Another Tack: The lesson of April 26

Tel Aviv passersby dodging Hassan Bek sniper fireIt didn’t seem that way, but this day – April 26 – exactly 65 years ago was pivotal in yet-to-be-born Israel’s history. Its little-celebrated and hardly remembered events remain central for debunking the lies about the circumstances of the Jewish state’s inception. Its trials and tribulations tell a unique story of individual courage and defiant daring quite literally against all odds.

Yet shamefully too few – even among us – are at all aware of it. As time goes by, the numbers only dwindle.

April 26, 1948 was shaping up to be quite a dismal day. The single exception was the fact that on that day the IZL (Irgun Zvai Leumi) and the large Labor-led Hagana signed a cooperation agreement whereby the Irgun undertook to carry out only missions beforehand authorized by the Hagana, as well as to assume whatever operational roles the Hagana would assign it.

The evening of April 26 was particularly wretched for Menachem Begin. In his role as IZL commander he had decided to halt the Irgun’s attack on Jaffa’s Manshiyeh quarter, then already in its second ill-fated day. Continue reading