Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/14254
Title: Whispers from Below: Zionist Secret Diplomacy, Terrorism and British Security Inside and Out of Palestine, 1944–47
Authors: Wagner, S
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 42(3): pp. 440 - 463, (2014)
Abstract: This article discusses the global aspect of Zionist terrorism against Britain during 1944–47, relying on recently declassified documents and Hebrew records. Britain struggled against a global terrorist campaign which attacked British targets in Palestine, Egypt and the wider Middle East, continental Europe and the United Kingdom. This article refutes claims by other authors that British rule in Palestine failed because of intelligence failure. Intelligence failure was limited, but so were successes. British intelligence produced reasonable assessments on Zionist politics, but could do little to prevent violence without the cooperation of the Jewish Agency. Success was driven by a combination of signals intelligence, secret agents, one key defector, interrogations and intelligence shared by the Jewish Agency. Failure resulted from a weak understanding of the Zionist underground and from lack of cooperation by Agency authorities. Normally Britain's junior partner, the Jewish Agency was, by 1945, struggling against British restrictions on Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine. Its militia, Haganah, turned to cooperation with terrorists. British intelligence predicted that such developments could occur, but failed to identify them as they unfolded. Britain's dependence on Zionist security intelligence was a key vulnerability that never was addressed by policy-makers. The Jewish Agency leveraged its cooperation, applying it to prevent terrorism in Egypt and the United Kingdom, where violent incidents would harm the Zionist cause. It had little reason to prevent terrorism in the key battlegrounds of Palestine or Europe, and so terrorism harmed Britain's will to continue fighting. The root cause of Britain's failure was at the policy level. Despite known weaknesses, government never assessed its own will and ability to uphold restrictions on Zionist immigration, or to fight terrorism, as against the Yishuv's will and ability to struggle against Britain.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/14254
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03086534.2014.895136
ISSN: 0308-6534
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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