I Fought for Israel's Independence. I Admit: I Too Am a 'Palestinian Terrorist'

Israeli prime ministers and Haganah and underground fighters were 'terrorists,' too

I am a Palestinian terrorist

In response to “Netanyahu says Palestinian killer of three Israelis should be executed” (Haaretz, July 28).

I, your humble servant, hereby admit that I and all of my contemporaries, the “salt of the earth” who are now in our nineties, are “Palestinian terrorists.” And it’s not pleasant to remember how we fought the occupation of the British Mandate – we fighters in the Haganah, Palmach, Irgun and Lehi – for life or death. We are still “Palestinian terrorists.”

We received our orders from commanders with national and political and ideological authority – David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir – who to the best of my knowledge of history, were “Palestinian arch-terrorists” who later became prime ministers of Israel.

Rescue workers searching the ruins of the British central government offices in Jerusalem's "King David" hotel blown up by "Etzel" Jewish underground forces
PHOTO : MENDELSON HUGO / * Government Press Office

Also not too pleasant to remember: how I sat in Acre Prison, in the ward for those condemned to death, and how one morning they bound the hands of Dov Gruner, of blessed memory, and I could hear the words of the song he sang, “Hatikva” – “Our hope is not yet lost” – and those of another 10 “Palestinian terrorists.” It is pleasant to remember that we ultimately triumphed, despite the cruel and inhumane death sentence. 

The “Palestinian terrorists” are freedom fighters and in the future will be the prime ministers of the Palestinian people in the “United States of Israel and Palestine” or in the “Israeli-Palestinian Union.”

And they will find it pleasant to remember, as it is pleasant for me to remember, how I was honored for my “contribution to Israel’s founding and security.” And how there are streets and squares throughout the land named in memory of the “Palestinian terrorists” Ben-Gurion, Begin, Shamir and others. May their memory be blessed!

Yehuda Keidar

Tel Mond