Israel Historian on King David Hotel Bombing: 'It Was an Act of Terror'

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, King David Hotel Bombing

Seventy years after the pre-State of Israel Irgun underground militia blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing more than 90 people, historian Prof. Mordechai Golani called the attack "an act of terror that stained our history, leaving it scarred.”

Speaking at a conference held on Friday at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, Golani, an expert on the history of the British Mandate, added that the acknowledgement should be twofold. “We must bow our heads twice: once for the innocent men and women who were killed on a routine workday and once for shame at the attack,” he said.

The bombing was directed at a strategic target: The King David Hotel housed the British administrative headquarters and symbolized the British Mandate in Palestine, which the Irgun was fighting as part of the Jewish Resistance Movement.

Golani criticized historians and politicians who attempt to present that attack as an explosion and insisted on calling it an act of terror. “One would think that some gas cylinders had exploded by accident," he said. "Friends, these were no random gas cylinders. This was a serious terror attack, a malicious one that stained not only the walls of the adjacent YMCA building with blood — bodies were hurled that far — but stained our entire history.”

“Collective memory is an existential issue, to the point that currently there are some among us for whom having reservations about killing innocent people is like having a malignant affliction. The attack did not render our struggle unjust, but left behind a deep scar. It weakened our arguments then and now,” he summarized. ...

Read entire article at HAARETZ

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