was amazed to read first in the Jewish Chronicle and then
in The Scribe the abracadabra story of The Struma as related
by Joel Ives. Is he that innocent or ignorant about the
true story or is he acting in order to promote his book
facts about the Struma is that it was torpedoed by a British
submarine to avoid receiving in Palestine the 800 refugees
it carried. Had it not been for the one witness who escaped
by miracle and reached the Turkish shores, the boat would
have been lost and forgotten.
witness repeated, once and again, in his testimony that
the sinking was consecutive to an explosion by bomb or torpedo.
to what is related in the article the witness was taken
care off by the Turkish authorities who accepted his version
of the story.
another scene of this episode was the special session of
the committee of the Jewish Underground Forces who had special
entries to the High Commissioners office in Cairo
when they came across and copied or photocopied the message
sent by the High Commissioner to a British submarine to
torpedo the Struma. A special court was convened and Lord
Moyne, the High Commissioner was sentenced to death.
these facts came up in the Cairo court as you will notice
execution of the sentence was entrusted to two special agents
of the underground movement (tireurs delite) good
shots, with instructions not to ever hurt any Egyptian.
High Commissioners office was not so well-protected
and the two fellows easily had access to his office, shot
the Commissioner and left on the bicycles they trotted in
with. The alarm was given when the two fellows were cycling
hard for safety when a passing Egyptian policeman heard
the alarm, was intrigued and followed the two youngsters
and arrested them. They proved later to the court that they
could have shot the policeman easily but they had their
instructions to abide with. The Egyptian press for weeks
and before the trial was sympathetic to the boys as was
the majority of the population.
most important Egyptian lawyer was committed to defend them
(without charge) and everybody thought that the two would
get away with imprisonment but this thought irritated the
British and they had to find a machiavellian way to have
day or two before the sentence the Egyptian Prime Minister
was assassinated and many saw the machiavelian hand of the
a sentence was passed and the two boys of 20 and 18 were
knew the boy of 18 as he was from a family of Syrian origin.
The Pessah before these events I spent with this family
in Haifa with others.
sources also confirms that it was the Russians who torpedoed
the Struma for political reasons.
often found herself, because of her weak position, obliged
to bite the bullet and accept a version of events which
is different from the truth. At the end of the Second World
War, Israel abstained from harming the ex-Mufti Amin Husseini
because Britain gave him safe passage first to Egypt and
then to Beirut. It is likely that Amin Husseini played a
major role in preventing Jews from leaving Europe, a policy
which was in line with British Foreign Office objectives.
Another incident at which Israel had to keep quiet was the
assassination of the Israeli Olympic team. This was done
by the German police, but the Israeli government had to
subscribe to the version that it was committed by the Palestinian
terrorist, in order not to sour relations with Germany which
was paying massive compensations at the time.
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