Monday, February 6th | 15 Shevat 5783

August 18, 2014 10:20 pm

Ze’ev Jabotinsky Would Take on Iran and Hamas

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avatar by Ronn Torossian

Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a Zionist prophet who worked tirelessly to create the first Jewish army in modern times.

Perhaps the most important contribution of Jabotinsky’s movement to Israel’s founding was its insistence on the importance of a Jewish Army. Today, while the United States and others pressure Israel, it is vitally important to remember that Jabotinsky stressed the concept of the new Jew, who would be a “fighting Jew.” As he said in Manhattan in a speech on the eve of World War 2, “I challenge the Jews, wherever they are still free, to demand the right of fighting the giant rattlesnake … as a Jewish Army.”

Only the State of Israel can fight to protect the Jewish people from the rattlesnakes of today. And today, the youth in Israel are enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces – much as Jabotinsky hoped for.

There is but one Jewish State, yet across the world, many – including Jews – condemn Israel. But what would happen if Hamas was victorious? Israel would be destroyed. The only answer is to fight.

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As Jabotinsky said in London before the Peel Commission: “I am very much afraid that what I am going to say will not be popular with many among my co-religionists, and I regret that, but the truth is the truth. We are facing an elemental calamity … We have got to save millions, many millions. I do not know whether it is a question of re-housing one-third of the Jewish race, half of the Jewish race, or a quarter of the Jewish race; I do not know; but it is a question of millions … It is quite understandable that the Arabs of Palestine would also prefer Palestine to be the Arab State No. 4, No. 5, or No. 6—that I quite understand. But when the Arab claim is confronted with our Jewish demand to be saved, it is like the claims of appetite versus the claims of starvation.”

Nothing has changed – today too, there is but one place in the world that is a Jewish homeland. And the right hand man of Jabotinsky was Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the current prime minister of Israel. Today’s giant rattlesnakes – whether Hamas or Iran – thankfully will not prevail because we have a Jewish army to protect the Jewish people.

The anthem of Shir Betar (The Song of Betar) should be remembered in these times – Jewish history demands it.

From the pit of decay and dust with blood and sweat will arise a generation
Proud, generous and fierce – Captured Betar, Yodefet, and Masada
shall arise again in all their strength and glory

Even in poverty a Jew is a prince, whether slave or tramp
You have been created the son of kings, crowned with the diadem of David
Whether in light or in darkness, Always remember the crown
The crown of pride and challenge

In the face of every obstacle, in times of ascent, and of setbacks
a fire may still be lit with the flame of revolt
for silence is despicable – Sacrifice blood and spirit
for the hidden glory
To die or to conquer the mountain
Yodfat, Masada, Betar

Ze’ev Jabotinsky lives on in the spirit of the people of Israel.

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