Johnny Simson is an Israeli born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His hobbies are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and annoying anti-Semites.
During an interview with Tzipi Livni on Newsnight, the BBC’s Evan Davis asked “Would you describe your parents as terrorists?”. This is a basic tenet of today’s progressive Left. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s Freedom Fighter”, they say. You can see the full interview below.
Indeed Irgun, Haganah and Lehi engaged the British with asymmetrical warfare. They did not wear uniforms. They did kill civilians and civil servants working for the British government. So why are they any different than Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO, the beheader of Lee Rigby and perpetrators of 7/7?
In order to be called freedom fighter one has to genuinely be a fighter for freedom and democracy. Irgun were fighting for human rights of Jewish people who had just survived a Holocaust. The British were blocking Jewish refugees from escaping the Holocaust, barring them entry to Palestine which was against the Mandate given to Great Britain in the San Remo conference of 1920. The British reneged on the Balfour declaration at a time the Jewish people needed a place of refuge more than anything else.
When the British finally were driven out of Israel, Irgun was absorbed into the IDF and Menachem Begin became a member of the Knesset. He respected the democracy of Israel and sat in the opposition until 1977. When he was elected he respected freedom of speech and the opposition. Unlike Hamas who violently took over Gaza when Fatah failed to respect the results of the PA 2006 elections and threw Fatah members of rooftops. Neither Fatah nor Hamas respect freedom of speech. Neither have anything that resembles rule of law in territories under their control. Hence neither Hamas nor Fatah can be called Freedom fighters since it is not Freedom they are fighting for.
I would like to break down the principle differences between Irgun and modern day Islamic terrorists.
I – Ideology and motivation
The ideology of Islamist terror groups is totalitarian. They wish to impose Sharia on their hosts. In the case of Fatah you get a secular dictatorship at best. They are exclusive of any minority or group that does not share their religion, ethnicity and ideology. They are motivated by deep hatred of the West, Infidels and specifically Jews. How do we know this? Here is what a Hamas MP has said about Israel. Ahmad Bahr on Al Aqsa TV in a sermon: “If the enemy sets foot on a single square inch of Islamic land, Jihad becomes an individual duty,…in order to annihilate those Jews.”
Note, there is no talk of human rights nor freedom here. Contrast this with Jabotinski who is the founding father of Revisionist Zionism. Mentor to Menachem Begin.
Ze’ev Jabotinski on the Arabs:
“All of us, all Jews and Zionists of all schools of thought, want the best for the Arabs of Eretz Israel[Land of Israel]. We do not want to eject even one Arab from either the left or the right bank of the Jordan River. We want them to prosper both economically and culturally. We envision the regime of Jewish Palestine as follows: most of the population will be Jewish, but equal rights for all Arab citizens will not only be guaranteed, they will also be fulfilled.”
Ze’ev Jabotinski on democracy and freedom of speech:
“Today, the test of democracy is freedom of the press: the most liberal constitution is a lie if the press is muzzled, but where the press is free there is a hope even despite defects of the constitution.”
II – Methodology
The primary targets of the Irgun were soldiers and bases of the British army. Civilians were harmed but they were the exception rather than the rule. Usually civilians casualties were due to operational failures rather then a result of deliberately targeting civilians. Contrast this with Hamas and Fatah. Their primary targets are civilians. The more civilians harmed the higher the success of the operation.
III – Geography
Islamic terror groups do not limit their scope of action to their own territory. Take the Hezbollah bombing of an Israeli bus of tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria and many other failed attempts all over the globe. Anyone naive enough to believe that Hezbollah only were fighting to drive IDF out of S. Lebanon should ask themselves this Question. Why are they still attacking Israelis? Israel left S. Lebanon in 2000. Obviously the occupation of S. Lebanon was not their primal motivation. One should ask oneself, why Muslim immigrants and Muslim born in England see fit to attack British civilians on British soil. If the motivation is the war in Iraq then why are there still terror threats? Isn’t war in Iraq over? Why attack British civilians in England instead of fighting British troops in Iraq? Did Jews in English take up arms against British civilians when Irgun was fighting to end the British Mandate? No! Irgun operations were limited strictly to the area of the British mandate in Palestine.
IV – End Goal
The end goal of the PLO is clear. The destruction of the Jewish state. Arafat was quite clear about this while giving a lecture in 1994 in a mosque in Johannesburg. One year after signing the OSLO peace accords with Israel. Here is what he said:
“This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Mohammed and Koraish, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and [considered] it a despicable truce.” Arafat was referring to the infamous Treaty of Hudaybiyyah which was merely a temporary truce before Muhammad broke it and massacred the tribe of Koraish.
A few years later Arafat publicly said: “We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!” in his speech “The Impending Total Collapse of Israel” at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, January 30, 1996
The end goal of Islamist terror groups in Britain is the destruction of Western style democracy and it’s replacement with Sharia. Sharia is an Apartheid system of Law where Muslims are granted more rights by law than non-Muslims.
The declared end goal of Irgun was democracy in the Jewish homeland. When they achieved this goal they disbanded. Irgun was absorbed in the Hagana which became the IDF.
A Western nation that fails to understand the stark differences between Jewish guerilla groups fighting for the survival of the Jewish people, freedom and democracy will eventually lose the very freedom they have no value for.