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1941 April, HILLEL KOOK AND SAMUEL MERLIN (New York City, USA)

Met with Ben Hecht the novelist and playwright, and convinced him to join in their efforts in Jewish nationalist affairs. Kook, who went under the name of Peter Bergson (so as not to involve his rabbinical relatives in Israel) was also active in the Irgun Zvai Leumi. His group, the American Friends for a Jewish Palestine was better known as the "Bergson Group", encountered vehement opposition to almost everything they did from both the Jewish establishment (Stephen Wise) and the Zionist movement. Wise, a staunch follower of the President would not tolerate anyone who differed with Roosevelt's actions or lack thereof. The Zionist movement had a tradition of opposing the Revisionist movement and the Irgun. In addition, it was vociferously against any organization which didn't work under its aegis. The organization later evolved into the Committee for a Jewish Army and gained a lot of grass-root support from both Jewish and non-Jewish sources.




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