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DE HAAN, JACOB ISRAEL - The First Jewish Victim of a Political Assassination by the Haganah in Palestine
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DE HAAN, JACOB ISRAEL - The First Jewish Victim of a Political Assassination by the Haganah in Palestine

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DE HAAN, JACOB ISRAËL. (1881-1924). Dutch-Israeli journalist, human rights campaigner and the first Jewish Palestinian to be assassinated for his anti-Zionist, pro-Arab political views.DS. (“Jacob Israel de Haan” andיעקב ישראל דה האן"). 2pp. (recto and verso). Small 4to. Jerusalem, August 9, 1922. In English and Hebrew. De Haan’s Provisional Certificate of Palestinian Citizenship which he signed diagonally beneath “Signature of Applicant” and to which his photograph is attached. Additionally signed by de Haan in Hebrew on the verso. The 1 7/8” x 2 3/8” sepia photograph depicts a bearded and bespectacled De Haan wearing a suit and pith helmet and staring intensely at the camera.


After receiving a traditional Jewish education and studying law in the Netherlands, De Haan wrote for socialist magazines and worked as a school teacher. He was the brother of noted Dutch author Carry van Bruggen (known as Justine Abbing) and, contemporaneous with her writing, wrote and published the homo-erotic novel Pijpelijntjes in 1904, for which he was dismissed from his teaching position. His fiancée, whom he married in 1907, bought the entire print run to avoid a scandal. In 1908, he penned a similar, largely ignored work, Pathologieën about a sadomasochistic relationship. Beginning in 1914, however, his poems (which eventually filled five volumes) brought him some notice from the literary establishment. Around the same time, he began visiting prisons in Czarist Russia to report on the plight of political prisoners. For this work, he has been recognized as “a precursor of Amnesty International” by the human rights organization. The imprisonment of Jews suspected of Bolshevism in Russia increased his interest in Judaism and the Jewish state of Palestine. In 1919, he settled in Jerusalem where he taught law and wrote for several newspapers. His Zionism, however, became tempered through his interactions with the native Arab inhabitants, with whom he was rumored to have engaged in homosexual liaisons. He eventually became aligned with the secular Haredi community, and as an elected official, advocated for compromise and cooperation between Zionists and Arabs.


On June 30, 1924, he was murdered by Avraham Tehomi, a commander of the paramilitary Haganah, formed in 1920 to protect Jewish farms from Arab attacks. Future Haganah members included Yigal Allon, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, and even Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Vidal Sassoon (!). De Haan’s assassination shocked Palestine as well as Europe, but despite the offer of a reward, his murderer remained at large until Tehomi confessed to the killing on television 60 years later. 


Bearing the stamped number 10050 at the head of each page and a purple ink government stamp over the lower left corner of the photograph. Folded and creased with four small stains, two of which slightly affect the image. In good condition and rare.



Item #20232


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