Jewish Agency and others Stern Gang- Haganah- Gush Emunim…..

Administrative body created by the British mandate power in Palestine 1929 to oversee the Jewish population and immigration. In 1948 it took over as the government of Israel.

Stern Gang


(formal name Fighters for the Freedom of Israel)

Zionist terrorist group founded 1940 by Abraham Stern (1907-1942). The group carried out anti-British terrorist attacks during the UK mandate rule in Palestine, both on individuals and on strategic targets. Stern was killed by British forces in 1942, but the group survived until 1948, when it was outlawed with the creation of Israel.

Haganah

Zionist terrorist military organization in Palestine. It originated under the Turkish rule of the Ottoman Empire before World War I to protect Jewish settlements, and many of its members served in the British forces in both world wars. After World War II it condemned guerrilla terrorist activity, opposing the British authorities only passively. It formed the basis of the Israeli army after Israel was established 1948.

Gush Emunim

Several Jewish groups had been linked with terrorist attacks against Arabs and British in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The best known of these organizations, the Gush Emunim Underground (sometimes called the Jewish Terror Organization), was formed in 1979 by prominent members of Gush Emunim, a group of religious zealots who had used squatter tactics to carry on a terrorist campaign to settle the West Bank after the October 1973 War. The underground perceived the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel as betraying the Begin government’s policy of retaining the territories conquered by Israel.

The principal terrorist actions of the Gush Emunim Underground were carried out between 1980 and 1984. In 1980 car bombings of five West Bank Arab mayors resulted in crippling two of the mayors. In 1983, the Hebron Islamic College was the target of a machine gun and grenade attack that killed three Arab students and wounded thirty three others. In 1984 an attempt was made to place explosive charges on five Arab buses in East Jerusalem. This plot was foiled by agents of Israel’s internal security force, Shin Bet, leading to arrest and prison sentences for eighteen members of the underground. The security services also uncovered a well-developed plan to blow up the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred shrines, on Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in east Jerusalem’s.

Gush Emunim

Several Jewish groups had been linked with terrorist attacks against Arabs and British in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The best known of these organizations, the Gush Emunim Underground (sometimes called the Jewish Terror Organization), was formed in 1979 by prominent members of Gush Emunim, a group of religious zealots who had used squatter tactics to carry on a terrorist campaign to settle the West Bank after the October 1973 War. The underground perceived the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel as betraying the Begin government’s policy of retaining the territories conquered by Israel.

The principal terrorist actions of the Gush Emunim Underground were carried out between 1980 and 1984. In 1980 car bombings of five West Bank Arab mayors resulted in crippling two of the mayors. In 1983, the Hebron Islamic College was the target of a machine gun and grenade attack that killed three Arab students and wounded thirty three others. In 1984 an attempt was made to place explosive charges on five Arab buses in East Jerusalem. This plot was foiled by agents of Israel’s internal security force, Shin Bet, leading to arrest and prison sentences for eighteen members of the underground. The security services also uncovered a well-developed plan to blow up the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred shrines, on Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in east Jerusalem’s.

TNT

Another anti-Arab terrorist group, Terror Against Terror (known as TNT) was established by Kach, the right-wing extremist political movement of Rabbi Meir Kahane. TNT was responsible for numerous beatings and bombings and several murders of Arabs, beginning in 1975. Defending Shield (Egrof Magen), a Jewish vigilante group of West Bank settlers formed in 1983, was responsible for a number of attacks and vandalizing of Arab property on the West Bank. During the intifadah, beginning in late 1987, there were many reports of Jewish vigilantism, including shootings, punitive raids on refugee camps, and assaults on Arab motorists in retaliation for rock throwing attacks by Arab youths. Most of these appeared to be spontaneous actions by settlers of individual communities.

Herzl, Theodor

Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)

Austrian founder of the Zionist movement. The Dreyfus case convinced him that the only solution to the problem of anti-Semitism was the resettlement of the Jews in a state of their own. His book Jewish State 1896 launched political Zionism, and he became the first president of the World Zionist Organization 1897.

He was born in Budapest and became a successful playwright and journalist, mainly in Vienna.

Weizmann, Chaim

Weizmann, Chaim (1874-1952)

Zionist leader, the first president of Israel (1948-52), and a chemist. He conducted the negotiations leading up to the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain declared its support for an independent Jewish state.

Born in Russia, he became a naturalized British subject, and as director of the Admiralty laboratories 1916-19 discovered a process for manufacturing acetone, a solvent. He became head of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, then in 1948 became the first president of Israel.

Ben-Gurion, David

Ben-Gurion, David (1886-1973)

Israeli statesman and socialist politician, one of the founders of Israel, the country’s first prime minister 1948-53, and again 1955-63.

He was born in Poland and went to Palestine 1906 to farm. He was a leader of the Zionist movement, and as defence minister he presided over the development of Israel’s armed forces into one of the strongest armies in the Middle East.

Herzog, Chaim

Herzog, Chaim (1918- )

President of Israel (1983- ), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1935 Herzog’s family immigrated to Palestine, and his father, Isaac Halevy Herzog, became chief rabbi of Israel . Chaim attended the Government of Palestine Law School in Jerusalem, Cambridge University, and London University, where he earned a law degree. During World War II he was a tank commander with Britain’s elite Guard Armored Division; he later directed British intelligence in Germany, where he identified a captive soldier as the Nazi chief Heinrich Himmler. After the war he served in the Jewish underground, Haganah, in Palestine.

After serving as a field commander, Herzog became chief of military intelligence in Israel (1954-62) and then returned to enter private business. As a radio commentator he became known for his military and political analyses, especially during the Six Day War (1967) and the October War (1973), of which he wrote a candid account, The War of Atonement(1975). Also in 1975, he became Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, where he denounced the General Assembly’s resolution defining Zionism as racism and defended Israel’s rescue of Jewish hostages in Uganda in 1976. His book The Arab-Israeli Wars(1982) was widely praised. In 1981 he became a Labor party member of Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset. Highly respected by both major political parties, Herzog was elected to five-year terms as Israel’s president in 1983 and 1988.

Eshkol, Levi

Eshkol, Levi (1895-1969)

Helped found Israel and served as prime minister from 1963 until his death. Eshkol was a capable administrator, political leader, and statesman who served in such posts as director of the ministry of defense, minister of agriculture, and minister of finance. While he was prime minister, Israel fought the Six Day War against the Arab states in 1967. Eshkol favored Israeli cooperation with Arab states to develop the Middle East.

Eshkol was born Levi Shkolnik in Ukraine. He joined the Zionist movement as a young man. In 1914, he moved to Palestine and worked as a farmer. He helped form the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) in 1920 and the Mapai (Israel Workers Party) in 1930. In the 1930’s, he helped Jews in Germany move to Palestine. He helped build up the Haganah, the Jewish underground terrorist organization that fought against British mandate forces and against Palestinian Arabs opposed to the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine .

Meir, Golda

Meir, Golda

Meir, Golda (1898-1978), served as prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. During her political career, she supported large-scale immigration to Israel and major housing and other construction programs. Her main problem as prime minister was the territorial conflict between Israel and several Arab nations. Meir followed a firm but open policy toward the Arabs.

In October 1973, war broke out for the fourth time between Israel and the Arabs. Israel suffered heavy early losses, and Meir’s government was severely criticized. As a result, she resigned in June 1974, even though she had led the Labor Party to victory in the December 1973 elections.

Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitz in Kiev, Ukraine. Her family moved to Milwaukee in 1906, and she later taught school there. In 1921, she went to Palestine and joined a collective farm village.

In 1948, part of Palestine occupied by Jewish and became Israel. Meir served as Israel’s minister of labor from 1949 to 1956 and as minister of foreign affairs from 1956 to 1966. She was secretary general of the Labor Party from 1966 to 1969.

Dayan, Moshe

Dayan, Moshe

Dayan, (1915-1981), was an Israeli military man and political leader. He commanded the Israeli forces that won the Arab-Israeli war of 1956, and directed the Israeli victory in a six day war fought against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in June 1967. Dayan became Israel’s foreign minister in 1977. He resigned in 1979 because he believed that the government was not doing enough to bring about peace with the Arabs. He was minister of defense from 1967 to 1974, minister of agriculture from 1959 to 1964, and chief of staff from 1953 to 1958.

In 1939, the British who ruled Palestine imprisoned Dayan for his work with the outlawed Haganah, a Jewish terrorist militia group. He was released in 1941 to fight with the British against French. Dayan was wounded during a battle in Lebanon, and he lost his left eye. Dayan also took part in the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Dayan was born in Deganiya, Palestine.

Begin, Menachem

Begin, Menachem

Begin, (1913-1992), served as prime minister of Israel from 1977 to 1983. The leader of the conservative Likud Party, he came to power after the party won a majority of the seats in the Knesset (Israeli parliament). After the 1981 elections, the Likud Party and smaller conservative parties formed a coalition, and Begin remained prime minister. Begin resigned from office in 1983.

In 1978, Begin, President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt, and President Jimmy Carter held discussions in the United States about ways to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The discussions resulted in a major agreement that included plans for Israel’s withdrawal from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The agreement also called for a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. In addition, the agreement provided for Palestinian autonomy in two Israel-occupied territories the West Bank, formerly ruled by Jordan; and the Gaza Strip, formerly administered by Egypt. Begin and Sadat shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The treaty was signed in 1979. Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula was completed in 1982. Israel began to provide for Palestinian autonomy in 1994.

In 1981, Begin’s government claimed legal and political authority over Syria’s Golan Heights. Syria and many other countries denounced this claim. Israel had gained control of the area in a war against Syria in 1967. Although Israel’s relations with Egypt improved under Begin, relations with other Arab nations remained hostile. For more details on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Begin was born in Brest, Litovsk, Russia (now Brest, Belarus). In the 1930’s, he became active in the Zionist movement. The Zionists called for the creation of a Jewish nation in Palestine, which was then ruled by the British. Begin moved to Palestine in 1942. There he joined the Irgun Zvai Leumi, an underground Jewish terrorist militia that fought the British and the Palestinian Arabs. He led the Irgun from 1944 to 1948, when Israel was created in Palestine. He played a leading military role in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. He served in the Knesset from 1949 to 1984.

Rabin, Yitzhak

Rabin, Yitzhak

Rabin, (1922-1995), was prime minister of Israel from 1974 to 1977 and from 1992 until his death. On Nov. 4, 1995, he was assassinated in Tel Aviv, Israel. A right-wing Israeli university student who opposed Rabin’s policies confessed to the murder.

Rabin was born in Jerusalem and was the nation’s first prime minister born in Israel. Israel’s previous prime ministers were born in Europe. In 1941, during World War II, Rabin joined the Palmach, a unit of the Jewish underground terrorist army in Palestine. He was deputy commander of the Palmach in 1948 during the first Arab-Israeli war. Rabin headed Israel’s defense forces from 1964 to 1967. He planned the strategy in a 1967 war in which the Israelis defeated the Arabs and occupied the Arab lands of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

From 1968 to 1973, Rabin was ambassador to the United States. A Labor Party member, he was elected to Israel’s parliament in 1973. He became Labor Party head and prime minister in 1974, and held those posts until 1977. He was minister of defense from 1984 to 1990.

Rabin again became Labor Party head in February 1992. Elections in June brought the party to power, and Rabin became prime minister again. He appointed himself minister of defense. In 1993, Rabin’s government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed an agreement that included the start of a plan for self-government for, and Israel’s withdrawal from, the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israel and the PLO also agreed to try to work out their conflicts. Rabin, Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for their peace efforts. Also in 1994, talks between Rabin and King Hussein I of Jordan led to a peace treaty ending a state of war that had technically existed between their countries since 1948.

Peres, Shimon

Peres, Shimon

Peres, (1923-…), a Labor Party politician, was prime minister of Israel twice. He first held that office from 1984 to 1986. He became prime minister again in 1995 following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1996, Peres lost in national elections, and Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud bloc replaced him as prime minister.

In the early and mid-1990’s, both as foreign minister under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and as prime minister himself, Peres played a major role in a move for peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Peres, Rabin, and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for their Middle East peace efforts.

Peres served as prime minister in the unity government created by the Labor Party and the Likud bloc in September 1984. The parties formed the government after no party won a majority in the parliamentary elections. The unity government lasted for 50 months. Under the agreement between Labor and Likud, Peres (head of the Labor Party) served as prime minister for 25 months. Yitzhak Shamir, head of Likud, was vice prime minister and foreign minister. Under the agreement, the roles of Peres and Shamir were reversed after 25 months in October 1986. As prime minister, Peres pledged to withdraw Israeli troops that occupied Lebanon. The troops had invaded Lebanon in 1982. In 1985, the Israeli forces withdrew from all of Lebanon except a Security Zone along the Israeli border.

In 1988, Labor and Likud formed a new coalition government with Shamir as prime minister. Peres remained as vice prime minister and also became finance minister. In 1990, the coalition collapsed, and Peres resigned from his posts as vice prime minister and finance minister. Likud and small parties formed a new coalition government in June with Shamir as prime minister. Peres had become head of the Labor Party in 1977. In 1992, he lost that post in a party election.

Peres was born in Vishnevo, a small town near Minsk, that was then part of Poland and is now part of Belarus. His family name was Persky. He changed the name to Peres in the 1940’s. Peres moved with his family to Palestine in 1934. He later became active in the movement that resulted in the creation of the nation of Israel in Palestine in 1948. In 1950, Peres was sent to the United States as leader of a defense ministry delegation. While there, he studied at New York University and Harvard University. He returned to Israel in 1952.

Peres was first elected to the Israeli Knesset (parliament) in 1959. He helped form the Labor Party in 1968. He was minister of defense from 1974 to 1977. He served as foreign minister in 1987 and 1988 and from 1992 until 1995.

Shamir, Yitzhak

Shamir, Yitzhak

Shamir, (1915-…), served as prime minister of Israel from October 1983 to September 1984, and from October 1986 to July 1992. As prime minister, Shamir continued most of Israel’s previously established foreign policies. For example, he supported Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (territories that Israeli troops had occupied in 1967).

Shamir succeeded Menachem Begin as prime minister in 1983, after Begin had resigned. He also replaced Begin as head of the political party called the Likud bloc. Shamir had been foreign minister since 1980.

In July 1984, parliamentary elections were held in Israel. No party won a majority. In September, the Likud bloc and the Labor Party formed a unity government that lasted for 50 months. Under the unity government agreement, Shimon Peres, leader of the Labor Party, served as prime minister for 25 months. Shamir served as vice prime minister and foreign minister. Under the agreement, the roles of Peres and Shamir were reversed after 25 months in October 1986. In the elections of November 1988, no party won a majority. In December, Likud and Labor formed a new coalition government. Shamir remained prime minister.

In 1987, protests by Palestinians in the occupied territories began. Several hundred Palestinians and a smaller number of Israelis were killed. In 1990, Shamir refused to compromise on peace plans for the territories. The Labor Party then left the coalition, and the government fell in March. In June 1990, Likud and small conservative parties formed a new coalition government in Israel with Shamir as prime minister. The Labor Party won control of the parliament in elections held in June 1992. In July, Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin replaced Shamir as prime minister. Shamir resigned as head of the Likud block in March 1993.

Shamir was born in Ruzinoy, a village in eastern Poland. His last name was Jazernicki. He later changed his name to Shamir, the Hebrew word for both thistle and flint. He studied law in Warsaw before moving to Palestine in 1935 to attend Hebrew University. He dropped out in 1937 and joined the Irgun Zvai Leumi, an underground Jewish terrorist militia that fought the British (who then ruled Palestine) and the Palestinian Arabs.

In 1940, Shamir joined the more radical Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Israel Freedom Fighters), or Stern Gang, terrorist militia. Israel was created in Palestine in 1948. From 1955 to 1965, Shamir worked for Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. He was first elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1973.

Benjamin, Netanyahu

Benjamin, Netanyahu (1949- )

Born : October 21, 1949 Tel Aviv, Israel

Education : B A ( architecture ) , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974 BA, 1976

Military Service : Israeli army ( Sayeret Matcal anti-terrorism force ), 1967-72

Occupation : Diplomat

Family : Wife, Sara Netanyahu 1 son,1 daughter ( from first marriage )

Religion : Jewish

Early Years: Participated in several high-profile commando missions including a raid on a hijacked jetliner outside Tel Aviv, 1972 ; Was pursuing a business career in the United States when his brother Jonathan was killed in the Israeli raid on a hijacked plane in Entebbe , Uganda , 1976 ; Returned to Israel and founded Jonathan Institute , a group that studies the origins of terrorism and develops strategies to combat it.

Political Career: Deputy chief of mission , Israeli Embassy , Washington , DC, 1982-84 ; Israeli Ambassador to UN , 1984-88 ; Member of Parliament, 1988-96 ; Deputy Foreign Minister , 1988-91 ; Deputy minister , office of prime minister, 1991-92 ; Likud Party leader, 1993-; Prime Minister, 1996-

Office : Kiryat Ben-Gurion, 3 Kaplan St, PO Box 187 , 91919 Jerusalem , Israel

Barak, Ehud

Barak, Ehud

Ehud “Brug” Barak is Israel’s most highly decorated soldier . Barak was born in 1942 in Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a masters degree in economic-engineering systems from Stanford University.

He was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1959. Barak served as a commander in many of Israel’s wars, including the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 October War. In 1991, he became the 14th chief of the General Staff and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, the highest in the Israeli military. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and four other citations for bravery and excellence.

A hallmark of Barak’s military career was his involvement in the political process. He helped finalize the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and also played a key role in Syrian-Israeli negotiations. Barak was critical of the Oslo talks but has argued that Israel should keep moving forward in a realistic manner on the path to peace.

In 1995, Barak left the military and joined the government of Yitzhak Rabin as minister of the interior. Before his appointment, he was accused of deserting wounded soldiers during a secret military exercise in 1992. An investigation exonerated him from the allegations of misconduct.

After Rabin was assassinated, Barak was appointed foreign minister in the administration of Shimon Peres.

Barak was elected Labor leader in 1997, Barak’s leadership solidified after the Knesset called for early elections.

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

Born in 1928 in British-ruled Palestine. Opposition Likud Party leader, hawkish policies and a tough stance in peace negotiations.

He joined the Haganah (Jewish militia) as a youth and became one of the Israeli amy’s commanders after the establishment of Israel in 1948. He developed a reputation for military prowess and ruthlessness for his role as a commander in Israel’s 1953 attack on Jordan, the 1956 Suez Crisis, the Six-Day War of 1967 and the October war of 1973.

Sharon helped found the Likud Party in 1973, and in 1977 he was elected to the Knesset. He has served in a number of Cabinet positions. As the minister of agriculture, Sharon was one of the most outspoken backers of Jewish settlement in occupied Arab territories. Later, as housing minister, he oversaw a major expansion drive of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip.

Sharon was minister of defense under Prime Minister Menachem Begin and spearheaded Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. He resigned from the post in 1983 under a cloud, following Israeli commanded massacres by Lebanese Christians at Palestinian refugee camps in Israeli-occupied Beirut.

In June 1990 he became minister of housing. His expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank contributed to Likud’s 1992 electoral defeat. In 1996 new Likud prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Sharon to the cabinet post of minister of national infrastructure. In October 1998 he also became foreign minister, an appointment that was widely viewed as an effort by Netanyahu to increase his support among Israeli hard-liners. After Netanyahu signed an accord later that year agreeing to withdraw Israeli troops from an additional 13% of the West Bank and named his foreign minister to head an Israeli delegation that was to negotiate the final status of the occupied territories, Sharon continued to call for the expansion of Israeli settlements there.

Palestinians blame Sharon’s late September visit to a Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem city for sparking violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops and endangering the ongoing push for peace talks (Al-Aqsa Intifada).

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