Ze’ev Jabotinsky on the Need for a Strong Jewish Army
Earlier this week, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, an organization dedicated to supporting the men and women serving in the IDF, held its annual dinner in New York. Thankfully, many were present to recognize the work of this special organization.
Throughout history, it has always been necessary for Jews to protect themselves from those who try to harm our people.
And as necessary as it is today for a Jewish army, let us not forget the words of the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1932, who wrote: “It is very, very sad that Jews are compelled to learn to shoot. But we are compelled and it is useless to argue against the compulsion of historic reality. That compulsion says you may be well educated, you may learn to plow the land and to build houses, you may speak Hebrew… but if you do not at the same time know how to shoot there is no hope. That is the lesson of the reality of our time and that is the prospect for the lifetime of our children.”
Nearly 85 years later, the Jewish State needs an army to protect its people.
As Jabotinsky said in that same essay:
Where it is a question of war, you do not stand and ask questions as to what is ‘better,’ whether to shoot or not to shoot. The only permissible question in such circumstances is on the contrary ‘what is worse’ — to let yourself be killed or enslaved without any resistance or to undertake resistance with all its horrible questions. For there is no ‘better’ at all. Everything connected with war is bad, and cannot be ‘good.’ When you shoot at enemy soldiers, do not lie to yourself or persuade yourself that you are shooting at ‘guilty’ ones. If you start calculating with what is ‘better,’ the calculation is very simple; if you want to be good let yourself be killed and renounce everything you would like to defend: home, country, freedom, hope. The blackest of all characteristics is the tradition of the cheapness of Jewish blood.
A strong IDF is in the best interests of a sane Middle East, a strong America and a strong state of Israel. May the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces continue their vital work.