Yehoshua Zettler, Bernadotte’s Assassin Dies
Yehoshua Zettler, organizer of the assassination of UN mediator and Swedish Count Bernadotte in 1948, died a few days ago at the ripe old age of 91. Unfortunately, fate permits murderers to die in their sleep while the good die by the muzzle of a Tommy gun. Zettler was a leader of the Jewish ultra-nationalist terror group Lehi, who devised a plan to kill a newly appointed UN mediator, who had suggested that the UN assume control of Jerusalem and that Palestinian refugees be permitted to return to their homes. Lehi viewed him as a stooge of the British and was afraid that the Jewish provisional government would accept his proposals. They did not know at the time that Ben Gurion had decided to reject them and fight.
Lehi’s brutal murder was, in effect, Israel’s first attempt to bar the Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees exiled due to pre-war ethnic violence. It also pointed the way to Israel’s use of violence in pursuit of political objectives, a hallmark of future government policy (cf. targeted assassinations).* And finally, it foreshadowed Jewish nationalist paranoia regarding the intervention of foreign nations and bodies in Israel’s affairs, a theme that persists to this day.
Lehi has also proven an inspiration for other Jewish terrorists like Rabbi Meir Kahane and extremist settlers who routinely organize pogroms against Palestinian villagers.
One of the Lehi leaders who approved the execution of the Bernadotte plan was future prime minister Yitzchak Shamir. Zettler had earlier participated in the Deir Yassin slaughter, which was led by another future prime minister Menachem Begin.
After the Bernadotte murder, David Ben Gurion disbanded Lehi and arrested its members for being members of a banned organization. But miraculously, they were all released five months later under a political amnesty. No one was ever charged with the killing. Lehi’s brave members revealed their participation in the assassination in 1977 after the statue of limitations had expired.
It is a sad twist of fate that I published news of the death of the eloquent Zionist and Occupation critic, Amos Elon, yesterday night. And today I publish news of the death of a Jewish thug terrorist, Yehoshua Zettler.
* It was not, however, the FIRST political assassination in Zionist history. That distinction goes to the Jewish (probably Revisionist) thugs who assassinated Labor (Mapai) leader, Chaim Arlosoroff on a Tel Aviv beach in 1933.
18 thoughts on “Yehoshua Zettler, Bernadotte’s Assassin Dies – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
in the Netherlands the murder of Jacob Israel de Haan is usally cited as the first political murder in Zionist history.
I paste here something from the English verion of Wikipedia:
“De Haan was assassinated on 30 June 1924, and responsibility was attributed to Zionists alarmed by his political activities and his contacts with Arab states.
The 1985 publication of De Haan: The first political assassination in Palestine, by Shlomo Nakdimon and Shaul Mayzlish, revived wider interest in his assassination.
Nakdimon and Mayzlish were able to trace the assassin, Avraham Tehomi (1903-1990), then a businessman living in Hong Kong. Tehomi was interviewed for Israeli TV by Nakdimon and openly stated: “I have done what the Haganah decided had to be done. And nothing was done without the order of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (who later became the second president of Israel 1952-1963)… I have no regrets because he (de Haan) wanted to destroy our whole idea of Zionism” (Nakdimon). Tehomi denied allegations that De Haan’s assassination was related to his homosexuality: “I neither heard nor knew about this”, adding “why is it someone’s business what he does at his home?”
De Haan’s murder is considered the first political murder in the Jewish community in Palestine. His activities were perceived as undermining the struggle for the establishment of a Jewish state, but the assassination sparked a controversy and was harshly condemned by some.” etc.
Here’s the link to the Wikipedia article. It’s incredibly fascinating. Imagine a haredi Jew who was gay and wrote novels about homosexual life and sado-masochism. Not to mention that he opposed the creation of a Jewish state.
Also the fact that the Zionist movement was willing to murder its own as early as 1924 was shocking.
Your statement that “Jewish thugs (probably Revisionist) thugs murdered Arlosoroff” is not accepted by most Israelis today. He was murdered by Arabs. Sima Arlosoroff, his wife, witnessed the murder, and her first statement to the police stated that Arabs did it. She later changed her story. The Labor movement made a lot of political hay out of the charge that Revisionists did it.
There are different theories as to why Arabs killed him. It is possible that it was simply a robbery, but there are those who think Arabs were recruited by Nazi agents because Josef Goebbels wife Magda had been Arlosoroff’s girlfriend years before and the Nazi chiefs were afraid that this fact would get out. Here is a pretty summary:
There is absolutely no concrete proof to support this claim. This is so typical of you.
This too is a mischaracterization of the Wikipedia article. It says:
You do understand the meaning of the term “unknown” don’t you?
I meant to say a “pretty GOOD summary”
Thank you for the sublime revisionist history based on such sophisticated themes. But you forgot to say that the alternative theory of the murder was also that it was a sexual attack by the Arabs.
Jews were no strangers to mass murder even before the state of Israel was established.
Jews played a grossly disproportionate role in Stalin’s secret police which killed millions and sent millions more to the Gulag.
The famous “Murder Inc.” which is estimated to have killed 1000 people during the 1930s at the behest of various criminal gangs (many of them Italian) was strictly Kosher.
[comment deleted for violation of comment rules]
Here is further information about the Arlosoroff murder:
This is taken from the book “HaDerech El HaPanteon” by Dr Udi Lebel. It came out in 2008.
On page 430 he makes an extensive quotation of an article by Professor Amnon Rubinstein (former Shinui and MERETZ cabinet member) which appeared in Ha’aretz on 29 June 1973: (I translate from Hebrew)
“everyone who reads the new testimony (from recent years) is unable to be free of the clear impression that at a certain point in the trial (of Stavsky and the other Revisionists accused of the murder) numerous heads of the Haganah knew that some of the testimony were lies, the ‘line-ups’ (of possible suspects for Sima Arlosoroff to identify) were fictitious, and a hidden hand arranged fabricated testimony, and the fact that a man (an Arab) had confessed was hidden from the judges…when the (MAPAI) newspaper Davar wanted to write opposing the death penalty for Stavsky, an entire group (of MAPAI people) lead by Zalman Aranne (later a MAPAI cabinet minister) threatened a ‘pogrom’ (Rubinstein used the English word) among the editorial board of the newspaper.”
Rubinstein continues: “Anyone who still believes that the Revisionists were guilty of the crime is either a fool or evil…” He adds “The only thing still subject to question is is not who killed Arlosoroff, but the identification fo the people who tried to murder the accused Stavsky and Rosenblatt, because a staged trial based on false evidence and valid testimony that was blocked from being given is merely a way of murdering someone by way of judicial proceedings”.
Later in the book, Lebel, on page 441 says “9 years after the 1983 Commission of Inquiry (which cleared the Revisionists) Prof. Reuven Yaron who spoke to Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz shortly before his death regarding the Arolosoroff murder and Leibowitz stated that Sima Arolosoroff was severly depressed because she gave false testimony at the trial due to ‘pressure from the (party) comrades’…..Leibowitz was certain the Revisionists had nothing to do with the murder.”
It turns out that Dr. Lebel’s book was part of the project to rehabilitate the memories of Lehi and Irgun fighters and was jointly published by the Begin Foundation.
Bar Kochba wouldn’t tell you that background info, now would he? Take everything B.K. publishes here with a generous grain of salt unless you can confirm it via a more credible source.
Richard, why do you always assume “Right-wingers” are automatically liars? Why should I tell you automatically the affiliaition of everyone I quote? Do you? I remember your classic statement “consider the source!”. Does this mean all political people EXCEPT for Leftists are inherently liars? Leftists never lie? Arabs never lie? Really?
Are you saying that Lebel made up the quotes from Rubinstein and Leibowitz because he is a “right-winger” and thus automatically a liar? Are you saying that Ben-Gurion, although in your eyes “an expeller of Arabs” would NEVER lie to get what he wanted politically? That he would never lie in order to persecute his political opponents? That he would NEVER tell people to give false evidence in court in order to advance his political agenda. Is he a saint when it comes to internal Israeli politics, but a devil when it comes to the Arabs? Does that make sense?
You called me a liar because I directly quoted (unfortunately becaue I didn’t have link) Meron Benveniste in Ha’aretz as saying Leftists should not automatically reject Netanyahu’s plan for developing the Palestinian economy prior to a politcal agreement. You wrote “Benveniste would never agree to anything Netanyahu says”. I was not lying and you have no grounds for making such an accusation. Do you really think everyone is as closed minded as you seem to think they are? Do you think even people on the Left think as you do all the time?
I demand that you prove the quotes from the book are lies. THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN IS ON YOU, MY FRIEND.
No, I never said that. You did. Right-wingers have a decided ideological bias which should be accounted for when judging the reliability of anything they say. That doesn’t mean they lie. It doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING they say should be discounted. It means that care should be given to what one believes at face value.
Uh, maybe because then I’d have more trust in what you say?
Unlike you, I DO acknowledge weaknesses or problems in the arguments of those whose views and work I quote here who share my political outlook.
Every politician lies. It comes with the territory. Ben Gurion certainly would’ve had no problem lying for what he believed to be a good cause.
Your claim that an Arab killed Arlosoroff and that he had an affair with Goebbels wife to be are either totally unsubstantiated or flat out mischaracterizations of the Wikipedia article. You seem to have forgotten to address those problems with yr prior claims.
That’s not what I said. Maybe if you could accurately characterize what I said about the inadequacies of the book then I’d actually have more respect for you.
I know personally a close family member of Leibowitz. I will check out what he actually believed regarding this subject, rather than what a right-wing blog commenter quoting a Revionist apologist, believed.
Amnon Rubinstein was never a Meretz cabinet member. There was no Meretz when he was a cabinet member. He was liberal-left at one time but has long ceased being so. So I’m afraid quoting him on any particular subject as if he represents what the left should think is a waste of time. Claiming that railroading someone for murder is akin to “murdering” them or that believing the Revisionists were guilty is “evil” seems far fetched in the extreme. It may be unjust or even corrupt, but “murder?” C’mon.
Yes, he was a member of MERETZ. Shinui joined MERETZ in the 1988 elections and then when Poraz took over he split off from them.
The wikipedia article says the statute of limitations expired in 1971. 23 years strikes me as a rather odd number (a prime even 😉 – is this a mistake? What’s the statute of limitations for murder by non-Nazis of non-Prime Ministers?
I think there are good reasons to believe that the affair between Magda Goebbels and Arlosoroff did take place. See some info here.
That is interesting. It still comes nowhere near proving Arlosoroff was murdered by Arabs or by Goebbels. But it’s a fascinating & bizarre story.