In blood and fire Judea fell, in blood and fire Judea will rise again!
Exactly 66 years ago today Menahem Begin’s ETZEL (Irgun Tzvai Leumi) blew up the British military headquarters in the Southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
The operation was publicly condemned by just about every major Jewish organisation of the day, David Ben Gurion even went so far as to call the Etzel “the enemy of the Jewish people.” And yet Jews the world over felt their chests’ puff up in pride at the achievement of this ragtag band of Jewish fighters. It may have been condemned in public but in private opinions were entirely different.
At a time when the fate of the Jews was unsure and many were still living among the ashes of our fallen brothers and sisters in Poland and Germany, it was the Jews in Palestine who showed that we had turned a corner in our collective history.
It was as though the Irgun were telling Jews everywhere and the world entire that we would no longer place our lives in the hands of others, no longer allow ourselves to be beholden to anyone, that we had endured too much to sit back and allow others to decide our destiny.
The bombing of the most prestigious British target in Palestine put the whole world on notice that no matter who the UN had assigned to be responsible for the sliver of land known as Palestine, we had taken over on the ground.
The biggest Empire in the world was humiliated by a small band of desperados crying out for Jewish freedom and fighting to bring the Jewish State back into being. It was time for the Jews of Palestine, fighting in their own land, for their own land, to free their people from enslavement from a cold, grey world to whom we could not entrust our collective future any longer.
In blood and fire Judea fell, in blood and fire did Judea rise again!