Ze'ev (Vladimir Evgenovitch) Jabotinsky (1880 - 1940)
he was twenty-three years old, he recognized that the Jews of Europe were doomed
and that the only solution for the survival of the Jewish people would be the
establishment of a Jewish state. Jabotinsky was not the only one to see this.
Theodore Herzl had predicted the Holocaust and warned his fellow Jews that
European Jewry could not survive. So did Jabotinsky after the Kishinev massacres
of 1903 and 1905.
is the capital of Moldova. It is called Chisinau today. The murders of Jews in
Kishinev were fueled by the pretense that Jews were using the blood of Christian
children in the Pesach rituals, a belief supported by the Russian government and
the Russian church.
Jabotinsky saw clearly that Jew could never live in such an environment, and following Herzl, sought to promote an all Jewish state in Israel. He also advocated Jewish self-defense in Russia and elsewhere. Having joined the World Zionist Organization, he lobbied the British to establish an all Jewish legion within the British forces during the First World War (1914-1918). This was granted by the British. Jabotinsky enlisted and entered Jerusalem in 1917 as part of Allenby’s British army.
stayed in Israel and in 1920 led the Jewish resistance to Arab terrorism in Jerusalem. The
British were then the occupiers of Israel. They did nothing to stop the Arab
murder squads. Therefore the Jews defended themselves as best they could, only
to be arrested by the British for defending themselves. Jabotinsky was sentenced
to 18 years in prison but was released early by the then High Commissioner for
Palestine, Herbert Samuel, a British Jew.
view of his experiences in Russia and Israel under British occupation,
Jabotinsky advocated the establishment of a Jewish state on both sides of the
Jordan river. He also envisioned the building of a wall to the keep the Arab
terrorists out. The World Zionist
Organization, far more timid, would not support these goals but instead called
Jabotinsky a Jewish fascist. He
therefore resigned from the World Zionist Organization and founded the Union of
Zionist Revisionists in 1925. He also founded a youth organization called BETAR
or Brit Trumpeldor. It was named
after Joseph Trumpeldor, who died
defending the Jewish village of Tel Hai during an Arab terrorist attack. BETAR
enrolled young Russian Jews and gave them formal military training.
was BETAR which later became the IRGUN ZVAI LEUMI, an abbreviation of the Hebrew
words for “National military organization on the territory of Israel”. Its
leader, Menachem Begin, became Israel’s sixth prime minister from 1977-1983.
There can be little doubt that the independence of Israel in 1948 was achieved
by the fighting ability of IRGUN, who succeeded in driving the British out and
defeating the Arab terrorists who came to mass murder the Jewish defenders of
made a considerable effort to induce the World Zionist Organzation to adopt his
program, but failed as the timid leadership of the WZO was more interested in
promoting “the class struggle” than the Jewish agenda.
Jabotinsky died while visiting a BETAR camp in upstate New York in 1940. His positions and demands are now commonplace. He demanded unlimited Jewish immigration to the Holy Land. He demanded a Jewish defense force. He advocated a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel and he insisted that Jews defend themselves instead of relying on others to defend them.
as Israel is under attack by the Arab terrorists from Gaza, it is well to
remember Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who saw it
all in advance and who stood up for his people long before they became willing
to stand up themselves.