Argon Organization logo (Al Jazeera)

A secret Zionist military organization that arose in the Palestinian territories during the British Mandate, and continued until the Nakba of 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel. Britain classified it as a terrorist organization at that time, as its crimes were not limited to Palestinians only, but also included British and Jewish soldiers.

The name of this organization is closely linked to the Deir Yassin massacre, the assassination of the Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte, the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in addition to dozens of terrorist operations against the Palestinians.

Zeev Vladimir Jabotinsky is considered the spiritual father of this organization, whose leaders also included former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, as well as former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who defected from it to join the Stern Organization.

Origin and establishment

The Argun Organization, whose full Hebrew name is “Argun Zfai Leumi Ba’aretz Yisrael”, meaning “the National Military Organization in the Land of Israel”, and also called “Atzel” for short, was founded in 1931 AD under the leadership of “Abraham Tehomi”, and adopted the emblem of the hand holding the rifle in writing. Underneath it is “just like that”, and on a ground consisting of a map of historical Palestine and Jordan.

Irgun was based on the ideological and military principles upon which Vladimir Jabotinsky built his corrective Zionist movement, which he called the Beitar Youth Movement, in 1923, in Riga, the capital of Latvia, one of the republics of the Soviet Union at the time.

In 1931, Irgun split from the Haganah, one of the Zionist military organizations in Palestine. One of the most important reasons for the split was due to the dissenters’ dissatisfaction with the British restrictions imposed on the organization in its dealings with the Palestinian revolutionaries, as well as the restrictions that Britain imposed on Jewish immigration in some periods, to absorb anger. Palestinian.

Irgun received generous secret support from Poland starting in 1936, due to the Polish government's desire to encourage Jewish immigration to Palestine, as well as its desire to get rid of the poorest Jewish groups in the country.

Aragon was led by Avraham Tehome, who considered "political violence and terror" to be "legitimate tools in the Jewish nationalist struggle for the Land of Israel."

Therefore, in 1931, the British government placed it on the lists of terrorist organizations, due to its operations that targeted a number of British soldiers and officers.

Since 1938, this movement has been active in organizing the secret immigration of Jews to Palestine.

In 1943, Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel, took over the leadership of the organization.

Thought and ideology

Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky believed that the State of Israel would only carry out a mass migration of all the world's Jews to Palestine, and he was convinced that this would not be completed except through armed resistance. Therefore, he formed an armed movement to be the nucleus of the "Zionist army" in which he believed, and he was the one who came up with the idea of ​​the iron wall. Many believe that he had a “fascist outlook” and hated Arabs, and saw them as an obstacle that must be eliminated to achieve his dreams.

According to the Argun doctrine, Palestine is for the Jews alone, and there is no place for the Arabs who must leave.

Even the British had a large share of the hostility of Jabotinsky’s followers. Although Britain was the main supporter of the Zionist project from its beginning, and issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, this was not enough in the eyes of the Irgun and Jabotinsky’s students.

The expansionist ideas of the Zionist right, followed by Jabotinsky, and adopted by the Irgun organization, are based on the fact that what it calls “the historic Land of Israel” includes all the lands of Palestine and Transjordan, all the way to parts of Iraq bordered by the Euphrates River, and extends westward to include all of the Sinai desert, and southward to cover the Hijaz region. From the Arabian Peninsula.

Menachem Begin was one of the most prominent leaders of the Aragon organization (Getty-Archives)

Flags and symbols

Zeev Vladimir Jabotinsky is considered the spiritual father of the principles upon which the Irgun Zionist organization was founded.

Among the most prominent names is Abraham Tihome, who assumed the leadership of the movement since its founding in 1931.

Another of its symbols is former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who defected from the movement in 1931 and subsequently joined the Stern Organization.

Menachem Begin remains the bloodiest man in the movement's history, as he led it from 1943 until its dissolution in 1948, a period during which the organization committed a number of massacres against the Palestinians, most notably the Deir Yassin massacre.

Most prominent operations

Over the years in which the Irgun organization appeared between 1931 and 1948, its members committed dozens of terrorist operations, in which thousands of Palestinians were killed, and neither British soldiers nor even some Jews were spared.

Here are some of the most important of these operations:

  • On July 4, 1938, the organization carried out terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, killing 5 people and injuring 20 others.

  • On July 6, 1938, an Irgun member disguised himself as an Arab and placed several explosive containers of infant formula in a vegetable market in Haifa. When they were detonated, they killed 23 and injured 75 others.

Yitzhak Shamir, one of the leaders of the Irgun organization (Getty-Archives)

  • On the 15th of the same month, the organization carried out a similar operation in Jerusalem, in which 10 people were martyred and 29 others were injured.

  • On the 25th of the same month, Irgun members carried out a terrorist act in Haifa, killing 39 people and wounding 46. Most of the victims were women and children.

  • On July 22, 1946, Irgun committed a major crime by bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, most of them Palestinian Arabs, along with various other nationalities.

  • On December 29, 1947, Irgun carried out the Bab al-Amoud massacre in the occupied city of Jerusalem, where its members threw a barrel of explosives, killing 14 Palestinians and wounding 27 others.

  • On December 30, 1947, members of the Irgun gang threw a bomb from a speeding car in the city of Jerusalem, causing it to explode and killing 11 Palestinian citizens.

  • On March 1, 1948, the Irgun bombed the British Officers Club in Jerusalem, killing 11 Britons. The organization justified its operation as revenge for three of its members who had been sentenced to death by Britain in February 1948.

  • On June 27, 1948, the Swedish diplomat representing the United Nations, Count Bernadotte, proposed his peace plan, which included remaining all of Jerusalem under Arab sovereignty, the return of Palestinian refugees who fled the fighting, or were expelled by Jewish forces to their homes, and the restoration of their property.

  • These proposals angered the Zionists, so the Argonne Organization and the Stern Organization agreed to assassinate Count Bernadotte, and the assassination was actually carried out on September 17, 1948.

  • In September 1948, the Irgun organization was integrated into the Israeli army on the orders of the Israeli government, and Ben Gurion, the then Prime Minister of Israel, honored the Irgun leaders in November 1968, for their leadership role, as he put it, in establishing the State of Israel.

Source: Al Jazeera + websites