“A man who goes forth to take the life of another whom he does not know must believe one thing only – that by his act he will change the course of history.” Thus Itzhak Shamir, a future prime minister of Israel, explained the strategy of assassination that the Freedom Fighters for Israel – known to Jews by its Hebrew acronym, Lehi, and to the British, as the Stern Gang – embraced in the 1940s.
Compared to contemporary terrorist groups, Lehi was unique. Its targets were not innocent civilians and its weapon of choice was not the bomb that maimed and killed indiscriminately but the handgun pointed at the chest of the colonial officials and police officers charged with governing Palestine under the League of Nations mandate awarded to Britain after World War I. So precious were the group’s few weapons and so profound its members’ belief in the power of individual assassination that the same pistol was used in six high-profile shootings during an especially febrile eighteen-month period.
It was last, and most consequentially, used on November 6, 1944 to assassinate Lord Moyne, the British Cabinet minister responsible for the Middle East during World War II. The murder, which Shamir had ordered, did change the course of history – but not for the better. Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s daring plan to resolve Arab and Jewish claims to Palestine by partitioning the country into separate states was abandoned with the killing of his life-long friend and political ally. And, three years later the first of many wars would be fought between Arab and Jew over that land’s political future.- See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/158819#sthash.4HCYZebD.dpuf