The Iron Wall 9. As we shall see, he does not write or speak much about his pre-Palestinian career, a fact to be attributed to the inevitable embarrassment that would accrue to him if he had to detail his role in Betar during its period of intimacy with Mussolini and the Colonels. Additionally, many of those who knew him during that era, friend and foe alike, were murdered by the Nazis, and the newspapers, movement files, public records of the day, were destroyed. However, he does have his biographers. These not only had to work under these difficult circumstances but, in varying degrees, they brought to their subject a preconceived sympathy or, at best, an attitude of cautious neutrality. His father, Wolf Dov Begin, the son of a timber merchant, frequently worked for his own father, but his prime career was as the secretary of the Jewish religious community.
|Published (Last):||1 July 2014|
|PDF File Size:||9.19 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||20.90 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Despite the incident at the Wall, Revisionism continued its rapid growth. Their major demand became the insistence that the WZO go on record as formally calling for a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority, on both sides of the Jordan. Jabotinsky tore up his WZO membership card in disgust at the refusal of the Congress to admit that a Jewish state was the Endziel of Zionism, and he began to call for his followers to abandon the WZO. Most of his lieutenants opposed the proposition, arguing that they could gain nothing by quitting the WZO, and Jabotinsky, after a series of.
On 23 March , he suddenly announced, without the slightest warning or consultation with anyone, that he was superseding the duly elected Executive of their world movement and assuming personal responsibility for the running of the tendency pending a membership plebiscite. To make matters even odder, he announced that he had reversed his previous position.
They would definitely attend the Zionist Congress. The whole faction fight had revolved around staying in or leaving the WZO, and now that he suddenly accepted the position of his opponents, the true question to be decided by the plebiscite was just what kind of movement Revisionism was to be: merely an extreme faction within the broad parameters of bourgeois general Zionism, or a proto-Fascist party?
Thereafter, while dissent was still tolerated, it almost always came from sundry maximalists, who complained that Jabotinsky was not anti-Arab or anti-British or pro-Fascist enough.
Leadership, and even cult of personality, which comes from a choice of free men, prompted by faith in and admiration for fellow men endowed by Providence with great minds and valiant hearts, such leadership will always be a blessing. He loved the liberal-aristocratic Italy of his student days, and identified with the liberal-nationalist traditions that Mussolini despised. Buffaloes follow a leader. Civilized men have no leaders. Whatever his personal reservations about the leader principle, the combination of the pressures from below and the inner logic of his own increasing extremism inexorably led him and Revisionism into the orbit of Italian fascism.
The Jewish haute bourgeoisie never had the least interest in abandoning their wealth in the Diaspora for remote and poor Palestine, and everywhere the Jewish working class saw its destiny as linked to their fellow workers. A portion of the Jewish petty bourgeoisie, more particularly a portion of their children, fully abandoned their class for Marxism. A substantial element, convinced that they could not attain their class ambitions in Europe, sought to continue, as a class, in a new colonial setting in Palestine.
But Mizrachi could never really appeal to the bulk of Jews with any modern education due to its total commitment to the Orthodox religion, which most modern Jewry has abandoned. Additionally, the Mizrachi, perhaps as a direct result of its preoccupation with the precepts of the ancient religion, is singular in that it has never produced a single political thinker of even the slightest stature. The General Zionists were also avowedly pro-capitalist but were divided into two independent factions, neither of which could hope to satisfy substantial elements of the petty bourgeoisie.
They had no economic interest in seeing a significant Jewish immigration into Palestine as they had no desire to pay the higher wages they knew the articulate Jews would demand, their greed for immediate profits always was at cross-purposes with their Zionism, and they therefore could never be thought of as potential leaders of the WZO. Their economic antics can be safely performed only in a country with a very highly developed economic system: their activities are more or less parasitical This immigration had two natural results: first an artificial trade-boom, involving the transfer of an unnaturally and unnecessarily large sum of money from Jewish to Arab hands, and secondly, the inevitable collapse which followed the boom.
He never had the slightest interest in recruiting Jewish workers to Zionism in as much as they had neither money nor the particular skills needed for the development of Palestine.
In , a student wrote to him, asking why he thought Communism could not be combined with Zionism. His reply was emphatic: It is useless here to seek escape by mincing words For Zionist construction two things are necessary — besides people.
First a land Money for the building of Tel Aviv was brought by the middle class, the older colonies were founded by money partly donated by the public and partly from money contributed by large capitalists. And the pure essence of Communism declares for class struggle against the middle class. Wherever it conquers, it must destroy the bourgeoisie, confiscating its large fortunes.
That means chopping off the only root from which capital for construction in Eretz Israel can be secured. As regards land, Marxism was equally anathema: the essence of Communism consists in that it agitates and must incite the Eastern nations against European dominance. One thing is clear: Communism incites and must incite the Eastern nations and this it can do only in the name of national freedom. It tells them and must tell them: your land belongs to you and not to any strangers.
This is how it must speak to the Arabs and the Arabs of Palestine For our Zionist lungs, Communism is suffocating gas and this is how you must deal with it. Strikes might be legitimate in an advanced country but they could never be tolerated in a developing society such as Zionist Palestine.
It was on this point that he came closest to classic Fascism. First of all, one must create in the Yishuv professional corporations You lack that nationalist spirit which dominated the Germans. On 27 February , they tried to repeat their success by breaking a building strike in Petah Tikva.
Dozens of strikers were arrested for battling the scabs. During Passover, the Betar organized a parade through Tel Aviv, and this time they were roundly defeated in a furious battle. Two Revisionists were accused of committing the crime and Achimeir was charged with conspiracy.
Jabotinsky was more than willing to tolerate supporters of Mussolini in his movement but pro-Nazis were a bit too much, even for him. He insisted that they stop running such pieces: I demand an unconditional stop to this outrage I will demand that its editors be expelled from the party.
In an about-turn, they began to attack the leadership of the WZO, and particularly Arlosoroff and the Jewish Agency, the executive arm of the WZO in Palestine, for attempting to collaborate with Hitler. Hitler wanted the Jews out of Germany and the WZO wanted some of them, those with money or skills that could be used to build the national home, to remove to Palestine. Among other meaningless words and stupidities in which this red mountbank excels, we find that the Jewish problem in Germany can be solved only by means of a compromise with Hitler and his regime.
These men The Jewish People has always known how to deal with those who have sold the honor of their nation and its Torah, and it will know today how to react to this shameful deed. The police used expert bedouin trackers, and two Revisionists, Avraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt, were brought in and identified by the widow.
Not only had their vote declined, but they were totally isolated due to the Arlosoroff slaying. Nor was Jabotinsky doing anything to improve their image by walking into a Jewish convention, only months after Hitler had come to power, surrounded by a bodyguard of brownshirts.
The Presidium promptly banned the uniforms out of fear that they would provoke the labourites. The WZO leaders said as little as they could about Germany in as much as they knew that negotiations were proceeding to work out a trade agreement with Hitler. Jabotinsky brought forth a motion to support the embryonic anti-Nazi boycott, but it had no chance of success. The delegates were totally put off by the fascist character of Revisionism.
The resolution calling for action against the Hitlerites was soundly defeated, to Relations between the Revisionists and the WZO could not have been worse than they were in the period immediately after the Congress.
Given his own developing relations with Mussolini, the cynical might think that Jabotinsky would have collaborated with Hitler if he had the responsibility for running the Yishuv. Such would only be speculation and, in fact, he had his principles, even concerning when it was proper to collaborate with anti-Semites.
They had to play by the rules, and allow the Jews to protect themselves from pogromists. Hitler, who would never allow that, was clearly an implacable enemy of the Jews. Of course the Revisionists were not the only ones who denounced the Transfer, the Jewish Communist press always covered Zionist Congresses and reported the above-ground aspects of Zionist relations with the Fascists and the Nazis. Jabotinsky tried to set up the Revisionists as a boycott organization, but his strategic conceptions were ludicrous.
The Revisionist Executive did not want to get involved, knowing that a serious boycott effort would take cash, which they did not have. Jabotinsky, a half-time secretary and an unpaid typist were their international boycott staff. Without Jewish unity a boycott could never have been effective and the last movement to unite the Jews was an organization notorious for its terrorist attacks on Jewish labour unions in Palestine.
Their boycott campaign dwindled away to nothing. The Arlosoroff Trial Zionist Palestine was at a stage of near civil war, with street skirmishes the order of the day.
In January , an Arab, Abdul Majid Buchari, already jailed for another murder, confessed to the slaying, claiming he and a friend had wanted to rape Mrs Arlosoroff. He recanted a week later, made another confession and recanted again, saying that he had been bribed by Stavsky and Rosenblatt. A British civilian court is a British court even in a colony, and Achimeir was acquitted without even having to put up a defence. The diary was not enough to prove prior conspiracy though he was held on a new charge of belonging to a terrorist organization.
But, by two to one, Stavsky was found guilty and, on 8 June, was sentenced to hang. However, on 19 July the Palestine Court of Appeals overturned the decision on a combination of technicalities.
There had been procedural errors committed by the trackers. Unlike the then British rules of evidence, Palestinian law required such verification in capital offences. There is not the slightest reason to think that Jabotinsky was involved in the murder, or wanted it or welcomed it, but to think that no Revisionists were involved requires the belief in a series of coincidences, spread over decades.
First, it would have to have been mere chance that the incriminating article should appear when it did, threatening Arlosoroff. Then the widow should, inaccurately, identify some Revisionists. The police would then have to find a diary which, only by coincidence, talked of a celebration after the killing. An Arab not even thought of as a suspect, would then have to, of his own free will, suddenly confess to murdering a prominent Zionist.
The widow would have to continue to deny that said Arab tried to rape her, and continue to proclaim that the murderers were Jews, presumably out of unmitigated factional malice.
Two British courts would have to believe her concoction, one of them even while releasing the victim of her slander; that same court would have to malign his defence attorney as a suborner of perjury.
The forensic expert explained that the same gun had been used in no less than eight Revisionist-connected political killings. The only reason that F. Byrd did not give evidence of the Arlosoroff connection at the time of the trial of the two murderers of Lord Moyne as the chain of evidence of the Arlosoroff exhibits had been broken during the eleven year gap.
A policeman who admits that he kept silent about a railroading of an innocent man — for 22 years — is automatically suspect.
His rationale for why he doubted that Stavsky did it is curious. He had first believed the charge, he maintained, because he thought Stavsky was a different Stavsky, a Communist.
It must be remembered that, in , Arazi had no knowledge that Byrd had traced the gun. To accept his story we must add another to our series of remarkable coincidences, this time that one of the police involved should believe Stavsky innocent, keep silent, and then, 22 years later, choose to reveal the truth. But Arazi, the policeman, admitted to keeping the facts from the public for 22 years; Byrd, the ballistics expert, had notified the authorities of his evidence, immediately, in Denying that they had anything to do with the killing made it impossible for the Revisionists to defend it on political grounds, namely that they had, in fact, only killed a collaborator with the Nazis, and, therefore, the public saw the question solely as one of whether or not the Revisionists had murdered a rival Zionist.
The Labour Zionist ranks had seen the triumph of Hitler in Germany and Dollfuss in Austria and definitely wanted to destroy their own Fascist menace before it devoured them as well.
8. The Years of Fascism and Terror
The Iron Wall 3. His journalism gave him tremendous mobility. In he was able to spend a year in Vienna studying the literature on nationalism. He was fluent in several languages and could write in others. Marriage was not an obstacle to his political activities.
The Iron Wall
Even the landed nobility was totally dominated by the bureaucrats, the chirtovniki, loyal only to the dynasty. The populists or narodniki, the terrorists of the Social Revolutionary Party, were seen as the enemy, followed by Polish, Armenian and other nationalists, with the Marxists as a growing concern. His roubles per month salary was princely. He felt on top of life, and this was his trouble: he was successful too fast. His attitude became completely individualistic; no one had any rights or duties. Everyone should be as free as a bird, sophomoric bourgeois anarchism, certain to fall upon contact with real life.
9. Menachem Begin: the Early Years
Jabotinsky: the Early Years Odessa Odessa was and is beautiful: located on a high plateau, it looks across its bay into the Black Sea. There were no Jews in Russia until the late 18th Century. A heresy, known as the Judaizers, began to spread among the Russian Orthodox monks, using passages from the Old Testament as the basis of a critique of the established social order. It was only in the 18th Century, with the conquest of vast territories from the moribund Polish and Turkish empires, that the regime in St Petersburg was confronted with an internal Jewish population. There were only five Jews in Odessa in when the Turks were finally driven completely out of the Ukraine. Despite intense distrust of the Jews and their religion, St Petersburg realized immediately that the scattered Jewish merchants were vital to the economy of their new acquisitions.
1. Jabotinsky: the Early Years
Despite the incident at the Wall, Revisionism continued its rapid growth. Their major demand became the insistence that the WZO go on record as formally calling for a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority, on both sides of the Jordan. Jabotinsky tore up his WZO membership card in disgust at the refusal of the Congress to admit that a Jewish state was the Endziel of Zionism, and he began to call for his followers to abandon the WZO. Most of his lieutenants opposed the proposition, arguing that they could gain nothing by quitting the WZO, and Jabotinsky, after a series of. On 23 March , he suddenly announced, without the slightest warning or consultation with anyone, that he was superseding the duly elected Executive of their world movement and assuming personal responsibility for the running of the tendency pending a membership plebiscite.