. Daniel Levine, David Raziel, the Man and His Times, p.295.

12. Bauer, p.132, and interview with Baruch Nadel, 17 February 1981.

13. Bauer, p.132.

14. Grundzuege des Vorschlages der Nationalen Militaerischen Organisation in Palastina (Irgun Zewai Leumi) betreffend der Loesung der juedischen Frage Europas und der aktiven Teilnahme der NMO am Kriege an der Seite Deutschlands, David Yisraeli, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945, Bar Ilan University (Ramat Gan, Israel), (1974), pp.315-17. (For the German text see Appendix.

15. Chaviv Kanaan (in discussion), Germany and the Middle East 1835-1939, p.165.

16. Yigal Elam, Haganah, Irgun and “Stern”, Who Did What?, Jerusalem Quarterly, Spring 1882, p.76.

17. Yellin-Mor, Nathan, Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol.16, col.738.

18. Nicholas Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, p.126.

19. Christopher Walker, Shamir Defends Terrorist Past, The Times (London), 21 October 1983, p.24.

20. Frank, pp.91-4, 124, 139.

21. Martin Sicker, Echoes of a Poet, American Zionist. February 1972, pp.32-3.

22. Bethell, p.41.

23. J. Bowyer Bell, Terror Out Of Zion, p.66.

24. Bauer, p.312.

25. Frank, p.124, and Nathan Yalin-Mor, The British Called Us The Stern Gang, Israel Magazine, February 1973, pp.78-9.

26. Amos Nevo, Shamir Reaches the Post of Prime Minister without Pushing, Yediot Ahronot, 7 September 1983.

27. Yalin-Mor, p.79.

28. Menachem Begin, The Revolt, p.107.

29. Frank, p.189 passim.

30. Walker.

31. Bernard Wasserstein, New Light on the Moyne Murder, Midstream, March 1980, p.33.

32. Frank. pp.262, 277.

33. Michael Cohen, The Moyne Assassination, November 1944: A Political Analysis, Middle Eastern Studies, October 1979, p.370.

34. Bauer, pp.329-30.

35. Begin, p.151.

36. Bethell, p.271.

37. Walker.

38. Constantine Poulos, War Chief Pledges Fight – “Wherever Union Jack Flies”, New York Post, 28 December 1945.

39. Y.S. Brenner, The “Stern Gang” 1940-48, Middle Eastern Studies, October 1965, pp.7, 13.

40. Dan Margalit, Lehi about Lehi, Ha’aretz, 11 February 1983.

41. Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion, pp.180-81, Ben-Gurion’s closest friend murdered UN mediator Bernadotte, Free Palestine, April 1971; Israel Shahak, Collection: Yitzhak Shamir, the Present Prime Minister of Israel: A terrorist, an assassin, a collaborator with the Nazis, p.2.

42. Friedman-Yellin Sums Up Defence, Palestine Post, 23 January 1949, p.3.

43. Moshe Menuhin, A Tribute to Count Folke Bernadotte, Arab World, September 1968, p.10.

44. Sune Persson, Mediation and Assassination, p.205.

45. Akiva Eldar and Amnon Barzilay, Yitzhak Shamir, the man of mystery, Ha’aretz, 7 September 1983.

46. Benny Morris, Shamir steps from the shadows into the world’s spotlight, Jerusalem Post, 18 September 1983, p.2.

47. Nevo, and Arie Dayan, Shamir in 1949: Nathan Yalin-Mor on Yitzhak Shamir, Koteret Rashit, 7 September 1983.

48. Shamir, Yitzhak, Who’s Who in Israel – 1978, p.330.

49. Nevo.

50. Shamir the Terrorist, Free Palestine, November 1983, p.3.

51. Morris.

52. Ibid.

53. Ibid.

54. Excerpts From Israeli Foreign Minister’s Speech, Times, 6 October 1981, p.10.

55. Excerpts of Report on Officials’ Responsibility in Beirut Killings, Times, 9 February 1983, p.18.

56. Morris.

57. Joshua Brilliant, Aguda satisfied; majority for Shamir now seen assured, Post, 5 October 1983, p.1.

58. Shipler, Cabinet in Israel headed by Shamir is voted in, 60-53, Times, 11 October 1983, p.1.

59. Charles Hoffman, 23% of youth jobless in development towns, Post, 12 September 1983, p.3.

60. Aaron Sittner, Drop in August exports laid to fall in arms sales, Post, 12 September 1983, p.3.

61. Shlomo Maital, The Boursa Bubble, Midstream, November 1983, pp.8-10.

62. A. Schweitzer, Democrats with a club, Ha’aretz, 12 July 1983.

63. Gil Sedan and Hugh Orgal, 1 million Israeli workers stage 2-hour strike to protest against the government’s economic policies, JTA Daily News Bulletin, 17 October 1983, p.1; and Gil Sedan, Rush resumes to buy foreign currency, JTA DNB, 1 November 1983, p.2; and David Landau, Cabinet approves sweeping program of economic reforms, JTA DNB, 8 November 1983, pp.1-2.

64. Jenni Frazer, Living Standards will fall, Jewish Chronicle (London), 11 November 1983, p.2; and Israeli Official Is Reported to Seek a Partial Freeze on Settlements, Times, 29 December 1983, p.3.

65. Gil Sedan, Cohen-Orgad paints gloomy picture of Israel’s economy, JTA DNB, 22 November 1983, p.1.

66. Joshua Brilliant, 2-hour strike Sunday, Post, 12 October 1983, p.1.

67. Success = 200% inflation, Post, 18 December 1983, p.24.

68. Israeli wages among lowest, Post, 27 November 1983, p.19.

69. Benjamin Rubin, The Quiet Revolution in Israel’s Economy, Midstream, November 1983, pp.3, 7.

70. Ibid.,p. 6..

71. Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle”, p.455.

72. Israeli Official Is Reported to Seek a Partial Freeze on Settlements, Times, 29 December 1983, p.3.

73. Jack Colhoun, Israel gets the money, Beirut gets the bombs, Guardian, 14 December 1983, p.13.

74. Yoram Pen, Coexistence or Hegemony? Shifts in the Israeli Security Concept, The Roots of Begin’s Success, (D. Caspi, A. Diskin, E. Gutmann, eds), p.206.

75. Christopher Walker, Shamir denies US deal as fears grow of superpower conflict, Times (London), 6 December 1983, p.7.

76. A soldier told Shamir: I feel like a German warrior, Al Hamishmar, 9 November 1983.

77. Shipler, Israelis Reported Unlikely to Join the Fray in Beirut, Times, 7 February 1984, p.16.

78. Stephen Isaacs, Jews and American Politics, pp.120-24, 279.

79. Israel Shahak, Is Israel on the Road to Nazism?, Freedomways, vol.23, no.3, 1983, pp.158-9.

80. Interview with Galia Golan, 31 August 1983.

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