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The Haganah. Who were the Haganah? Formed from the Hashomer (the Night Watchmen) and the Bar- Giora, who acted as guards for Jewish settlements in Palestine,

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Presentation on theme: "The Haganah. Who were the Haganah? Formed from the Hashomer (the Night Watchmen) and the Bar- Giora, who acted as guards for Jewish settlements in Palestine,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Haganah

2 Who were the Haganah? Formed from the Hashomer (the Night Watchmen) and the Bar- Giora, who acted as guards for Jewish settlements in Palestine, as an alternative to the Arab watchmen that were predominately in use. The Haganah was formed in 1920 in response to the Arab riots of the same year, as the Jewish leadership feared that they could not rely on the British forces to protect them from Arab aggression. Primary role was to protect the Jewish kibbutzim and communities from Arab gangs, as well as warn Jewish residents of impending attacks. In the period , the Haganah lacked a central leadership and consisted of disparate groups of localized units which did not have any real training or adequate weapons, mainly consisting of local farmers protecting their own lands.

3 The development of the Haganah Following the 1929 Palestinian riots, the Jewish leaders recognised the ineffectiveness of these separate groups, so sought to streamline the organisation into a united military force. A recruitment drive caused the group to swell in numbers as well as training the youth for future membership. The Haganah also began to receive foreign funding allowing them to buy weaponry to equip their forces as well as developing their own workshops for making homemade armaments.

4 The Split In 1931, the Haganah divided along ideological lines. The main policy of the Haganah at this point was called Havlagah, (the restraint), whereby the purpose was to defend the settlements from attack and refrain from counter attacks against Arab communities in response to the Arab gangs. There was a growing movement within the Haganah to take a more aggressive stance, they felt that by not counter attacking it was tantamount to doing nothing. This movement went onto form the Irgun Tsva’i- Leumi (National Military Organisation).

5 The Haganah and the British The relationship with the British was generally to aid the British forces, whilst maintaining the key objective of protecting Jewish National interest. During the Arab Revolt, the Haganah worked with the British establishment to subvert the protestors, gaining important training from British military officers. Following the White Paper, which limited Jewish immigration into Palestine, the Haganah operated the Palmach which was an elite group within the organisation that organized illegal migration of Jews into Palestine. At the same time, they worked alongside British forces against the Axis forces during the Second World War, following the paradigm: “We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war.” This was important in the development of the military capabilities of the Haganah for it provided vital training, especially in leadership skills, that would be critical in turning the Haganah into a conventional army. Following the assassination of Lord Moyne in 1944, the British Minister of State for the Middle East, the Haganah assisted the British in targeting members of Irgun even though it was Lehi who orchestrated the killing.

6 The Haganah and the birth of Israel The Saison, of the hunting of the Irgun, ended in 1945 when all three paramilitary groups worked in conjunction with one another under the umbrella organisation the Jewish Resistance Movement that co-ordinated their actions to advance the formation of a Jewish state in Israel. As part of the struggle, the Haganah undertook attacks against the British forces stationed and infrastructure whilst continuing to facilitate Jewish migration into Palestine. Following the establishment of the state of Israel on 28 th May 1948, the Haganah along with other paramilitary forces were incorporated into the Israeli Defence force, as Israeli law barred any rival military forces. This disbandment of the Haganah caused unrest among the leadership of the group, which led to the Generals Revolt of 1948.


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