One can historically say that Jewish terrorism began during the Second Temple era with the Hashmonai family. During the Hellenistic period, they “conducted an ongoing campaign of guerilla warfare against Hellenistic rule in Israel,” though terrorism was a small fraction of their campaign.
Their first terrorist act was the assassination of a Hellenistic envoy named Apelles, who was sent to the town of Modi’in to remind the inhabitants of the policy of assimilation advanced by Antiochus IV.
Although this particular band of terrorists did not last long, many such terrorist cells came and went throughout the first century, recruiting for one purpose or another. Members of one band, Bar Giora, “were involved primarily in robbing and pillaging the property of the local aristocracy.”
Another group, particularly well known among scholars and…
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