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60 years since the murder of the Altalena

murder of AltalenaIn 1948, acting on Ben Gurion’s orders, Haganah detachment under the command of Yitzhak Rabin drowned the Altalena ship.
Menachem Begin’s ETZEL fighter group used the Altalena to transport huge quantities of weapons which Israel desperately needed in the War of Independence. According to ETZEL agreement with Haganah, the weapons were to be shared. After the brief quarrel with Haganah commanders, the ship left Yaffo dock and stood on the raid in Tel Aviv.
At that point, Rabin opened fire at the defenseless ship, and continued even after it threw white flag. Rabin refused to allow evacuation of wounded Jews from the ship, and directed fire onto the Jews who jumped from the sunken ship and swam to the shore unarmed. 16 Jews from ETZEL were thus murdered in cold blood on Rabin’s order.
A huge crowd on Jewish leftist onlookers assembled on the shore but did nothing to stop the slaughter. Ben Gurion said about the murder, “Blessed be the cannon that shot the Altalena.” Decades later, asked in America to recount his experiences in the War of Independence, Rabin the murderer of Altalena hysterically boasted of “shooting and shooting” the Jews who swam for survival.
ETZEL refused to retaliate against fellow Jews for the murder.

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This anniversary of the Altalena Rabin drowned will always remain in the hearts of the Israelis.The cruelty of this act should be remembered as an example of what people can do to their counterparts. The Altalena Rabin destroyed without any regrets is another symbol of sufferrings the Israelis hhave come through fighting for their independence.

WCat Giza 23 February 2010

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