Jabotinsky in 1935
Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky
17 October 1880
|Died||3 August 1940 59) (aged|
|Alma mater||Sapienza University|
|Known for||Betar movement; Jewish right-wing secular politics|
Hanna Markovna Halpern
|Awards||Member of the Order of the British Empire (1919)|
• Territorial Army
|Years of service||1915–1919|
|Unit|| 20th Battalion, London Regiment |
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Ze'ev Jabotinsky, MBE ( /( ) , ( ) -/ ; Hebrew : זְאֵב זַ׳בּוֹטִינְסְקִי, Ze'ev Zhabotinski; Yiddish : וואלף זשאַבאָטינסקי, Wolf Zhabotinski; born Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky, Russian : Влади́мир Евге́ньевич Жаботи́нский; 5 (17) October 1880, Odessa – 3 August 1940, Hunter, New York), was a Russian Jewish Revisionist Zionist leader, author, poet, orator, soldier and founder of the Jewish Self-Defense Organization in Odessa. With Joseph Trumpeldor, he co-founded the Jewish Legion of the British army in World War I. Later he established several Jewish organizations in Palestine, including Betar, Hatzohar, and the Irgun.
His influence on Israeli politics is profound through his closest protégé Menachem Begin's administration (1977–1983), consolidating the domination of Israeli politics by the right-wing Likud party; and through the administrations (1996–1999, 2009–) of Likud's leader (1993–1999, 2005–) Benjamin Netanyahu, the son of his former personal secretary and historian, Benzion Netanyahu.
Vladimir Yevgenyevich (Yevnovich) Zhabotinskywas born in Odessa, Kherson Governorate (modern Ukraine) into an assimilated Jewish family. His father, Yevno (Yevgeniy Grigoryevich) Zhabotinsky, hailed from Nikopol, Yekaterinoslav Governorate. He was a member of the Russian Society of Sailing and Trade and was primarily involved in wheat trading. His mother, Chava (Eva Markovna) Zach (1835–1926), came from Berdychiv, Kiev Governorate. Jabotinsky's older brother Myron died when Vladimir was six months old, and his father died when he was six years old. His sister, Tereza (Tamara Yevgenyevna) Zhabotinskaya-Kopp, founded a private school for girls 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 middle-class Jewish 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. His mother ran a stationery store in Odessa. Jabotinsky dropped out of school at the age of 17 with a guarantee of a job as a correspondent for a local Odessan newspaper,the Odesskiy Listok, and was sent to Bern and Rome as a correspondent. He also worked for the Odesskie Novosti after his return from Italy. Jabotinsky was a childhood friend of Russian journalist and poet Korney Chukovsky.
Jabotinsky was a student at the Sapienza University of Rome law school, but did not graduate. In addition to Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew, he spoke fluent Italian.
In April 1902 he was arrested for writing feuilletons in an anti-establishment tone, as well as contributing to a radical Italian journal. He was held isolated in a prison cell in Odessa for two months, where he communicated with other inmates through shouting and passing written notes.
He married Joanna (or Ania) Galperina in October 1907.They had one child, Eri Jabotinsky, who later became a member of the Irgun-affiliated Bergson Group. Eri Jabotinsky briefly served in the 1st Knesset of Israel; he died on 6 June 1969.
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.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 modern Hebrew, and took a Hebrew name: Vladimir became Ze'ev ("wolf"). During the pogroms, he organized self-defence units in 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 Helsinki (Helsingfors), which called upon the Jews of Europe to engage in Gegenwartsarbeit (work in the present) and to join together to demand autonomy for ethnic minorities in Russia.This liberal approach was later apparent in his position concerning the Arab citizens of the future Jewish State: Jabotinsky asserted that "Each one of the ethnic communities will be recognized as autonomous and equal in the eyes of the law."
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.[ citation needed ]
In 1908, the Berlin Executive office of the World Zionist Organisation (WZO), sent Jabotinsky to the Ottoman capital Constantinople. Jabotinsky became editor-in-chief of a new pro-Young-Turkish daily newspaper Jeune Turc, which was founded and financed by Zionist officials like WZO president David Wolffsohn and his representative in Constantinople Victor Jacobson. The journalists writing for that paper included the famous German Social democrat and Russian-Jewish revolutionary Parvus, who lived in Constantinople from 1910 until 1914. The Jeune Turc was prohibited in 1915 by the pro-German Turkish military junta. Richard Lichtheim, who was to become Jabotinsky's representative in Germany in 1925, stayed in Constantinople as WZO representative and managed to keep the "Yishuv" out of trouble during the war years by constant diplomatic interventions with Germans, Turks, and also US authorities, whose humanitarian support was crucial for the survival of the Jewish settlement project in Palestine during the war years.
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.His battalion was one of the first to enter Transjordan.
He was demobilised in September 1919,soon after he complained to Field Marshal Allenby about the British Army's attitude towards Zionism and the Jewish Legion. His appeals to the British government failed to reverse the decision, but in December 1919 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his service.
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 6 April 1920, during the 1920 Palestine riots the British searched the offices and apartments of the Zionist leadership for arms, including the home of Chaim Weizmann, and in a building used by Jabotinsky's defense forces they found three rifles, two 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, until the month of July when a general pardon was granted to Jews and Arabs convicted in the rioting.
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.'
In 1920, Jabotinsky was elected to the first Assembly of Representatives in Palestine. The following year he was elected to the executive council of the Zionist Organization. He was also a founder of the newly registered Keren haYesod and served as its director of propaganda.Jabotinsky left the mainstream Zionist movement in 1923 due to differences of opinion between him and its chairman, Chaim Weizmann, establishing 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 ideals 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.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.
In 1898, Jabotinsky was sent to Rome as a correspondent for Odessky Listok, writing columns under the pen name "V. Egal, "Vl. Egal" "V.E." for more than a year. His first application for a job at Odesskiya Novosti was turned down, but after the editor, J.M. Heifetz, saw his writing for Odessky Listok, he hired him. At that point, Jabotinsky changed his pen name to Altalena, which he confesses was a mistake. He thought the Italian word meant "elevator," but explained to the editor that the real meaning, "swing," suited him well, since he was "'by no means stable or constant', but rather rocking and balancing."
In 1914, Jabotinsky published the first Hebrew translation of Edgar Allan Poe's poems The Raven and Annabel Lee .
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."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).
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.
During the 1930s, Jabotinsky was deeply concerned with the situation of the Jewish community in Eastern Europe. In 1936, Jabotinsky prepared the so-called "evacuation plan", which called for the evacuation of 1.5 million Jews from Poland, Baltic States, Third Reich, Hungary and Romania to Palestine over the span of next ten years.The plan was first proposed on 8 September 1936 in the conservative Polish newspaper Czas, the day after Jabotinsky organized a conference where more details of the plan were laid out; the emigration would take 10 years and would include 750,000 Jews from Poland, with 75,000 between age of 20-39 leaving the country each year. Jabotinsky stated that his goal was to reduce Jewish population in the countries involved to levels that would make them disinterested in its further reduction
The same year he toured Eastern Europe, meeting with the Polish Foreign Minister, Colonel Józef Beck; the Regent of Hungary, Admiral Miklós Horthy; and Prime Minister Gheorghe Tătărescu of 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 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 Jewish communities in Poland, Hungary and Romania was to take place over a ten-year period. However, the British government vetoed it, and the World Zionist Organization's chairman, Chaim Weizmann, dismissed it.[ citation needed ] Chaim Weizmann suggested that Jabotinsky was willing to accept Madagascar as one destination for limited emigration for Jews, due to political issues involved with settlement in Palestine, and dispatches from Warsaw by British ambassador Hugh Kennard, corroborate Weizmann's account 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. "Catastrophe is approaching. ... I see a terrible picture ... the volcano that will soon spew out its flames of extermination," he said. 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.
In 1939, Britain enacted the MacDonald 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.
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.Jabotinsky's 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." 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."
On May 12, 1940, Jabotinsky offered Winston Churchill the support of a Jewish Army; he also proposed Weizman and Ben-Gurion the creation of a United Front for policy and relief.In his visit to New York in order to build support within the United States for a Jewish Army to fight the Nazis, Jabotinsky died of a heart attack on 3 August 1940, 22:45, Saturday night, while he was visiting a Jewish self-defense camp in Hunter, New York that was run by Betar. Most of the books say that Jabotinsky died on 4 August, because a wrong conversion from the Hebrew day (that starts after sunset and not after midnight). The correct date is 3 August, the telegram of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from 4 August says he died "shortly before midnight last night". He was buried in New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York, in accordance with a clause of his will. A monument to Jabotinsky was erected at his original burial site in New York. In 1964 the remains of Jabotinsky and his wife, in accordance with a second clause of his will, were reburied in Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem by order of Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.
The Irgun was a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. The organization is also referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the Hebrew initials, or by the abbreviation IZL. It was an offshoot of the older and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet, or alternatively as haHaganah haLeumit or Hama'amad. Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war.
Menachem Begin was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of Israel. Before the creation of the state of Israel, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944, against the British mandatory government, which was opposed by the Jewish Agency. As head of the Irgun, he targeted the British in Palestine. Later, the Irgun fought the Arabs during the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and its chief Begin was also noted as "leader of the notorious terrorist organisation" by British government and banned from entering the United Kingdom.
The Betar Movement is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky. Chapters sprang up across Europe, even during World War II. After the war and during the settlement of what became Israel, Betar was traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud political parties of Jewish pioneers. It was closely affiliated with the pre-Israel Revisionist Zionist paramilitary group Irgun Zevai Leumi. It was one of many right-wing movements and youth groups arising at that time that adopted special salutes and uniforms. Some of the most prominent politicians of Israel were Betarim in their youth, most notably prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, an admirer of Jabotinsky.
Revisionist Zionism was an ideology developed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who advocated a "revision" of the "practical Zionism" of David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann which was focused on independent individuals' settling of Eretz Yisrael. Revisionism differed from other types of Zionism primarily in its territorial maximalism. Revisionists had a vision of occupying the full territory, and insisted upon the Jewish right to sovereignty over the whole of Eretz Yisrael, which they equated to the whole territory covered by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, including Transjordan. It was the chief ideological competitor to the dominant socialist Labor Zionism.
Greater Israel is an expression, with several different Biblical and political meanings over time. It is often used, in an irredentist fashion, to refer to the historic or desired borders of Israel.
Hatzohar, officially Brit HaTzionim HaRevizionistim was a Revisionist Zionist organization and political party in Mandatory Palestine and newly independent Israel.
Shlomo Ben-Yosef was a member of the Revisionist Zionist underground group Irgun. He is most noted for his participation in an April 21, 1938 attack on a bus carrying Arab civilians, intended as a retaliation for an earlier attack by Arabs against Jews, and emblematic as a rejection of the establishment policy of Havlagah, or restraint. For this reason, and especially for having been the first Jew executed by the British authorities during the mandate period, Ben-Yosef became a martyr for the Revisionist cause and is commemorated by the State of Israel as one of 12 Olei Hagardom.
Haim Arlosoroff was a Zionist leader of the Yishuv during the British Mandate for Palestine, prior to the establishment of Israel, and head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency. In 1933, Arlosoroff was assassinated while walking on the beach in Tel Aviv.
World Magshimey Herut is a Zionist young adult movement founded in 1999 by a group of Jewish activists who felt the need for a young adult movement dedicated to the ideals of aliyah, social justice and the territorial integrity of the Land of Israel. The world headquarters of the movement are located in Israel symbolizing the state of Israel's centrality to Jewish life.
Havlagah was a strategic policy used by the Haganah members with regard to retribution taken against Arab groups who were attacking the Jewish settlements during the British Mandate of Palestine. Its core principles were fortification and abstention from taking revenge on Arabs by attacking innocent civilians. The political leadership and many leftwing Zionist groups supported the Havlagah policy.
Shmuel "Mooki" Katz was an Israeli writer, historian and journalist. Prior to the formation of the State of Israel, he was a Zionist activist and member of the Irgun High Command. He was a member of the first Knesset and is also known for his biography of Jewish leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
Abba Ahimeir was a Russian-born Jewish journalist, historian, and political activist. One of the ideologues of Revisionist Zionism, he was the founder of the Revisionist Maximalist faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) and of the clandestine Brit HaBirionim.
Joseph Schechtman was a Russian-born Revisionist Zionist activist and author. He was the author of numerous books of history, biography and works on Zionism.
The Iron Wall is an essay written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky in 1923. It was originally published in Russian, the language in which Jabotinsky wrote for the Russian press.
Revisionist Maximalism was a short-lived movement and Jewish fascist ideology which was part of the Brit HaBirionim faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) created by Abba Ahimeir.
Eri Jabotinsky was a Revisionist Zionist activist, Israeli politician and academic mathematician. He was the son of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the opposition movement within Zionism at the time, and later served in the Knesset between 1949 and 1951, as a member of the opposition Herut party of Menachem Begin. Following his break with the party, he pursued his academic career.
The East of the Jordan is a poem written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the Revisionist Zionist leader, a song that became one of the most known leading songs of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar. The song includes four Stanzas. Each stanza ends with the following line which is the main political message and theme of the poem:
"Two Banks has the Jordan – This is ours and, that is as well."
The Pro–Wailing Wall Committee was established in Mandatory Palestine on 24 July 1929, by Joseph Klausner, professor of modern Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University, to promote Jewish rights at the Western Wall.
Captain Jeremiah Halpern was a Revisionist Zionist leader in Palestine who first came to prominence when he served as aide de camp to Ze'ev Jabotinsky in the 1920s when the latter was head of the Haganah in Jerusalem.
Metzudat Ze'ev is an office building on 38 King George Street in Tel-Aviv, Israel. It is also known as Beit Jabotinsky or HaMetzuda.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zeev Jabotinsky .|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ze'ev Jabotinsky|