Just setting the record straight... before the American
mass media bend it again!
A Letter to the Editor of Ha'aretz,
a leading Israeli newspaper...

Dear Editor, Ha'aretz;

From: Ed Toner [mailto:captained@comcast.net]

Michael V. Lewis
I find all this complaining about terrorism to be very hypocritical, in
light of your history. Israel was built by terrorists, for terrorists.

Yitzhak Yizernitzky, presently Yitzhak Shamir. He was one of the Jewish
extremists who, between 1937 and 1939, killed more than 300 Arab
civilians by machine-gunning passing buses and bombing open air
restaurants and marketplaces. On one July day in 1938, they rolled an
oil drum laden with explosives downhill into a bus stop in Haifa,
killing 35 men, women and children and leaving others  maimed and

When World War II began, one group of these terrorists, called  Irgun
Zvai Leumi and headed by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin,
declared a cease-fire with the British. The other group, Lehi, the
Hebrew acronym for "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel " tried to ally
itself first with fascist Italy, then with Nazi Germany and finally with
Stalinist Russia.

Menachem Begin was the mastermind behind the destruction of The King
David Hotel in Jerusalem. On 22 July 1946, Menachem Begin and other
Jewish terrorists set the fuses on the bombs planted in milk churns in
the basement of the hotel. This set off a huge explosion that ripped
through the building, killing 91 and injuring scores of others. Among
the dead were 28 Britons, 41 Arabs, and 16 Jews. Arafat never even
killed that many Jews.

Lehi became known as the ''Stern Gang" after its founder,  Avraham
Stern, who eventually was killed by the British, while his followers
killed some 300 British policemen and soldiers. Leadership passed
to a triumvirate consisting of Yizernitzky,       Israel Sheib and
Friedman-Yellin. They ordered the 1944 assassination of Lord Moyne, the
British governor general of Cairo.  He also murdered a peace negotiator,
Count Bernadotte of Sweden. Shamir and the other two Lehi leaders set
out in July 1948 to assassinate the UN peace mediator, Count Folke
Bernadotte. They feared he would negotiate a cease-fire that would force
Israeli forces to withdraw from West Jerusalem, which they had seized in
defiance of the UN partition plan. The plan envisioned a Jewish and an
Arab Palestinian state, with Jerusalem separate  from both and under
international supervision.

Lehi gunmen in Israeli uniforms intercepted Bernadotte's  motorcade and
pumped six bullets into Bernadotte, and 17 into a French colonel sitting
beside him, killing both. Some Lehi  members were arrested by Israeli
police, but all were released by the time the fighting ended a few
months later.  One became a member of the Knesset 2 years later.

More recently there was Baruch Goldstein who joined members of the Kach
terrorist group. He entered the Mosque of the Cave of the Patriarcs, in
full uniform with guns and grenades, right past the Isreali "guards",
and proceeded to kill 29 civilians kneeling at worship, before he was
beaten to death.

I hope this broadens your view of "terrorists", and sets the record
straight concerning the history of terrorism in the Levant. Hamas and
Hezbollah are relative newcomers to the scene.

For publication,

Ed Toner
481B Jason Place
Brick NJ 08724