Irgun. Revisionist  Zionism, 1931-1948.

Irgun. Revisionist Zionism, 1931-1948.

Gerry Van Tonder
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4 Mushroom Heads
That the Middle East is a complicated region both historically and politically should come as no surprise to even the most unobservant member of this site. It has been quite obvious over the last decade that there has been an interesting and in some quarters controversial increase in trade in military technology in both directions with Israel.

In my chosen career in Armour the Israelis were always held up as textbook masters of the art in the mid to late 80s. The later years bought less one sided conflicts to the region. In Britain we have always had rather difficult reputation in the region. Gerry Van Tonders latest book Irgun goes a good way to explaining this notoriety.

Irgun is the latest in Pen and Swords History Of Terror series. Though it concentrates on the period 1931 to 1948, the author gives concise pen picture of the origins and key characters in the Zionist movement before settling into the meat of its story.

The title of the series gives a clue as to its direction. Over the period of the British mandate, the Irgun organisation evolved from its humble beginnings as a force to guard and facilitate Jewish residents and immigrants into a full blown underground army attacking first Arab targets, then as the British reacted they became the targets.

The Irgun’s operations evolved from amateurish ambushes and shootings, to sophisticated attacks such as the infamous bombing of The King David Hotel (a British Headquarters) which resulted in 91 deaths both British, Arab and Jewish. The book is pitched perfectly treating the atrocities meted out by all three sides without fear or favour. Be in no doubt no side comes out of this period with any great honours.

Engaging in content, style and lavishly illustrated with photographs and contemporary newspaper articles. The book would be an excellent addition to the library of any reader who would like to educate themselves as to the real consequences of the British Foreign policy and the Balfour declaration.

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