Jewish Resistance Movement

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This article is about Jewish insurgency in Palestine. For other uses, see Jewish resistance under Nazi rule.

The Jewish Resistance Movement (Hebrew: תנועת המרי העברי‎, Tnu'at HaMeri HaIvri, literally Hebrew Rebellion Movement), also called United Resistance Movement (URM), was an alliance of the zionist paramilitary organizations Haganah, Irgun and Lehi in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was established in October, 1945, by the Jewish Agency.[1] The group existed between the years 1945 and 1946, and coordinated attacks against the British authority.

The group was founded after the end of World War II in Europe by those disappointed in British policies towards the movement. The Zionist Movement had high hopes for the new Labour administration in Britain, newly elected after war. However, it did not change British policy towards the Jews in Palestine and continued to abide by the edicts put forth in the White Paper of 1939. The disasters the Jews suffered during the Holocaust made the disputes between the movements seem petty, and pushed them to unite their struggles. It had also hardened the Jews and made them more willing to stand up for themselves despite the cost. The leadership of the Yishuv understood that cooperation of all of the different streams would have a more powerful impact on the British and international opinion.

Negotiations began for the formation of the movement in August 1945 at the behest of the Haganah leaders, Moshe Sneh and Israel Galili. At the end of October of the same year, an agreement was signed forming the "Jewish Resistance Movement".[2] The leadership of the new movement included four representatives: Two from the Haganah (Sneh and Galili), a representative from the Irgun (Menachem Begin) and a representative from Lehi (Nathan Yellin Mor).

In order to coordinate the activities of the groups, a civilian committee known as "Committee X" was made up of six members, representatives of the various political stream, (including Levi Eshkol). The operations board, who approved operations plans, was made up of Yitzhak Sadeh (of the Palmach), Eitan Livni (of the Irgun) and Yaakov Eliav (1917–1985) (of the Lehi).

During the movement's existence, eleven major operations were carried out, eight of them by the Palmach and Haganah, and three by the Irgun and Lehi, as well as many smaller operations. Notable among these were the release of 200 members of Aliyah Bet from the detention camp in Atlit, the killing and subsequent hanging of two British officers (See the Sergeants Affair), the bombing of railroads and train stations on the Night of the Trains, attacks on British police stations, bombing of dozens of bridges around the country in the night of the bridges and the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

In August 1946, because of Operation Agatha and the King David Hotel bombing (which shocked the public because of the deaths of many innocent civilians), Chaim Weizmann, president of the WZO appealed to the movement to cease all further military activity until a decision would be reached by the Jewish Agency. The Jewish Agency backed Weizmann's recommendation to cease activities, a decision reluctantly accepted by the Haganah, but not by the Irgun and the Lehi. The JRM was dismantled and each of the founding groups continued operating according to their own policy.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jewish Agency for Israel, History of the Jewish Agency for Israel Retrieved on 27 April 2012
  2. ^ Eric Silver, "Begin, A Biography". 1984, ISBN 0-297-78399-8. pages 62-64.
  3. ^ Horne, Edward (1982). A Job Well Done (Being a History of The Palestine Police Force 1920 - 1948). The Anchor Press. ISBN 0-9508367-1-2. Pages 272, 299. States that Haganah withdrew on 1 July 1946. But remained permanently uncooperative.