By Patrick Bishop
One of Britain's most famed army historians revisits a arguable homicide: that of Zionist chief Avraham Stern, head of Israel's infamous Stern Gang, in Tel Aviv in the course of WWII.
Militant Zionist Avraham Stern believed he was once destined to be the Jewish liberator of British Palestine. because the ringleader of the notorious Stern Gang, often referred to as Lehi, he masterminded a sequence of high-profile terrorist assaults in pursuit of his dream. at the run from British professionals who'd placed a bounty on his head, Stern used to be hiding in an attic in Tel Aviv while he used to be killed through Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, a British colonial policeman assigned to catch him.
Morton claimed Stern was once attempting to break out. yet witnesses insisted he used to be achieved in chilly blood. His debatable dying encouraged a cult of martyrdom that gave new existence to Lehi, aiding to spoil hopes of a detente among the British, the Arabs, and the Jews.
The Reckoning is the tale of Patrick Bishop's quest to find the reality. in line with broad research—including entry to Morton's deepest archive and eyewitness interviews—it recounts this seismic occasion in complete, with no bias, putting it in the context of its turbulent time. Bishop's gripping, groundbreaking narrative brings to lifestyles males related in ambition and commitment, chronicles the occasions that ended in their deadly assembly, and explores how the effect of Stern's loss of life reverberated in the course of the ultimate years of British rule and the start of Israel.
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Extra info for The Reckoning: Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land - A True Detective Story
In his short life he had morphed from promising scholar and poet to aspiring Zionist theorist to underground fighter. Now he seemed to think of himself as a warrior prophet, taking the name ‘Yair’ in homage to the leader of the Zealots who killed each other rather than surrender to the Romans. In the course of the journey he had formed an unshakeable conviction – that Britain was the main enemy of the Jews and the chief obstacle to the creation of a new Israel. The outbreak of the war had done nothing to change his mind.
In 1917, British forces advanced from Egypt to secure their portion. On 11 December their commander Sir Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem’s Old City on foot to take its surrender. Palestine soon belonged to Britain by right of conquest and, at the 1919 Versailles peace conference, it hung onto it. Britain’s governance was formalized when the League of Nations granted it the Mandate to rule Palestine in 1922. Fifteen years on, a territory that had been acquired in a spirit of hasty opportunism was starting to feel like an accursed burden.
Thanks to Morton, though, the group was on its knees. Sixteen days earlier, he had led a raid on a flat in central Tel Aviv where some of Stern’s most dedicated followers were holed up. He had burst through the door and shot down three of them, including Tova Svorai’s husband, Moshe. The raid had convinced some of the group to surrender and others had been rounded up. Without Stern, however, Morton’s victory could not be complete. But where was he? The big saloon stopped outside police headquarters, a bleak three-storey concrete block on the main road between Arab Jaffa and Tel Aviv.