I’m a tea-leaf reader from way back, but this piece at Foreign Policy seems significant: “How Zionist Extremism Became British Spies’ Greatest Enemy”, by Calder Walton, from a forthcoming book. Walton’s book is about British intelligence’s retreat from the cold war, everywhere from Kenya to Saudi Arabia to Malaya. You’d think there were Soviet Union chapters to excerpt? Nope; FP went with the Zionist terrorists who had support in the U.S. and Britain, and who were threatening the British isles. Evidently, it wants readers to know about Zionism’s dark side, and maybe too the issue of dual loyalty.
As World War II came to a close, MI5 received a stream of intelligence reports warning that the Irgun and the Stern Gang were not just planning violence in the Mandate of Palestine, but were also plotting to launch attacks inside Britain. In… the spring and summer of 1946, coinciding with a sharp escalation of anti-British violence in Palestine, MI5 received apparently reliable reports from SIME that the Irgun and the Stern Gang were planning to send five terrorist “cells” to London, “to work on IRA lines.” To use their own words, the terrorists intended to “beat the dog in his own kennel.” The SIME reports were derived from the interrogation of captured Irgun and Stern Gang fighters, from local police agents in Palestine, and from liaisons with official Zionist political groups like the Jewish Agency. They stated that among the targets for assassination were Britain’s foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, who was regarded as the main obstacle to the establishment of a Jewish state in the Middle East, and the prime minister himself. MI5’s new director-general, Sir Percy Sillitoe, was so alarmed that in August 1946 he personally briefed the prime minister on the situation, warning him that an assassination campaign in Britain had to be considered a real possibility, and that his own name was known to be on a Stern Gang hit list. …
Notice the scrutiny of British Jews for potential dual loyalty, just what Brits had warned Theodor Herzl about 50 years before when they asked for the Zionist cup to pass.
MI5 also conducted a series of background vetting checks against its records on approximately 7,000 Jewish servicemen known to be in the British armed forces. This led to the identification of 40 individuals with suspected extremist sympathies, 25 of whom were discharged from the armed forces….
At the same time as these “personnel security” measures, which were designed to frustrate the entry of terrorists or terrorist sympathizers into Britain, MI5 embarked on the intensive surveillance of extremist Zionist political groups and individuals who were already there. Its assumption in doing this was that Irgun or Stern Gang operatives who succeeded in gaining entry to Britain would at some point make contact with these organizations or individuals, and therefore scrutinizing their activities could provide crucial leads to tracking them down. MI5 also assumed that agents would make contact with elements of the diaspora Jewish community in Britain. These assumptions would prove correct….
The piece says that terrorists worked inside the Jewish Agency, a transnational Zionist group that has long supported Jewish emigration to Palestine/Israel.
MI5’s policy toward the Jewish Agency was duplicitous: it cooperated with it, but at the same time kept it under close surveillance, running telephone and letter checks on its London headquarters even while it was liaising with its officers. The reason for this was that although MI5 trusted the agency’s security officials, it suspected that its broader staff and membership might contain Irgun and Stern Gang supporters.
Lest anyone think that Islamist militants have a historical/political context, Walton offers this major disclaimer.
The willingness of the agency to provide the British with intelligence on the Irgun and the Stern Gang reveals the extent to which those groups’ activities were not supported by the majority of the Jewish population in Palestine — and this, it should be noted, has no parallel in contemporary Arab and Islamist terrorism….
And the piece emphasizes the support for Zionist terrorism inside the U.S.
MI5 knew that some extremist Zionist groups operating in the United States, such as the “Bergson Group” and the “Hebrew Committee for the Liberation of Palestine,” were raising funds and logistical support for the Irgun and the Stern Gang, with explosives and ammunition sometimes being sent in food packages to Britain. –