"One of the men whom Wingate [a British officer fighting Arab terrorist gangs] recruited was Moshe Dayan, the future Israeli general. Dayan, then in his early twenties, was already a member of the Haganah, an illicit Jewish self-defence organisation, and a supernumerary policeman licensed by the British to carry a rifle, but even he admitted surprise at what Wingate now proposed. ‘We had always set our ambushes near the approaches to the Jewish settlement to be defended and not near the exit from an Arab village serving as a terrorist base,’ he later wrote. He was both inspired and intimidated by Wingate, who initially addressed his recruits in broken Hebrew, revolver in one hand, Bible in the other. ‘After a while we asked him to switch to English,’ said Dayan, ‘since we had difficulty in following his strange Hebrew accent and could understand only the recognisable biblical quotations in our language.' [...] When his prisoner still refused to talk, he turned to one of the Jewish recruits. ‘Shoot this man,’ he ordered, but the recruit hesitated. ‘Did you hear? Shoot him.’ The recruit did as he was told. Wingate turned to the three surviving detainees. ‘Now speak!’ he bellowed. 55 Back at camp, Wingate’s men were bemused by his behaviour. He would sit in his tent naked, reading the Bible and scrubbing himself with a brush, or eating a raw onion as if it were an apple."
"Havlagah collapsed in June that year after two Jewish youths were sentenced to death by a British military court for shooting at an Arab bus, although they caused no casualties. One death sentence was commuted, but the other was carried out. The hanging of the twenty-three-year-old Schlomo Yousef on 29 June led to outrage because he was the first Jew to be executed by the British in Palestine, and because, until that point, the British had condoned Jewish efforts to defend themselves using their defence organisation, the Haganah.2 The execution triggered a wave of revenge attacks by the Irgun Zvai Leumi,3 a right-wing faction of the Haganah, of which Yousef had been a member. On 6 July two bombs were thrown in Haifa market, killing twenty-one Arabs and six Jews, and wounding 106. On 15 July another bomb, on David Street in Jerusalem, killed ten Arabs and wounded thirty more. Further carnage was averted when a Jew was spotted leaving a basket containing a fifteen-pound bomb covered with vegetables, which was timed to detonate at eight o’clock that morning. Another bomb exploded in Haifa market on the 25th. Fifty-three Arabs were killed, and thirty-seven wounded. The police and army quickly cordoned off the area, but, according to a British report, they were ‘unable to prevent a wave of Arab reprisals in which 4 Jews were killed and 13 wounded by stoning, beating and stabbing and considerable destruction of Jewish property by arson, sabotage and looting’.4 Another bombing in the Haifa market at the end of August killed twenty-four Arabs and wounded thirty-five. The same report described how, as a result, sudden noises like ‘a back-firing car or the fall of a book in a crowded cinema’ were now liable to cause panic. ‘Any parcel left lying about is an object of suspicion and to throw an empty cigarette tin out of a car is to invite pursuit.’ This escalating tit-for-tat between the Arabs and the Jews left the British in an impossible position. The Times, which on Allenby’s entry to Jerusalem two decades earlier had predicted that Britain would establish ‘a new order’ in Palestine, ‘founded on the ideals of righteousness and justice’, now described a nightmare in which the police ‘must protect themselves against assassins, moderate Arabs from extremists, Jews against Arabs, and now, innocent Arabs from well-planned attacks which almost everyone considers to be Jewish reprisals’."
"He [Bernard Montgomery] took the view, as MacKereth, Tegart and Wingate had done before him, that a relatively small group of troublemakers was responsible for the violence. The British army’s ‘first and primary task’, he believed, was ‘to hunt down and destroy these armed gangs. They must be hunted relentlessly; when engaged in battle with them we must shoot to kill.’10 Over the next three months, resistance was brutally stamped out. The most recent estimate is that between 1936 and 1939 about five thousand Arab men were killed and ten thousand more wounded. By the end of the uprising, 10 per cent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population had been killed or wounded, imprisoned or sent into exile."