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Ze'ev Jabotinsky

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Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Ze'ev Jabotinsky
Ze'ev Jabotinsky
Born Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky
(1880-10-18)18 October 1880
Odessa,[1] Russian Empire
Died 4 August 1940(1940-08-04) (aged 59)
New York, United States
Resting place
1940–1964: New Montefiore Cemetery, New York, United States
1964–present: Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel
Residence until 1904: Odessa
from 1904: Saint Petersburg
Nationality Russia
Education Law
Alma mater Sapienza University of Rome
Occupation Journalist, writer, military leader and political activist
Known for Creating Jewish (and later Israeli) right-wing secular politics; head of Betar
Religion Jewish atheist[2][3]
Spouse(s) Hanna Markovna Halpern (m. 1907–40)

Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Beitar, Hatzohar and the Irgun.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Zionist activism in Russia 2
  • Military career 3
  • Jewish self-defense 4
  • Founder of the Revisionist movement 5
  • Literary activity 6
  • Return to Palestine blocked by the British 7
  • Evacuation plan for the Jews of Poland, Hungary and Romania 8
  • Plan for a revolt against the British 9
  • Integrated state with Arabs 10
  • Death 11
  • Legacy and commemoration 12
  • Quotes 13
  • Further reading 14
    • By Jabotinsky 14.1
    • About Jabotinsky 14.2
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • External links 17

Biography

Jabotinsky and his family

Jabotinsky was born Vladimir Yevgenyevich (Yevnovich) Zhabotinsky[5] in Odessa,[1] Russian Empire into an assimilated Jewish family. His father, Yevno (Yevgeniy Grigoryevich) Zhabotinsky, hailed from Nikopol, was a member of the Russian Society of Sailing and Trade who was primarily involved in wheat trading. His mother, Chava (Eva Markovna) Zach (1835–1926), was from Berdychiv. Jabotinsky's older brother (Myron) died in childhood and his sister, Tereza (Tamara Yevgenyevna) Zhabotinskaya-Kopp, founded a private, female secondary school in Odessa. In 1885 the family moved to Germany due to his father's illness, returning a year later after his father's death.

Raised in a Jewish middle-class home, Jabotinsky was educated in Russian schools. Although he studied Hebrew as a child, he wrote in his autobiography that his upbringing was divorced from Jewish faith and tradition. Chava Zhabotinskaya opened a store in Odessa selling stationery, and enrolled young Vladimir in the city's gymnasium. Jabotinsky did not finish school, due to his involvement in journalism. In 1896 he began writing articles for a major local Russian newspaper, the Odessa Leaflet, and was sent to Italy and Switzerland as a correspondent. He also worked with another newspaper, the Odessa News. Jabotinsky was a childhood friend of Russian journalist and poet Korney Chukovsky, and attended Chukovsky's 1903 wedding to Maria Goldfeld.

Jabotinsky wrote under the pseudonym "Altalena" ("swing" in Italian).. He graduated from the Sapienza University of Rome law school, and qualified as a lawyer when he returned to Russia. Jabotinsky's dispatches from Italy earned him recognition as an up-and-coming Russian-language journalist, and he later edited newspapers in Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew. He married Yohana in late 1907. They had one child, Eri Jabotinsky, who was a member of the Irgun-inspired Bergson Group. Eri briefly served in the Knesset and died in 1969.

Zionist activism in Russia

Prior to the Kishinev pogrom of 1903, Jabotinsky joined the Zionist movement, where he soon became known as a powerful speaker and an influential leader.[6] With more pogroms looming on the horizon, he established the Jewish Self-Defense Organization, a Jewish militant group, to safeguard Jewish communities throughout Russia. He became the source of great controversy in the Russian Jewish community as a result of these actions.

Around this time, he began learning Jewish communities across Russia and fought for the civil rights of the Jewish population as a whole. His slogan was, "Better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it!" Another slogan was, "Jewish youth, learn to shoot!"

In 1903, he was elected as a Russian delegate to the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. After Theodore Herzl's death in 1904, he became the leader of the right-wing Zionists. That year he moved to Saint Petersburg and became one of the co-editors for the Russophone magazine Yevreiskaya Zhyzn (Jewish Life), which after 1907 became the official publishing body of the Zionist movement in Russia. In the pages of the newspaper, Jabotinsky wrote fierce polemics against supporters of assimilation and the Bund.

In 1905, he was one of the co-founders of the "Union for Rights Equality of Jewish People in Russia". The following year, he was one of the chief speakers at the 3rd All-Russian Conference of Zionists in [7]

In 1909, he fiercely criticized leading members of the Russian Jewish community for participating in ceremonies marking the centennial of the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. In the light of Gogol's anti-Semitic views, Jabotinsky claimed it was unseemly for Russian Jews to take part in these ceremonies, as it showed they had no Jewish self-respect.

Military career

Lt Jabotinsky in uniform of 38th RF.
Badge of Members of the Order of the British Empire, obverse and reverse

During World War I, he had the idea of establishing a Jewish Legion to fight alongside the British against the Ottomans who then controlled Palestine. In 1915, together with Joseph Trumpeldor, a one-armed veteran of the Russo-Japanese War, he created the Zion Mule Corps, which consisted of several hundred Jewish men, mainly Russians, who had been exiled from Palestine by the Ottoman Empire and had settled in Egypt. The unit served with distinction in the Battle of Gallipoli. When the Zion Mule Corps was disbanded, Jabotinsky traveled to London, where he continued his efforts to establish Jewish units to fight in Palestine as part of the British Army. Although Jabotinsky did not serve with the Zion Mule Corps, Trumpeldor, Jabotinsky and 120 Zion Mule Corps members did serve in Platoon 16 of the 20th Battalion of the London Regiment. In 1917, the government agreed to establish three Jewish battalions, initiating the Jewish Legion.

As an honorary lieutenant in the 38th Royal Fusiliers, Jabotinsky saw action in Palestine in 1918.[8] His battalion was one of the first to enter Transjordan.[8]

He was demobilised in September 1919,[9] soon after he complained to Field Marshal Allenby about the British Army's attitude towards Zionism and the Jewish Legion.[10] His appeals to the British government failed to reverse the decision, but in December 1919[11] he was awarded an MBE for his service.[12]

Jewish self-defense

After Ze'ev Jabotinsky was discharged from the British Army in September 1919, he openly trained Jews in warfare and the use of small arms. On April 6, 1920, during the 1920 Palestine riots, the British searched the offices and apartments of the Zionist leadership, including the home of Chaim Weizmann, for arms. In a building used by Jabotinsky's defense forces, they found 3 rifles, 2 pistols, and 250 rounds of ammunition.

Nineteen men were arrested. The next day, Jabotinsky protested to the police that he was their commander and therefore solely responsible, so they should be released. Instead, he was arrested and joined them in jail. The nineteen were sentenced to three years in prison and Jabotinsky was given a 15-year prison term for possession of weapons. In July, a general pardon was granted to Jews and Arabs convicted in the rioting.[13]

A committee of inquiry placed responsibility for the riots on the Zionist Commission, alleging that they provoked the Arabs. The court blamed "Bolshevism" claiming that it "flowed in Zionism's inner heart", and ironically identified the fiercely anti-socialist Jabotinsky with the socialist-aligned Poalei Zion ('Zionist Workers') party, which it called 'a definite Bolshevist institution.'[14]

Founder of the Revisionist movement

In 1920, Jabotinsky was elected to the first Keren Hayesod and served as its director of propaganda.[15] He left the mainstream Zionist movement in 1923, however, due to differences of opinion between him and its chairman, Chaim Weizmann, and established a new revisionist party called Alliance of Revisionists-Zionists and its youth movement, Betar (a Hebrew acronym for the "League of Joseph Trumpeldor").

His new party demanded that the mainstream Zionist movement recognize as its stated objective the establishment of a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan River. His main goal was to establish a modern Jewish state with the help of the British Empire. His philosophy contrasted with that of the socialist oriented Labor Zionists, in that it focused its economic and social policy on the ideal of the Jewish Middle class in Europe. His ideal for a Jewish state was a form of nation state based loosely on the British imperial model.[16] His support base was mostly located in Poland, and his activities focused on attaining British support to help with the development of the Yishuv. Another area of major support for Jabotinsky was Latvia, where his speeches in Russian made an impression on the largely Russian-speaking Latvian Jewish community.

Jabotinsky was both a nationalist and a liberal democrat. Despite his attachment to nationalism, he did not embrace authoritarian notions of state authority and its imposition on individual liberty; he said that "Every man is a king." He championed the notion of a free press and believed the new Jewish state would protect the rights and interests of minorities. As an economic liberal, he supported a free market with minimal government intervention, but also believed that the "'elementary necessities' of the average person...: food, shelter, clothing, the opportunity to educate his children, and medical aid in case of illness" should be supplied by the state.[17]

Literary activity

From 1923, Jabotinsky was editor of the revived Jewish weekly Rassvet (Dawn), published first in Berlin, then in Paris. Besides his journalistic work, he published novels under his previous pseudonym Altalena; his historical novel Samson Nazorei (Samson the Nazirite, 1927), set in Biblical times, describes Jabotinsky's ideal of an active, daring, warrior form of Jewish life. His novel Pyatero (The Five, written 1935, published 1936) has been described as "a work that probably has the truest claim to being the great Odessa novel... It contains poetic descriptions of early-twentieth-century Odessa, with nostalgia-tinged portraits of its streets and smells, its characters and passions."[18] Although it was little noticed at the time, it has received renewed appreciation for its literary qualities at the start of the twenty-first century, being reprinted in Russia and Ukraine and in 2005 translated into English (the first translation into a Western language).[19]

Return to Palestine blocked by the British

Ze'ev Jabotinsky during World War I.

In 1930, while he was visiting South Africa, he was informed by the British Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine.[20]

Evacuation plan for the Jews of Poland, Hungary and Romania

During the 1930s, Jabotinsky was deeply concerned with the situation of the Jewish community in Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. In 1936, Jabotinsky prepared the so-called "evacuation plan", which called for the evacuation of the entire Jewish population of Poland, Hungary and Romania to Palestine.

The same year he toured Eastern Europe, meeting with the Polish Foreign Minister, Colonel Romania to discuss the evacuation plan. The plan gained the approval of all three governments, but caused considerable controversy within the Jewish community of Poland, on the grounds that it played into the hands of Polish anti-Semites. In particular, the fact that the 'evacuation plan' had the approval of the Polish government was taken by many Polish Jews as indicating Jabotinsky had gained the endorsement of what they considered to be the wrong people.

The evacuation of Chaim Weizmann, dismissed it. Two years later, in 1938, Jabotinsky stated in a speech that Polish Jews were "living on the edge of the volcano", and warned that a wave of pogroms would happen in Poland sometime in the near future. Jabotinsky went on to warn Jews in Europe that they should leave for Palestine as soon as possible. There is much discussion about whether or not Jabotinsky actually predicted the Holocaust. In his writings and public appearances he warned against the dangers of an outbreak of violence against the Jewish population of Central and Eastern Europe. However, as late as August 1939, he was certain that war would be averted.[21]

Plan for a revolt against the British

In 1939, Britain enacted the McDonald White Paper, in which Jewish immigration to Palestine under the British Mandate was to be restricted to 75,000 for the next five years, after which further Jewish immigration would depend on Arab consent. In addition, land sales to Jews were to be restricted, and Palestine would be cultivated for independence as a binational state.

Jabotinsky reacted by proposing a plan for an armed Jewish revolt in Palestine. He sent the plan to the Irgun High Command in six coded letters. Jabotinsky proposed that he and other "illegals" would arrive by boat in the heart of Palestine – preferably Tel Aviv – in October 1939. The Irgun would ensure that they successfully landed and escaped, by whatever means necessary. They would then occupy key centers of British power in Palestine, chief among them Government House in Jerusalem, raise the Jewish national flag, and fend off the British for at least 24 hours whatever the cost. Zionist leaders in Western Europe and the United States would then declare an independent Jewish state, and would function as a provisional government-in-exile. Although Irgun commanders were impressed by the plan, they were concerned over the heavy losses they would doubtless incur in carrying it out. Avraham Stern proposed simultaneously landing 40,000 armed young immigrants in Palestine to help launch the uprising. The Polish government supported his plan, and it began training Irgun members and supplying them arms. Irgun submitted the plan for the approval of its commander David Raziel, who was imprisoned by the British. However, the beginning of World War II in September 1939 quickly put an end to these plans.[22][23]

Integrated state with Arabs

According to the historian Benny Morris, documents show that Jabotinsky favored the idea of the transfer of Arab populations if required for establishing a (still-proposed) Jewish state.[24] His other writings state, "We do not want to eject even one Arab from either the left or the right bank of the Jordan River. We want them to prosper both economically and culturally. We envision the regime of Jewish Palestine [Eretz Israel ha-Ivri] as follows: most of the population will be Jewish, but equal rights for all Arab citizens will not only be guaranteed, they will also be fulfilled."[17] Jabotinsky was convinced that there was no way for the Jews to regain any part of Palestine without opposition from the Arabs. In 1934, he wrote a draft constitution for the Jewish state which declared that Arabs would be on an equal footing with their Jewish counterparts "throughout all sectors of the country's public life." The two communities would share the state's duties, both military and civil service, and enjoy its prerogatives. Jabotinsky proposed that Hebrew and Arabic should enjoy equal status, and that "in every cabinet where the prime minister is a Jew, the vice-premiership shall be offered to an Arab and vice versa."[25]

Death

Grave of Jabotinsky, Mount Herzl, Jerusalem

Jabotinsky died of a heart attack in New York, on 4 August 1940, while visiting a Jewish self-defense camp run by Betar. He was buried in New Montefiore cemetery in New York in accordance with his will. A monument to Jabotinsky remains at his original burial site in New York.

Legacy and commemoration

Ze'ev Jabotinsky's legacy is carried on today by Israel's

  • Video of Jabotinsky Speaking of Jewish Eastern Palestine, 1934
  • Zionism and the Land of Israel
  • Tisha B'Av, 1937 at the Wayback Machine (archived August 16, 2007)
  • Instead of Excessive Apology at the Wayback Machine (archived January 2, 2008), 1911
  • The Ideology of Betar
  • Iron Wall (essay)
  • "The Ethics of the Iron Wall", 1923
  • A selection of Jabotinsky's writings: The World of Jabotinsky
  • (1923)The Iron Wall
  • (1923)The Ethics of the Iron Wall
  • Memorial pages for Jabotinsky in Knesset website (English)
  • The Jabotinsky Institute (Hebrew)
  • The Jabotinsky Institute (English)
  • Jewish Defense Organization runs Camp Jabotinsky, (Zionist Leaders: Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ze'ev Jabotinsky's biography Knesset website (English)
  • Law honoring Zionist forefather passed Yediot Aharonot, 23 March 2005
  • Jabotinsky's biography Betar UK
  • Fighting Hitler with cartoons, Haaretz
  • THE JUBILEE: THE BIBLICAL PLAN FOR EXPANDED OWNERSHIP – Jabotinsky's economical view.

External links

  1. ^ a b  
  2. ^ Joanna Paraszczuk (28 April 2011). "A revisionist's history". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 25 February 2013. Even religious Zionist settlers in the West Bank have adopted Jabotinsky as a symbol – although he was an atheist who believed that the Arabs should share equal rights with Jews in a future Jewish state, famously declaring: “In every cabinet where the prime minister is a Jew, the vice-premiership shall be offered to an Arab, and vice versa.” 
  3. ^ Michael Stanislawski (2001). "Jabotinsky's Road to Zionism". Zionism and the Fin de Siècle: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky. University of California Press. p. 158.  
  4. ^ Klinger, Jerry (October 2010). "The Struggle for the Jewish Legion and The Birth of the IDF". Jewish Magazine. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Nataliya and Yuri Kruglyak, KRT Web Studio at www.webservicestudio.com, Odessa, Ukraine (27 July 1939). "Archival documents on Zhabotinsky (Russian)". Odessitclub.org. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Kishinev 1903: The Birth of a Century, quoting from the memoirs of Simon Dubnow: "It was the night of April 7, 1903. Because of Russian Easter, the newspapers had not been issued for the previous two days so that we remained without any news from the rest of the world. That night the Jewish audience assembled in the Beseda Club, to listen to the talk of a young Zionist, the Odessa “wunderkind” V. Jabotinsky [….] The young agitator had great success with his audience. In a particularly moving manner, he drew on Pinsker’s parable of the Jew as a shadow wandering through space and developed it further. As for my own impression, this one-sided treatment of our historical problem depressed me: Did he not scarcely stop short of inducing fear in our unstable Jewish youth of their own national shadow?… During the break, while pacing up and down in the neighboring room, I noticed sudden unrest in the audience: the news spread that fugitives had arrived in Odessa from nearby Kishinev and had reported of a bloody pogrom in progress there."
  7. ^ a b "Jabotinsky Ze'ev. Liberal and Zionist Leader. Brief Biography". Liberal.org.il. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Joseph Schechtman (1956). Rebel and Statesman; the Vladimir Jabotinsky Story. New York: Thomas Yoseloff. pp. 268–271. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31619. p. 13126. 24 October 1919.
  10. ^ Schechtman (1956), pp. 279–282.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31684. p. 15455. 9 December 1919.
  12. ^ Schechtman (1956), pp. 283–284.
  13. ^ Zev Golan,Free Jerusalem, pp. 28-31
  14. ^ Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete, Metropolitan Books, 1999. p.141
  15. ^ The Concise History, (Excerpt from Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol.10) at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007)
  16. ^ 'England is becoming continental! Not long ago the prestige of the English ruler of the "colored" colonies stood very high. Hindus, Arabs, Malays were conscious of his superiority and obeyed, not unprotestingly, yet completely. The whole scheme of training of the future rulers was built on the principle "carry yourself so that the inferior will feel your unobtainable superiority in every motion".’ Jabotinsky, cited by Lenni Brenner, The Iron Wall London, ch.7, 1984
  17. ^ a b Kremnitzer, Mordechai; Fuchs, Amir (2013), Ze'ev Jabotinsky on Democracy, Equality, and Individual Rights,  
  18. ^ Charles King, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011; ISBN 0393080528), p. 156.
  19. ^ King, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams, p. 156.
  20. ^ "H-Net Reviews". H-net.msu.edu. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  21. ^ Laurence Weinbaum, "Jabotinsky and Jedwabne", Midstream (April 2004), http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Jabotinsky+and+Jedwabne.-a0116037880
  22. ^ Penkower, Monty Noam: Decision on Palestine Deferred: America, Britain and Wartime Diplomacy, 1939-1945
  23. ^ Golan, Zev: Free Jerusalem pp. 153, 168
  24. ^ Morris, Benny (13 January 2004). "For the record".  
  25. ^  
  26. ^ Jabotinsky most popular street name in Israel Ynetnews, 28 November 2007
  27. ^ Ha'aretz 11 August 2008 Tamir infuriates rightists by removing Jabotinsky from curriculum
  28. ^ Jerusalem Post 21 August 2008 Tamir: Jabotinsky not removed from curriculum
  29. ^ V. Jabotinsky, "A Letter on Autonomy", Evreiskaya zhizn no. 6, June 1904, as translated in "Israel among the nations : selection of Zionist texts" (ed. Zvi Zohar; Jerusalem : World Zionist Organization, Organization Department, Research Section, 1966). Reprinted in L. Brenner, "51 Documents", Barricade Books, 2002, pp. 7–20.

References

See also

  • Lone Wolf: a Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky, by Shmuel Katz; New York, Barricade Books, [c1996]
  • Rebel and Statesman: The Vladimir Jabotinsky Story, by Joseph B Schechtman; New York, T. Yoseloff [c. 1956–1961]
  • Zev Jabotinsky: Militant Fighter for Jews & Israel. Jewish Defense Organization booklet
  • Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement, 1925–1948, by Yaacov Shavit, London, England; Totawa, N.J., F. Cass, [1988]
  • Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, Lenni Brenner, Lawrence Hill & Co; Rev Ed [c1983]
  • Vladimir Jabotinsky, Michael Stanislawski (Introduction), [2005] ISBN 978-0-8014-8903-7
  • The secret of the vision, logic and deeds (in the life of Ze'ev Jabotinsky), by Rabbi Ze'ev Sultanowitz, Jerusalem, [2011]
  • Vladimir Jabotinsky: The Man and His Struggles, by Joseph Nedava; Tel Aviv [1986]
  • Jabotinsky: A Life, by Hillel Halkin, Yale University Press, [2014]

About Jabotinsky

  • Turkey and the War, London, T.F. Unwin, Ltd. [1917]
  • Samson the Nazarite, London, M. Secker, [1930]
  • The Jewish War Front, London, T.F. Unwin, Ltd. [1940]
  • The War and The Jew, New York, The Dial Press [c1942]
  • The Story of the Jewish Legion, New York, B. Ackerman, Inc. [c1945]
  • The Battle for Jerusalem. Vladimir Jabotinsky, John Henry Patterson, Josiah Wedgwood, Pierre van Paassen explains why a Jewish army is indispensable for the survival of a Jewish nation and preservation of world civilization, American Friends of a Jewish Palestine, New York, The Friends, [1941]
  • A Pocket Edition of Several Stories, Mostly Reactionary, Tel-Aviv: Reproduced by Jabotinsky Institute in Israel, [1984]. Reprint. Originally published: Paris, [1925]
  • The Five, A Novel of Jewish Life in Turn-of-the-Century Odessa, Paris, [1936]
  • Jabotinsky translated Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" into Hebrew and Russian, and parts of Dante's Divine Comedy into modern Hebrew verse.
  • The East Bank of the Jordan (also known as "Two Banks has the Jordan"), a poem by Jabotinsky that became the slogan and one of the most famous songs of Betar

By Jabotinsky

Further reading

  • A Jew brought up among Germans may assume German custom, German words. He may be wholly imbued with that German fluid but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical-racial type are Jewish. ... It is impossible for a man to become assimilated with people whose blood is different from his own. In order to become assimilated, he must change his body, he must become one of them, in blood. ... There can be no assimilation as long as there is no mixed marriage. ... An increase in the number of mixed marriages is the only sure and infallible means for the destruction of nationality as such. ... A preservation of national integrity is impossible except by a preservation of racial purity, and for that purpose we are in need of a territory of our own where our people will constitute the overwhelming majority.[29]
  • "Eliminate the Diaspora, or the Diaspora will surely eliminate you." (From "Tisha B'av 1937").
  • "Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. ... We do not have to apologize for anything. We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. As one of the first conditions for equality we demand the right to have our own villains, exactly as other people have them. ... We do not have to account to anybody, we are not to sit for anybody's examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change, nor do we want to." (From Instead of Excessive Apology, 1911).

Quotes

[28] Tamir subsequently denied the reports.[27] had announced plans to remove Jabotinsky's name from a list of terms students were required to learn, sparking controversy.Yuli Tamir erroneously reported that left-wing Israeli Education Minister Ha'aretz is awarded for distinguished service to the State of Israel, and most Israeli cities have streets named after him. On 11 August 2008, Jabotinsky Medal The [26]

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