Did Israel ever bomb the UK?

This question has been itching me for some time now and I haven’t been able to answer it on my own.
A few months ago, I was having a discussion with my Jewish roommate on World War II. He mentioned that his maternal grandfather fought in the all Japanese 442nd (He’s half Japanese, half Jewish). I thought, wow, impressive. Then he went on to say that his paternal Jewish grandfather took part in a bombing raid on London.
Ummm…what?
I consider myself a history buff and this little fact was not known to me. He then went on to clear up that he wasn’t exactly sure when it was perhaps sometime after WWII. Anyway, the whole jist of the matter is that the Israelis were obviously sick of British occupation so some guys(including grandpa) pooled their money, got volunteers, etc., “got some planes together,” and in the shadow of darkness, dropped bombs on London, and their actions were “pivotal” in ending British occupation of Israel/Palestine.
Okay, based on my own knowledge of history, I happen to know there were a few more factors involved. In any case, I thought he was crazy. The idea of a few yahoos getting together and bombing the capitol of the British Empire from the skies seemed ludicrous. Then it dawned on me…I could swear I’ve heard this story before years ago but it never really sunk in. Were they right? Anyway, I set about trying to confrim this little tidbit. I couldn’t find the event in any history books. I couldn’t find any web resources. I approached the matter scientifically…surely, aniquated planes from the 40s weren’t capable of flying from Israel to London, drop bombs, AND fly all the way back home. Taking off from a European or North African base doesn’t seem likely considering the military presence. Plus, the biggest fact of all, London was a pretty fortified city. They held out against the German Luftwaffe(air force) for two years and still growled defiance. The British can take punishment quite well. And what about the Royal Air Force? Couldn’t they just have shot the sonsabitches down???(I’m not raggin on the Israelis, but you know what I mean). I mean the whole scenario just seems totally unplausible.
Recently, another Jewish friend of ours visited and told the same story. He said its not in the history books because “it embarrased the British.” Is this just pride we’re talking here? I really wanna clear this up. In my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe their grandfathers were telling them fish stories, but I dunno. Can anybody out there clear this up??

WAG: absolute, 100% crap. I’ve never heard this story in the media, from family or from friends who’ve lived in London for many, many years. The explanations I’ve heard for Britain’s departure usually involve international pressure by the US and the UN, at a time when (I’d guess) Britain was more concerned with rebuilding a war-focussed economy than international problems.

Israeli guerrillas (or, if you prefer, terrorists) DID set off bombs at numerous British targets in Palestine (The St. David Hotel was the most fampus example), but Isaraelis never bombed Great Britain directly.

What sense would this have made? The goal of Isaraeli rebels (including young men like Menachem Begin) was to pressure Britain to leave Palestine, just as it was the goal of the Viet Cong to get Americans to leave Viet Nam. Now, for a small guerilla force facing a powerful invade, inflicting casualties on the enemy, to make him see the wisdom of leaving is smart strategy. But if the Viet COng had tried to bomb New York, would THAT have helped their cause? Of COURSE not! It would have made AMericans more determined than ever to crush the commie bastards!

Similarly, bombing a British Army outpost near Jerusalem would have been smart- bombing London would only have steeled Britain’s resolve.

Interestingly, I have used that example in the past as a means of distinguishing terrorism from guerrilla warfare. It has to do with the distance between the target and the objective.

Thus, when the Jews wanted to kick the British out of Palestine, they launched attacks against the British military force in Palestine. That’s guerrilla warfare, because the target of the attack is closely tied to the objective.

When the Palestinians want to kick the Israelis out of the West Bank of Israel, they kill an American on a Greek cruise ship. That’s terrorism, because the object of the attack is extremely distant from the objective.

In my view CKDextHavn the distinguishing feature is attacking the military, not civilians. (BTW my recollection is that Sharon and co. were not all that fussy about military targets.)

For (say) the IRA to attack British military bases/ personel anywhere in the world would make them a guerilla army (which doesn’t in itself justify their acton, of course). To blow up a pub or a shopping centre crosses over into terrorism.

The British got a very nasty bloody nose in (the then) Palastine. This was probably part of the reason the UK abstained in the UN vote on the creation of Israel.

picmr

speaking of terrorism. thread hijack.
:slight_smile:

The US media always has a fit over the evil muslim terrorists, but the whole terrorism bad, but guerilla warfare good train of thought always struck me as a little odd. It seems to me people groups of people with the best means available to them. If you are the have the same military strength as the group you are fighting you use regular warfare. If your sightly weaker then you use guerilla warefare. If you are much much weaker you use terrorist warfare.

I really don’t think people in the IRA or PLO are more or less moral than any other group of people.

I also have a small problem with the idea that its ok to kill people in the military, but not civilians. In WW2 we (the USA) bombed civilian targets. (dresden and heroshima (sp))

If you son joins the army and gets killed by a terrorist bomb are you less upset than if he was killed by a terrorist bomb at the mall.
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This post should not be taken as support for killing anyone at anytime for any reason.

michael

Don’t worry about him, all you blood-thirsty bastards out there. ALL my posts should be taken as support for killing anyone at anytime for any reason. :wink:

–Tim

Homer,
i was trying to make a point that i don’t support warfare of any kind. I thought I might look like i was defending terrorism. What I was trying to say was that I don’t see terrorism as bad war, and conventional war as good war. Killing people is killing people period.
michael

There was, of course, a Yiddish play The Peach Orchard that was a very bad translation of the play by Chekhov, made into a musical, that opened in London in August, 1942. The translation into Yiddish was awful, the acting stank, and the music was borrrrrring, so, course, the play… er… bombed in London.

Was that what you had in mind?

PS - Since I think the terrorism (bad) vs guerilla warfare (good) discussion is an interesting one by itself, I’m opening a thread in GREAT DEBATES on the topic. Pic, I agree with you, your definition of military vs civilian falls under my classifications. For the IRA to attack British military bases in Ireland is close to their objective; to attack British military bases in the Falklands or civilians in London is further from their objective; to attack civilians in Detroit would be further yet, etc. The line is drawn somewhere along that path, as the target of the military/terrorism gets further and further from the political objective.

I think in London a “bomb” refers to a play that is a smash success. And Dex, for God’s sake get help for your tendency to puns. It’s a tough addiction to beat, but you can do it! As your friends (and victims), we will support you in any way we can.

Resistance is futile.

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Broccoli is death.

That’s the KING David Hotel.

BTW, this story is patently untrue. Tourian, your roommate must have misheard or misunderstood some story his grandfather told him. The State of Israel didn’t exist until some time after both World War II and the British occupation of Palestine had ended, and previous to that, the various Jewish terrorist groups spent about as much time fighting each other as the British. Certainly none of them on their own the resources to do a bomb run on London. AFAIK, the only time they were able to put their differences aside and act against the British, they bombed a number of bridges throughout Palestine in one evening.

Err, i can report the sky’s are, and always have been, clear of Israeli bombers. Love the story, though. So madcap it could have worked.

On Palastine, the view from this end has been that it was pretty much a no-win situation in 19447/48. The Mandate was ending so the British were leaving anyway but in the final months both sides were pushing against the middle - both Jews and Arabs wanted what was to be effectively ungoverned land.

Yes, KING David Hotel. There’s a St. David’s Hospital here in Austin TX, and somehow things like that get jumbled up in my head.

Silly error- sorry!