Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

I finally did it — because someone had to. Responding to requests from all over the place, I did something I never before have done: I posted on YouTube videos of classes I have taught for my shul via Zoom.

Ever since my lung transplant in particular, I have been teaching heavily on Zoom — three or four classes each week on topics ranging from (i) Nakh (the Biblical Prophets) to (ii) Mishneh and Rambam’s Mishnah Torah to (iii) Advanced Judaic Topics with Advanced Torah Texts to (iv) multi-part series on specific topics that grab me, like the History of Jews in the United States and, more recently, one or two hours weekly on the latest developments from Israel.

But there has been one topic that I taught half a year ago that somehow hit a unique chord all its own: a 10-part series on the Jewish Underground (Machteret) and its role in the Rise of the Modern Country of Israel.

(I must digress: Please note that I refer to Israel as a “Country.” I adamantly refuse to call it a “State.” Delaware and North Dakota are states. A state is picayune. Others lacked the guts to call Israel “Eretz Yisrael,” the “Country of Israel,” because they were afraid the Arabs would say such a name implies Zionist designs on Iraq, based on an expanded definition of Biblical Promised Israel. So they used “Medinat Yisrael,” and everyone mindlessly calls Israel a “State.” That makes it less scary to speak of a “Two-State Solution.” What’s so scary about Virginia and West Virginia near each other? North Dakota and South Dakota? North Carolina and South Carolina? Iowa and Whatever Is Near It? Big deal — two states. Well, unlike a “state,” a country has armies, an air force, and even more mass-destructive weapons. Like Russia and Ukraine. So: (i) There is no “Palestine,” and Israel is not a “state.” It is a “Country,” no less than England, France, Russia, or Zimbabwe.)

I taught these ten one-hour sessions live on the occasion of the first anniversary of my lung transplant. G-d had given me a new lease on life, and there was something I wanted to teach because no one does: the critical and indispensable roles of the Irgun, Lechi, and Haganah in creating a Jewish country. Even before current-day students began rioting over “colonization” and “decolonization,” and “From the River to the Sea,” I was determined to leave my own shul at least with a clear understanding that Israel was not given its modern countryhood on a silver platter. Its land was occupied by a foreign occupier.

The Jews were indigenous. And the British perpetrated at least three crimes of historic proportions:

1. The British saw Arabs running amok in bloody massacres throughout the 30 years of the pre-country Palestine Mandate from 1917-1947. There were the bloody Arab Jerusalem Riots of 1920-1921, the horrors of the Wild Barbaric Animal Arab Hevron Massacres of 1929, the Shechem and related bloody Arab Riots and Arab Massacres of 1936-1939, and basically Arab bloody murders every single day for all 30 years and before. And yet the British barred Jews from defending themselves (much as the country of Israel sometimes does to Jews in Judea and Samaria now, when they even bar the distribution of firearms to Jews under fire).

2. The British sealed off Haifa harbor and would not allow desperate Jewish refugees from Hitler Europe into the only country willing to absorb them. Great Britain kept the Jewish refugees out of England for the most part. Franklin Roosevelt, of cursed memory, kept America’s borders closed for the most part, in most years not even allowing the Congressionally approved immigration quotas to be filled. Jews arrived at Haifa harbor stealthily by cover of night, and sometimes got by the British patrols, but often got caught and sent back. There were so many tragedies at sea, including the Struma and the Patria. Hundreds, if not thousands, died directly at British hands, and we will never know how many millions of those murdered during the Holocaust might have survived if the British did not seal off Israel to unrestricted immigration.

3. The British cut off and tore away land from the Palestine Mandate they were sworn to cultivate and guide to be a Jewish national home. They literally forced a Two-“State” Solution onto the Jews by giving the Arabs everything east of the Jordan River. That was ours — not theirs to give away. They then tore away more land west of the holy Jordan.

Who — today — knows this? Many do. Most don’t. And G-d knows how much more land they would have torn away, and how many more Jews they would have kept out, and how many more Jews would have been defenseless in the face of Arab murderous attacks if not for the Irgun, the Lechi, and the Haganah. In terms of today’s American college slogans, the Jews were indigenous. The British imperialists were an occupation force on occupied land in occupied territories. They held that occupied land as a colony. And the Jews decolonized the land in a great national liberation movement, expressing Zionism at its fullest. The logo of the Irgun underscored their motto: From the River to the Sea, “Palestine” — renamed Israel — Will Be Free.

And guess what? Except for a small sliver of Judea and Samaria that — only meantime — is called the “Palestine” Authority, by golly it is! The Irgun, Lechi, and Haganah pulled it off.

So, yes, freedom is won in part by violence. Chaim Weitzmann proved the limits of diplomacy and negotiation. “Nice” works only so far.

Certainly, ignorant leftist college students (Jewish and non-Jewish) and self-hating apostate Jewish leftist “Jewish Studies” professors and students, and other anti-Semites, will ask: “So how is Zionist violence different from Hamas?”

I teach that in my 10-part series. Is there no difference between a poison mushroom and a healthy mushroom? Are all mushrooms alike? Are all countries alike? Are all colors alike? Are all songs alike? People were given intelligence by G-d in order to exercise insight and discernment, to distinguish holy from profane, light from darkness, and Jews fighting for freedom from Arab terrorists.

More specifically:

We just saw what Hamas is and does. They encounter women, and they start raping them. In some cases, we know authoritatively but have not been permitted to see, they slice off women’s breasts from their torsos. They mass murder babies. They cut off baby heads. They cut fetuses out of the wombs of living pregnant mothers. They put live human beings, babies, into ovens to bake to death. They set others, hiding, afire. Even Hitler killed Jews in gas chambers first before putting their bodies in crematoria. They cut off heads of their murder victims with garden equipment. They then return to raping dead women.

Does anyone on this planet, except for an apostate self-hating leftist Jewish “Jewish Studies” professor or one of his/her/their/its students, really need to have it explained how Hamas — and Fatah in Judea and Samaria, whose leadership, up to Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), have endorsed every single Hamas act — differs from the Irgun and the Lechi?

Every single national liberation movement ultimately must engage in violence when all else fails. George Washington crossed the Delaware River to lead his men in a midnight massacre of King George’s Hessian mercenaries in New Jersey. American patriots tarred and feathered their enemies, an indescribably horrific act that is outside anything Jews ever could contemplate, pouring boiling hot tar on a person (which is the only way tar can be applied, since it quickly solidifies and hardens at room temperature), and then adding unbearably painful humiliation while the man dies of intense suffocation, tossing an open pillowcase of chicken feathers on him as the tar hardens and he publicly gags and asphyxiates to death.

The Jewish Underground targeted specifically military and police objectives: police and army headquarters, police stations, officers’ clubs, armories. When the British whipped and flogged Jews, the Irgun grabbed British officers and whipped them. When they hanged Jews, the Irgun grabbed British sergeants and hanged them. The Lechi targeted Lord Moyne and Count Folke Bernadotte. And, yes, they did hold up banks because, as Willie Sutton said, that’s where the money is. But they did not aim to kill British spouses and children of those stationed. In the rarest of cases, where British or other civilians tragically died, as during the King David Hotel bombing, the Irgun tried so desperately, with several advance phone calls, to evacuate them from the premises. In my classes, I tell the historical account.

But they did not deliberately, as a matter of strategy to liberate Zion, aim to massacre Arab women and children.

Massacre Arab or British babies? Cut off Arab or British heads? Rape Arab or British women, alive and dead? Slice off their breasts? Tear out fetuses from pregnant women? Put Arabs or British in ovens? It never entered their minds.

How can anyone on this planet not understand and discern the difference between the Jewish Underground, the Zionist national liberation movement aimed at expelling the British, and any and every other freedom movement that ever existed? And how could anyone put Hamas in the same sentence as “Jewish” anything?

So I taught the ten parts, and word spread. Many of my readers here attended a session or two but explained the timing of the classes — Pacific Time — just was impracticable for them. They asked me please to post the ten classes on YouTube. So, after being unable to find anything else like it on YouTube, I finally did.

The entire 10-Part YouTube Playlist can be found here or here. And I do not just teach facts; I take sides. I am not afraid to cheer on the Irgun and Lechi. Each session is one hour. It is a bit choppy, not at all a Hollywood production. If you can find something better, please watch that instead. If you cannot, please watch it to educate yourself, then educate your family and friends, and then share it with your friend’s college kid or niece/nephew who already knows ten times more than anyone who actually works for a living.

To receive Rav Fischer’s Weekly Extensive Torah Commentaries or to attend any or all of Rav Fischer’s weekly 60-minute live Zoom classes on the Weekly Torah Portion, the Biblical Prophets, the Mishnah, Rambam Mishneh Torah, or Advanced Judaic Texts, send an email to: [email protected]

Rav Fischer’s recent high-energy no-holds-barred encore interview with the Jewish Republican Alliance appears here. In it, he discusses Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, the uselessness of Biden and Kamala, the sicknesses on America’s college campuses, opines on Charlie Kirk, Tucker, Candace, and the ADL, and the 2024 election.