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Procrastinating on July 23, 2016

Liveblogging Postwar: July 22, 1946: The Terrorist Bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem

The Times of Israel:

On July 22, 1946, a bomb demolished the southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. This newsreel shows the aftermath of the explosion. “The hotel housed the British army headquarters, and the Palestine government offices, and casualties were very heavy,” the British reporter announces, as workers on-screen sift the rubble for bodies. “The tragic scene is like a serious incident during the Blitz.”

The Zionist paramilitary group Irgun later claimed responsibility for the attack — the deadliest against the British during the Mandate period — an act of revenge on the British administration following the Black Sabbath arrests. “Sixty-five deaths are reported, and there is little or no hope of survival for any of the 58 missing,” the narrator continues. The final count would reach 91 dead.


Wikipedia: [King David Hotel Bombing][]:

91 people were killed, most of them being staff of the hotel or Secretariat: 21 were first-rank government officials; 49 were second-rank clerks, typists and messengers, junior members of the Secretariat, employees of the hotel and canteen workers; 13 were soldiers; 3 policemen; and 5 were members of the public. By nationality, there were 41 Arabs, 28 British citizens, 17 Palestinian Jews, 2 Armenians, 1 Russian, 1 Greek and 1 Egyptian. 46 people were injured. Some of the deaths and injuries occurred in the road outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings. No identifiable traces were found of thirteen of those killed. Among the dead were Yulius Jacobs, an Irgun sympathizer, and Edward Sperling, a Zionist writer and government official....

The Jewish political leadership publicly condemned the attack. The Jewish Agency expressed "their feelings of horror at the base and unparalleled act perpetrated today by a gang of criminals".... The Jewish National Council denounced the bombing.... David Ben-Gurion deemed the Irgun "the enemy of the Jewish people" after the attack.[citation needed] Hatsofeh, a Jewish newspaper in Palestine, labelled the Irgun perpetrators "fascists".

The Irgun issued an initial statement accepting responsibility.... A year later, on July 22, 1947, they issued a new statement saying that they were acting on instructions from "a letter from the headquarters of the United Resistance, demanding that we carry out an attack on the center of government at the King David Hotel as soon as possible." The Irgun's radio network announced that it would mourn for the Jewish victims, but not the British ones. This was explained by claiming that Britain had not mourned for the millions of Jews who died in the Nazi Holocaust.[citation needed] No remorse was expressed for the largest group of victims, the Arab dead.

Richard Crossman, a British Labour Party MP, whose experience on the Anglo-American Committee had made him sympathetic to Zionism, visited Chaim Weizmann shortly after the attack. Weizmann's ambivalence towards Zionist violence was apparent in the conversation. While condemning it, he also stated that he sympathised with its causes. When the King David Hotel bombing was mentioned, Weizmann started crying heavily. He said, "I can't help feeling proud of our boys. If only it had been a German headquarters, they would have gotten the Victoria Cross."

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