Ze’ev Jabotinsky: Father Of Revisionist Zionism

Ze'ev Jabotinsky political career


This article will briefly cover the Life of Vladimer “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky, including his early life, move to Israel, Military Career, Political Career, Revisionist Zionism, and death.

Jabotinsky’s Early Life

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was born on the 17th of October 1880 CE. He Was born to a middle-class assimilated Jewish family in Odessa, modern-day Ukraine. Originally his name was “Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky” before Hebrewizing it later in life. His early life did not involve a lot of Jewish tradition or religious observance. Instead, a lot of his education was done through the Russian school system.

A portion of his early life and education was spent being a law student at the University of Italy, where he learned to speak fluent Italian.

Later in life, he became fluent in Hebrew and eventually became fluent in many languages: English, Russian, French, Italian, and Hebrew.


Move To Israel

Before moving to Israel, Jabotinsky joined the Zionist Movement in Russia. He organized Jewish defense forces that were set up throughout Russian Jewish communities in an attempt to protect Jews from the Russian Pogroms. Around this time, he began learning Hebrew.

Eventually, he moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he would serve sometime within the Haganah and also worked as an editor at the Hebrew Daily. This job would eventually make him leave Israel in 1929 for a lecture. When he tried to come back, the British refused him Re-Entry into Israel.


Jabotinsky’s Military Career

Jabotinsky’s military career started with him serving in World War One. He would later teach the early Jewish settlers many of the combat skills he learned during this time, specifically how to use firearms to defend themselves. This was organized similarly to how he had organized Jewish defense groups in Russia, just with improved skills and tactics.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was also a co-founder of the Jewish Legion, composed of Jewish soldiers that fought alongside British Soldiers in World War One against the Ottomans.

Military-wise, Jabotinsky is probably best known as one of the founders of the Irgun. The Irgun were a paramilitary group that split from the Haganah during the pre-state period.


Jabotinsky’s Political Career

Jabotinsky was interested in politics from a young age. This interest would grow as he got older and began to worry about the safety of the Jewish people. Jabotinsky’s Political career spanned the majority of his life. After the British refused him entry to Israel, he continued his political support outside of the state. He connected many Diaspora Jews to the state before it was founded in 1948 CE.

He is perhaps one of the few Jewish leaders from this early time period that accurately predicted the Holocaust decades before it occurred.

By the late 1930s, the British were aggressively not allowing Jews re-entry or to move to Mandatory Palestine. This action stopped many Jews from escaping Europe before the Nazis went on to kill Six Million Jews.

His articles, public speeches, and work in pre-Israel deeply influenced Modern Israeli Politics. The Likud party of today can trace its lineage all the way back to Jabotinsky’s political party Hatzohar.

Jabotinsky early life, military career, political career
ISRAEL – CIRCA 1978: An old used Israeli postage stamp issued in honor of the Revisionist Zionist leader, author, orator, soldier Zeev Jabotinsky (1880 – 1940); series, circa 1978

Revisionist Zionism Vs. Political Zionism

One aspect that wouldn’t be complete when discussing his life would be the rivalry Jabotinsky had with David Ben Gurion. Socialism and Secularism influenced political Zionism. Where Capitalism and Tradition influenced Jabotinsky Revisionist Zionism (This was more so cultural tradition with religious freedom included)

There is a lie that Jabotinsky advocated for removing Arabs from the land. On the contrary, he followed Theodore Herzl’s opinion of sharing the land with the local Arabs. Revisionist Zionists also advocated Jews protecting themselves from attack but would also launch attacks and counter-attacks, unlike the Socialist Haganah.


Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Death

Late into the night of the 3rd of August, 1940, Ze’ev Jabotinsky had a heart attack and passed away while in New York. He was originally buried in New York because David Ben Gurion refused that his remains be buried in Israel. This would later be changed in 1964 when Jabotinsky and his Wife’s remains were moved from Newyork and reburied at Mount Herzl in Israel.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was one of the most influential Zionist leaders of the 20th century, but he wasn’t destined to see all his work come to fruition. Similar to Moses not being allowed to enter Israel, Ze’ev Jabotinsky didn’t live to see the founding of the State Of Israel. Jabotinsky remains an important figure both within Jewish and Israeli History.


Israel Coins

Israel has so many coins, both Modern and Ancient. Below is a link to all the modern Israel Silver coins we currently have in stock.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky military career and political career
Israeli Silver Coin showing Ze’ev Jabotinskies portrait.

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