The Last Mohican
by Gad Nahshon
Victor Ben-Nahum is the last Mohican of the 'Bergson Group', the delegation of the Irgun in the U.S.A. (1939-1949). He was active in this group or the delegation whose commander was Hillel Kook or 'Peter Bergson.' Kook died a few months ago in Kfar Shmariahu. He was a true legend. We are still waiting for the true monography which will expose and document the contribution of these 'groups' (Kook, Shmuel Merlin, Yitzhak Ben-Ami, Dr. Alexander Rafaeli, Dr. Eri Jabotinsky, Ariah Ben-Eliezer, Theo Ben-Nachum and Ben Hech) to Jewish history and to the Zionist movement.
I met Victor Ben Nachum in his Tel Aviv apartment. He is a very modest man. He is frustrated by the fact that Israel is still controlled by the left: "The media is in the hands of the left. I am very, very pessimistic as to the future of Israel. We do not need Shimon Peres," he remarked. He was not a disciple of Jabotinsky. He was a soldier in the British army. Then he came to America and then became a new revisionist. His brother, Theo, was active in the 'Bergson Group.' Victor joined the 'group'. He was in charge of the branch in Chicago: "I mobilized Marlon Brando to work for us. He was young but very effective. He spoke as a fundraiser for us.
Later I mobilized Captain Monro Fine. He was the captain of the famous ship 'Altelena.' I remember Abraham Stavsky. He was active. I also worked with Abraham Tehomi, the original founder of the Irgun. There were Jews who supported us but they had ties to the Mafia. One of them was 'Papa Lu.' If you recall 'Altelena' sailed to Israel with Olim, members of the Irgun with arm but also with a lot of money. The Israeli Navy (June 1948) attacked the ship. There was fire. Many tried to swim toward Tel Aviv but then Israeli soldiers received an order to shoot them in the water. I think that Yitzhak Rabin was their commander. 'Altelena' was a terrible event. We lost weapons, we lost money," said Ben Nachum who today is more 'revisionist' than Arik Sharon is.
Ben Nachum told me that he closed the offices of the Bergsun Groups in America. He also said that the group was very successful in raising funds. Also he revealed that he send 49 thousand dollars to Menachem Begin who used the money to finance the costs of his new party 'Herut' in January of 1949, the first Israeli election to the Knesset.
After 1950, Ben Nachum became frustrated by the fact that Shmuel Merlin and Hillel Kook moved to the left as to the Israeli-Arab conflict. He believes only in the idea of Israel's true 'National Camp.' He is against any compromise with the Arabs. He knows that their goal is just to destroy Israel. He is pessimistic because he learns every day that the Israelis still have a dream of peace in our time.
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