JERUSALEM – US president Donald Trump is making headlines across the world as he embarked on his first international tour last week but an interesting story emerged as he made a stopover at Israel and stayed at a violence-tainted hotel.
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Trump who got snubbed by the first lady Melania after he landed in Israel stayed in ‘King David’ hotel that could be termed the safest place on earth, but there’s another side to the story of the elegant hotel.
The five-star place which now looks prestigious accommodated British officers after the start of World War II in late 1939 as the British government appropriated more than half the hotel’s rooms to serve as offices, half of them for its military headquarters in the country and a half for the civilian secretariat in Mandatory Palestine.
The bloody history of the place harks back to August 1946 when a portion of the hotel came under attack by a Jewish underground organization.
The notorious right-wing militant outfit Irgun carried out an attack that left around 91 people dead. The operation was done by Zionist militia led by Menachem Begin who blew up the hotel’s southern wing
housing the British offices.
Quite regrettably, Menachem Begin who was identified as the man behind the operation and killing of 91 people was elected as prime minister of Israel in 1977.
He served as premier of the country till 1983 blowing the lid off international hypocrisy aimed at targeting specific religions and races.
Menachem Begin was also the co-recipient of Noble peace prize in 1978 with Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the Egyptian president.
Although the hotel was converted into a ‘mini White House’ for the time that Trump stayed in Israel, the dark history is a clear testament to how militants could become prime minister and receive Noble Peace Prize.
Trump headed to Italy from Israel and got snubbed again by the first lady who thwarted the tycoon-turned-president’s attempts to hold her hand.