The Hidden British Crimes of Pre-State Israel

Zionism, critics of the Jewish state often claim, is nothing but a European colonial enterprise. But in reality the Jews of the Land of Israel were, in the 28 years before the state’s creation, subjects of British colonial rule—which was not always benign. According to recently declassified documents from the Mandatory period, British police killed or wounded a number Jews without provocation. Itamar Eichner writes:

Some of these files show that the British tried to cover up the killings, [whether] made in cold blood, as acts of self-defense, or misfires; . . . in many cases, the families of the dead were not informed about subsequent investigations.

On November 12, 1947, British troops attacked a house in Ra’anana where [the Jewish militant group] Leḥi was conducting a firearm course for a group of youths. In the attack, four children aged fifteen to eighteen and a nineteen-year-old instructor were killed. Already at the time, the British were blamed for killing the children in cold blood. According to testimonies, the group did not fire back and were mowed down while running away from the house.

Another incident uncovered in the British police files is the 1947 killing of Meir Plaskowski and his son Reuven in Moshav Karkur. On September 17, 1947, Plaskowski and his son were riding their motorcycle from Hadera to Pardes Hannah, when both were intentionally run over and killed by a British armored car. . . . In his testimony, the soldier driving the armored car said that he took off his sunglasses, lost control of the vehicle, and smashed into a roadside tree, unaware at all that he ran someone over. However, the uncovered documents show another testimony belonging to a Jewish man . . . who was driving that day to Pardes Hannah . . . and saw the armored car swerve intentionally and hit the motorcycle.

Read more at Ynet

More about: History of Zionism, Mandate Palestine

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7