Irgun (shorthand for Ha'Irgun HaTzva'i HaLe'umi BeEretz Yisra'el, "National Military Organization in the Land of Israel") was a militant Zionist group that operated in the British mandate of Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the earlier and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah ( "The Defense"). Since the group originally broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet ( "Defense 'B' " or "Second Defense"), or alternatively as Haganah Ha'leumit or Ha'ma'amad . Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defence Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. In present-day Israel, the Irgun is commonly referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the Hebrew initials.
The Irgun policy was based on what was then called Revisionist Zionism founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky. According to Howard Sachar, "The policy of the new organization was based squarely on Jabotinsky's teachings: every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state". Some of the better-known attacks by the Irgun were the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre (accomplished together with Lehi) on 9 April 1948.
In 1947 "the British army in Mandate Palestine banned the use of the term 'terrorist' to refer to the Irgun zvai Leumi ... because it implied that British forces had reason to be terrified", but this did not stop others referring to it as a terrorist organization, e.g. the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, several media sources, and a number of prominent world and Jewish figures. Irgun attacks prompted a formal declaration from the World Zionist Congress in 1946, which strongly condemned "the shedding of innocent blood as a means of political warfare."
The Israeli government, in September 1948, acting in response to the assassination of Lord Moyne, dissolved the Irgun and Lehigroups as part of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance.
The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel's right-wing Herut (or "Freedom") party, which led to today's Likud party. Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977. The museum desplay's the actions taken by the organization during the independence war from November 29th 1947 until the Ezel's dismantlement on 22.09.48.
At the center of the exhibit- a audio visual description of the battle for the imancipation of Yaffo.
The exhibit showcases:
- Historic documents.
- Models weapons.