Global Education

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”

By Denebola
Published: December 2007

By David Gabriel

Although many people, from the media to citizens, choose to draw differences between the Palestinians and Israelis. They ignore the political situation in which Israel was born and the similarities between it and the current Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abba, and the US President George W. Bush during the Annapolis peace conference recognized that there are many roadblocks in achieving peace. For the Israelis, security remains a major issue.
Since the creation of Israel and its war of Independence, the key concern among many Israeli politicians is the safety of Israel in post-occupation years. These concerns emerge from the events of the past 60 years.
The Munich Massacre of 1972 and the Entebbe Incident of 1976, two hostage-crises committed by Fatah, a Palestinian terror organization, on foreign ground, are among many attacks of terror committed by Palestinian terrorists. In Munich, a band of Palestinian terrorists took 17 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them all at the Olympics in Munich, Germany. The second crisis was the hijacking of an Air France airline that was rerouted to Uganda where the Israelis on board were taken hostage by terrorists demanding money for their release. The Israeli Special Forces, however, thwarted the plans and rescued 100 of the 104 hostages.
During the 1990′s, terrorist attacks were commonplace in Israeli cities and towns. Supporters of Israel view these attacks as the unthinkable, but they themselves ignore the terrorist attacks committed by Jewish terrorists against the British soldiers who once occupied Palestine during the early 20 Century.
Israel was carved out of a territory given to Britain after WWI; the British Mandate of Palestine. The United Nations voted on November 29, 1947 with a vote of 33-13 for the establishment of two states; a Palestinian state beside a Jewish state. The state of Israel, however, was not formed peacefully.
Hamas and Fatah, which formally renounced violence, are two Palestinian terrorist organizations that have engaged in terrorist attacks since their formation as political opposition groups. Both were born out of persecution under the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli policies. Both experienced oppression and desperation prior to their creation, which resulted in quick support from Palestinians, particularly in refugee camps. Ironically, the Zionist underground organizations, led by the Irgun and Lehi “the Stern Gang,” were formed out of persecution and desperation as well.
After WWII, millions of Jewish Holocaust survivors quickly formed a refugee crisis in Europe. With almost every nation in Europe and the United States closing their borders to Jewish immigrants, Jews in the Holy Land began organizing an “Aliyah Bet”, a mass illegal migration. Led by the Mossad Le Aliyah Bet, millions of Jews who had lost their former lives, families, and dreams due to the Nazi concentration camps found new found hope in moving to the British Mandate of Palestine. The influx of Jewish settlers created Arab resentment for these fresh immigrants.
On Cyprus, an island opposite of Israel within the Mediterranean Sea, refugee camps quickly formed. Soon Irgun, Lehi, and Haganah-the Jewish army-gained mass support there. The Irgun and Lehi believed that the British Empire was the oppressor and violence was the answer to such oppression.
Jewish terrorists were responsible for many attacks against the British, most notably the
King David Hotel bombing. Several years after Israel was born, the Jewish terrorist organizations, renounced violence and integrated themselves into the IDF. Their influence and respect remain, however. Two of Israel’s twelve Prime Ministers have been members of the Irgun.
A British journalist, Gerald Seymour, once said, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” This aphorism could not be any more relevant to comparing the similarities between the Jewish terrorists who helped form Israel and the Palestinian terrorists that hope to form a Palestinian state. The only difference that separates the Jewish and Palestinian terrorists is the means to which they attack.
While Jewish terrorists launched deadly attacks against all British targets, Hamas and Fatah used suicide bombers, a form of terrorism never used by the Jewish terrorists of the early 20 Century. The only hope for both sides is mutual recognition and an end to Israeli incursions into the West Bank and Gaza, which should result in a sharp decrease in attacks on Israel.

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