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Eliyahu Bet-Zuri

Eliyahu Bet-Zuri (Hebrew: אליהו בית צורי‎, 1922– 22 March 1945) was a member of Lehi, who was executed in Egypt for assassinating Lord Moyne, the British Minister Resident in the Middle East.

Born in Tel Aviv, Bet Zuri attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He also joined the Etzel, but later left that movement to join the Lehi.

On 6 November 1944, Bet Zuri and Eliyahu Hakim assassinated Lord Moyne in Cairo. They were caught immediately and put on trial before a military court. At the trial, Bet-Zuri gave a decidedly nationalist speech, inspired by the Canaanite movement in Palestine:[1]

"We do not recognize England's right to give us Palestine or take it away from us. Let me make clear to the court: My ideas are not Zionist ideas. We don't fight to uphold the Balfour Declaration. We don't fight for the sake of the National Home. We fight for our freedom. In our country a foreign power rules."[2]

He and Hakim were both sentenced to death. They were hanged in Cairo on 22 March 1945, singing Hatikvah, the Zionist anthem, from the gallows.

In 1975 Egypt gave their remains to Israel in exchange for 20 Arabs who had been imprisoned by Israel as terrorists or spies.[3] They were interred on Mount Herzl with full military honors.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Diamond, James (1986). Homeland or Holy Land?: The "Canaanite" Critique of Israel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 150n77. 
  2. ^ Frank, Gerold (1963). The Deed. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 262. 
  3. ^ "Cairo Gives Israel Bodies of Two Jews". New York Times. 1975-06-26. 

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