I saw the above photo (without the original AFP caption) in the print version of the July 22, 2011 edition of The Globe and Mail, in its feature "A Moment in Time" which marks the anniversaries of historical events.
Here is the accompanying text:
When the explosives destroying the British military headquarters in the King David Hotel were detonated, "the whole town seemed to shudder," recalled Menachem Begin in his memoirs. Begin's militant Irgun sought to drive the British out of Mandate Palestine, and had planted 225 kilograms of TNT and gelignite in milk cans delivered to the hotel basement. The blast "reached the whole height of the building...six storeys of stone, concrete and steel," Begin wrote. Although the terrorists telephoned a warning, it was not heeded and 91 people, including British officers, Arab workers and Jewish civilians, were killed. David Ben-Gurion, leader of Palestine's Jewish community, labelled the Irgun "the enemy of the Jewish people," though Begin insisted that Ben-Gurion's more mainstream Haganah had approved the operation. Both men would later serve as Prime Minister of Israel.--Patrick Martin
Ben-Gurion would go on to perpetrate his own forms of violence against the Palestinians as part of a deliberate ethnic cleansing of the country--one revealed in recently declassified documents which have proven great sources for younger Israeli historians seeking the truth about the founding of their country. Some of their research, which is published in academic journals, is also published from time to time in the Israeli paper Haaretz.
In searching Google Images for the picture above which accompanied the print version of "A Moment in Time", "July 22, Jerusalem's King David Hotel is Bombed", I discovered the same picture was featured in an excellent online slide show history of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, beginning with Zionist European immigration to Palestine in the 1880's to the present, as below.
Mideast discord has roots 130 years in the past
Globe and Mail Update
Published Tuesday, May. 31, 2011 4:32PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jun. 13, 2011 5:20PM EDT
A timeline detailing the history of the Israel and Palestinian territories
1945 – Postwar Jewish immigration to Palestine increases
The Jews who survived the Holocaust took their fight for a homeland to a new level. Although official postwar British policy was to continue limiting Jewish immigration, about 200,000 Jews went to Palestine. There were acts of Jewish terrorism against the British, as well as Jewish-Palestinian fighting. In 1946, Jewish militants blew up part of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, which was being used as a headquarters for the British military. That event pushed Britain toward abandoning the question of what to do with Palestine.
Before I found the picture of the bombing of the King David Hotel which accompanied The Globe and Mail pieces, I saw these two juxtaposing pictures of Menachem Begin, then head of the Irgun, and who later became Prime Minister of Israel, and was awarded a shared Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, with his group's work:
I had planned this post early this morning, before I learned (via email from regular commentator Wendy) about the bombing today in Oslo, Norway and the shooting at a youth camp on nearby Utoeya Island. When I was able to access the news, I was struck that the commentators and pundits observed the journalistic etiquette/ethic of prefacing their remarks with a statement acknowledging that the origin of the bombing was unknown, and not known to be an Al-Qaeda attack, and then proceeding as if there had already been official confirmation that this was an Al-Qaeda operation.
Among the motives given for an Al-Qaeda attack on Norway were the identification of the country is a soft target, one that hadn't prepared itself adequately despite recent warnings; and that as a NATO member Norway had been involved both in Afghanistan and in Libya. Threats made both by Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Muammar Gaddafi were cited. There was speculation that the shooter at the youth camp was an Islamist participating in a coordinated Al-Qaeda attack, and that despite being reported (then uncomfirmed) as blue-eyed, blond-haired, and Norwegian, he could still be (was most likely) Al-Qaeda.
Most striking to me was that no one mentioned Oslo's role in the (failed) Oslo Accords to try to resolve the Palestine-Israel crisis. Moreover, no one mentioned the day as falling on the anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel, specifically the British military headquarters in the then British Mandate of Palestine, by the Zionist terrorist group, the Irgun, fighting for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine--Israel. An inconvenient truth?
While not justifying the existence of or means used by Al-Qaeda, it does seem as if Westerners, and Americans in particular, still prefer on the whole to ignore the historical and current foreign policy decisions that have contributed to the creation and perpetuation of this particular terrorist group in particular religious disguise.
Rachel Corrie in Israeli Custody--Again: When Does the Occupation End?
Peace in the Middle East: Will Obama Do Any Better?--Doha Debates Chez Chiara
Nuclear Warheads: If Israel, why not Iran, Saudi, the GCC, or MENA? The Doha Debates Chez Chiara
The Pro-Israel Lobby: Defending Israel or Stifling Debate including of the Saudi Peace Initiative--The Doha Debates Chez Chiara
Calling on Obama: Get Tough on Israel--The Doha Debates Chez Chiara
Israel Apartheid Week 2010--1-4 weeks focused on Palestine
At least 87 killed in Norway twin attacks: police (AFP)
Your comments, thoughts, impressions?
A cartoon published shortly after the bombing of the King David Hotel