Ze’ev Jabotinsky on Truce & the Battle for Israel

Prophetic insights from an Israeli founding father.

[](/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/08/sold.jpg)While a fragile “truce” holds and Israel prays for quiet, undoubtedly the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is strategizing his next move. As he thinks, without a question he considers Jewish history. His father, Benzion Netanyahu, was known to have a tremendous influence on his son – and Benzion was Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s secretary.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky is considered the forefather of the movement Netanyahu leads today – and made countless statements which are relevant today. As is said, history repeats itself:

_Everything connected with war is “evil” and “good” does not exist at all. When you fire at the enemy do not lie to yourself and do not imagine that you are shooting at the “guilty”… if at that time we would have begun to calculate what was preferable – the result would have been simple: if you want to be “good” allow yourself to be killed and forego all that you made it your aim to defend: home, country, freedom, hope. The Romans used to say: “always choose the lesser of two evils. When you are faced with a situation where the exertion of force prevails, only one question may be presented: “which is worse?”_ [Jabotinsky in Story of The Jewish Legion.]

No one in Israel wants war – but an enemy devoted to destroying the Jewish people must be countered. It is a reality which faces the State of Israel every single day.

Human society is based on reciprocity. If you remove reciprocity, justice becomes a lie. A person walking somewhere on a street has the right to live only because and only to the extent that he acknowledges my right to live. But, if he wishes to kill me, to my mind he forfeits his right to exist – and this also applies to nations. Otherwise, the world would become a racing area for vicious predators, where not only the weakest would be devoured, but the best. [Jabotinsky in Ethics of the Iron Wall.]

Sometimes, force is the only way.

Justice means that everyone receives that which he deserves, especially those that have nothing will receive at least something: for example, a nation which has become stateless should be given a country of its own. We Jews too are candidates for this form of justice as equally as others. For as long as we do not obtain that which we deserve, the world is in fact perpetrating an injustice. Anything that hinders the attainment of our just demands is in principle an injustice… If ours is a righteous demand than anything that threatens its implementation loses the right to cloak itself with lofty phraseology…. Its true name is nothing other than – criminal. [Jabotinsky in a speech, July 8, 1927.]

Only when it involves Israel does the whole world call for a “cease-fire.”As Jabotinsky said in 1940, “Life is not always logical.”

Amidst criticism that Israel faces world pressure, and should sacrifice to comply with “world leaders,” Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote a clear answer in The Story of The Jewish Legion:

“Everybody is wrong and you alone are right?” No doubt this question springs by itself to the reader’s lips and mind. It is customary to answer this with apologetic phrases to the effect that I fully respect public opinion that I bow to it, that I was glad to make concessions….All this is unnecessary, and all this is untrue. You cannot believe in anything in the world, if you admit even once that perhaps your opponents are right, and not you. This is not the way to do things. There is but one truth in the world, and it is all yours. If you are not sure of it, stay at home; but if you are sure, don’t look back, and it will be your way.

Remember the work of Ze’ev Jabotinsky - Israel must stand strong against her enemies.

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