The Jerusalem skyline is about to change

by Leah Rosenberg

The Tiferet Yisrael synagogue was one of the two beautiful synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem.  What set it apart was it’s height and dome.  It is not a large location, but it was a very high and beautiful synagogue on a high spot in the Old City of Jerusalem.  From 1949 till 1967, the Jordanians occupied the Old City of Jerusalem after they defeated the Haganah in the battle for the Old City.  The Jordanians blew it up in the midst of the battle for Jerusalem.  It has been a ruin that now lies right near Yeshivat HaKotel for the last 70 years.


Three Jewish Militias

In the pre-State of Israel period, the Jewish people in the Land did not have one unifying army force.  They were fragmented into three groups.  The largest group was the Haganah.  They were under the command of the Jewish Agency and David Ben-Gurion.  In addition to defense of the settlements and the cities, they focused on not-yet-legal immigration via boats from Europe and other locations.  But they were keenly aware that the day would come when the new State would need an Army.  So, they manufactured weapons, raised money abroad and bought surplus weapons that were left over from World War II.

The smaller military groups were the Irgun and the Lechi.  They were more militant and fought bravely against the British.  Despite their small numbers, they were fearless and ferocious.  When the British hanged several of their fighters, they replied in kind and hanged several British soldiers.  This according to Churchill had a very profound impact on British prestige.  Together,  the Irgun and the Lechi even bombed the military headquarters of the British Empire in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel.  Their prominent leaders were Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.


But the three groups did not cooperate and fight together for more than a few months.  the mutual distrust was very great.  They could not even fight together to defend Jerusalem.  Some have noted that Jerusalem could not be conquered by 3 Armies.  They needed one unified command to win.  That would only happen 19 years later in the Six Day War.

Arab Incitement
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