Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947. By Bruce Hoffman. Knopf; 618 pages; $35.
ISRAEL’S creation has many causes, but among the most powerful, argues Bruce Hoffman, is terrorism. For a decade, the anonymous soldiers of the Jewish underground waged a terror campaign to establish a state, targeting first Arabs, then British forces, then Arabs again.
Mr Hoffman has worked for the CIA and American forces in Baghdad, and he established the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University. Although he dismisses some Arab militants of the age as atavistic marauders out to “kill as many Jews as possible”, he maintains a thinly veiled admiration for the Jewish irregulars whose plan to upset Britain’s 25-year rule of Palestine he describes as “unequivocally triumphant” and “brilliant in its simplicity”. “Terrorism,” Mr Hoffman writes, “can, in the right conditions and with the appropriate…
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