TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Terrorism as a Tool to Achieve Nationhood?It is easy to condemn all terrorism as evil, but countries such as Ireland, Israeland Algeria won their independence from colonial authorities and achievednationhood in part by committing ‘terrorist’ actions. Many of these actorslater gained state-sanctioned legitimacy and ironically are now victims of violencefrom other terrorist groups.Irish nationalists violently targeted British officialsand symbols of British rule in the early decades ofthe 20 th century; Éamon de Valera, a leader of theEaster Rising of 1916 who barely escaped executionat the hands of British authorities, eventuallybecame the head of the Irish state.The Stern Gang’s July 1946 bombing of the KingDavid Hotel, the British headquarters in Palestineand Transjordan, killed 91 people and remains oneof the most lethal terrorist attacks conducted in Jerusalemin the 20 th century. Menachem Begin, oneof the Gang’s leaders, later became Prime Ministerof the independent State of Israel.Images: Éamon de Valera(c. 1922-30)image is a press photograph from theNational Photo Company Collection atthe Library of Congress United StatesLibrary of CongressIsraeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin(1978) delivers an address upon his arrivalin the US for a state visit. Location:Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.Source:U.S. Air Force

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