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Brit HaBirionim (Hebrew: ברית הבריונים, The Strongmen Alliance) was a clandestine, self-declared fascist faction of the Revisionist Zionist Movement (ZRM) in the British Mandate of Palestine, active between 1930 and 1933. It was founded by the trio of Abba Ahimeir, Uri Zvi Greenberg and Dr. Joshua Yeivin.

Background

The 1929 Arab riots and the Haganah's inability to successfully prevent the massacres of Jews in Hebronmarker and Safedmarker led to the creation of the first militant organization characterized by its complete disassociation from the existing Zionist establishment dominated by the Labor Zionist movement.

Ideology

The organization's official ideology, was Revisionist Maximalism which was based upon Italian Fascism. It called for the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) to adopt the fascist principles of the regime of Benito Mussolini in Italymarker to create an integralist "pure nationalism" amongst Jews. Revisionist Maximalism rejects communism, humanism, internationalism, liberalism, pacifism and socialism; condemned liberal Zionists for only working for middle-class Jews rather than the Jewish nation as a whole. Revisionist Maximalism's minimal goals were presented in 1932 where Ahimeir officially called for the leadership of the Zionist Revisionist Movement to be redesigned into the form of a dictatorship, called for the creation of an indepenent Zionist federation, called for a "war on funds" to end corruption in the Zionist movement, and called for a war on anti-Semitism.

Activities

Members of Brit HaBirionim carried out several largely minor operations, including demonstrations against both Zionist and British institutions, attempts to interrupt the census conducted by the British, and other illegal activities intended as public provocations such as blowing the Shofar at the Western Wallmarker (forbidden to Jews at that time), and removing the flags of foreign consulates.

In 1933, the British Mandatory Authority arrested several members, including Aheimeir, and charged them with the murder of Chaim Arlosoroff. Though acquitted of the charges in 1934, the trial tarnished the group's reputation and led to its isolation by former political supporters among the Jewish populace, and eventually to its demise.

References

  1. Kaplan, The Jewish Radical Right. University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. p15
  2. Shindler, Colin. The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right. I.B.Tauris, 2006. p13.
  3. Shindler, Colin. The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right. I.B.Tauris, 2006. p13.
  4. Larsen, p364-365.
  5. Kaplan, p15
  6. Shindler, Colin. The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right. I.B.Tauris, 2006. p156.
  7. Larsen, Stein Ugelvik (ed.). Fascism Outside of Europe. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. ISBN0880339888. p378.



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