The banner logo has the Haganah emblem, symbolizing an army of fighters and farmers, and reads: "The defense force of the Jewish Yishuv in the land of Israel and of the Zionist Movement"
A History of the Jewish Underground Defense force in Palestine
The birth of the Haganah
The Haganah (or Hagannah) (means defense in Hebrew - pronounced "Hah Gah nah') Jewish underground was created in 1920. The official name of the Hagannah was "Irgun HaHagannah Ha'vri" - The Hebrew defense organization. The Hagannah Foundation Doctrine stressed loyalty, secrecy and devotion to humanitarian and Jewish values including the sanctity of life. By candlelight, and with a pistol on the table, recruits swore the Hagannah oath to abide by the foundation doctrine of the Hagannah in a dramatic induction ceremony. A personal recollection of the dramatic induction ceremony and oath (1947) is given here: Joining the Haganah.
Beginning in January 1920 activists in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv in particular formed defense committees acquired some light weapons, and recruited and trained volunteers. After the fall of Tel Hai in March of 1920, the Jerusalem committee headed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Pinchas Ruttenberg took the lead. In April of 1920, the Haganah had some role in defending against Arab attacks during the Passover (Nebi Samuel) riots. In that period, Palestine was still under British military rule, and the Jewish community was administered by the delegate committee (Vaad Hatzirim) of the World Zionist Organization. Jabotinsky was charged by the Vaad Hatzirim with organizing the defense of Jerusalem. He did so to some effect, though six Jews were killed and about 200 injured in the disturbances. The British arrested Jabotinsky and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. When the Mandate government took over, he was amnestied, along with all the Arabs and Jews arrested in the various disturbances.
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