Skip to comments.How the British fought terror in Jenin
Posted on 04/21/2002 8:49:28 AM PDT by What Is Ain't
(April 18) 'Demolishing the homes of Arab civilians... Shooting handcuffed prisoners... Forcing local Arabs to test areas where mines may have been planted..."
These sound like the sort of accusations made by British and other European officials concerning Israel's recent actions in Jenin. In fact, they are descriptions from official British documents concerning the methods used by the British authorities to combat Palestinian Arab terrorism in Jenin and elsewhere in 1938.
The documents were declassified by London in 1989. They provide details of the British Mandatory government's response to the assassination of a British district commissioner by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in Jenin in the summer of 1938.
Even after the suspected assassin was captured (and then shot dead while allegedly trying to escape), the British authorities decided that "a large portion of the town should be blown up" as punishment. On August 25 of that year, a British convoy brought 4,200 kilos of explosives to Jenin for that purpose.
In the Jenin operation and on other occasions, local Arabs were forced to drive "mine-sweeping taxis" ahead of British vehicles in areas where Palestinian Arab terrorists were believed to have planted mines, in order "to reduce [British] landmine casualties."
The British authorities frequently used these and similar methods to combat Palestinian Arab terrorism in the late 1930s.
BRITISH forces responded to the presence of terrorists in the Arab village of Miar, north of Haifa, by blowing up house after house in October 1938.
"When the troops left, there was little else remaining of the once-busy village except a pile of mangled masonry," The New York Times reported.
The declassified documents refer to an incident in Jaffa in which a handcuffed prisoner was shot by the British police.
Under Emergency Regulation 19b, the British Mandate government could demolish any house located in a village where terrorists resided, even if that particular house had no direct connection to terrorist activity. Mandate official Hugh Foot later recalled: "When we thought that a village was harboring rebels, we'd go there and mark one of the large houses. Then, if an incident was traced to that village, we'd blow up the house we'd marked."
The High Commissioner for Palestine, Harold MacMichael, defended the practice: "The provision is drastic, but the situation has demanded drastic powers."
MacMichael was furious over what he called the "grossly exaggerated accusations" that England's critics were circulating concerning British anti-terror tactics in Palestine. Arab allegations that British soldiers gouged out the eyes of Arab prisoners were quoted prominently in the Nazi German press and elsewhere.
The declassified documents also record discussions among officials of the Colonial Office concerning the rightness or wrongness of the anti-terror methods used in Palestine. Lord Dufferin remarked: "British lives are being lost and I don't think that we, from the security of Whitehall, can protest squeamishly about measures taken by the men in the frontline."
Sir John Shuckburgh defended the tactics on the grounds that the British were confronted "not with a chivalrous opponent playing the game according to the rules, but with gangsters and murderers."
There were many differences between British policy in the 1930s and Israeli policy today, but one stands out - the British, faced with a level of Palestinian Arab terrorism considerably less lethal than that which Israel faces today, utilized anti-terror methods considerably harsher than those used by Israeli forces.
The writer is visiting scholar in the Jewish Studies Program at SUNY-Purchase. His most recent book is Baksheesh Diplomacy: Secret Negotiations Between American Jewish Leaders and Arab Officials on the Eve of World War II (Lexington Books, 2001)
It's a shame all the PA apologists don't know the truth. They prefer the revisionist history of Yasser's propaganda machine.
It's not rocket science.
Stop the terrorism.
The consequences will also stop.
Try it, you'll like it.
This must be a mistake: Arabs are peaceful people and resorted to assasination and terror only in response to the "brutal Israeli occupation." They would never do anything like that. Next thing you will allege that they may even organize a mass murder of people in New York or something like that. < /sarcasm>
Gee, over 60 years later, nothing has changed, the Palis are still gutless murders!
Actually, the problem is deeper: the whole Western culture prefers no truth at all. And the less truth, the mode la-la-land, whether it be PA propaganda, or tree-hugging, or war-for-oil. To take the side of some victim, such "Palestinians," if for many is just one more escape from reality.
That, incidentally, explains why those people do not change their opinions even AFTER you give them the facts.
Thanks for the memories. I remember seeing this originally and bumping. Must have been a similar thread.
I LIKE THIS IDEA !
<< How the British fought terror in Jenin >>
From bitter experience the British understand a little better than, so far, have Israel's socialists that in order there be a winner there must first be a loser.
Except under Woodrow Wilson's post-WWI influence -- for which sorry influence Wilson's league of nations was soundly rejected by we Americans and the world paid dearly during 1939-'45 -- The British have never ever played for a draw -- let alone for "a containment."
Partially true. They really prefer the revisionist history of the UN's propaganda machine, which includes most of the U.S. media.
Different times, no non-Islamic government could get away with these tactics today.
<< Different times, no non-Islamic government could get away with these tactics today. >>
That may well be true.
But until we -- and "we," already likely reduced to only America, Israel, Singapore and the Australasians, [The hostile-islamonazi colonized Euro-peon Neo-Soviet being essentially with and/or of the enemy] bring the fight to the enemy -- and on his terms -- we do not win -- and he does not lose.
And thus is our very Civilization the victim of our very Civilization.
Blessings -- Brian