Op-Ed: Jabotinsky on Bennett
As one of the many Zionist followers of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, it is apparent to me on the eve of elections that Habayit Hayehudi and Naftali Bennett have followed the path of Ze’ev Jabotinsky during this campaign.
Bennett has demonstrated his belief that there is no pillar more important than Zionism and followed Jabotinsky’s over-arching belief that Jews must always conduct themselves with hadar - nobleness. Despite the strong attacks the young politician has faced, Bennett is the rare politician whose mother wouldn’t shudder when observing his behavior.
As Bennett said today, his party must be going in the right direction if every other party is so afraid that they are investing time and efforts to find ways to attack it.
Bennett remarked, “I really do not know why they’re doing it. Likud has invested so much money in the election campaign, and more than 50% of these resources have been placed on my head.” Even after Netanyahu’s vicious attacks, Habayit Hayehudi placed Netanyahu in campaign ads, as they rightfully recognize that a Netanyahu government is stronger and undoubtedly better than a Yechimovich or Livni-led government.
As Jabotinsky admonished his followers, the most important ideological pillar is Zionism, and all other ideological aspirations must be subservient to Zionism. It is shameful that in this campaign Bennett was attacked for political expediency, while standing against further territorial compromise and against the creation of a Palestinian state. Could one imagine Ze’ev Jabotinsky attacking Yair Stern publicly?
There is no more natural political partner for Likud than Bennett – and any true Jabotinsky-ite must find these coordinated attacks upon him abhorrent. Bennett was attacked repeatedly in the media over Shabbat– and as he said on one of those motzei Shabbat evenings “…and by the way it was Shabbat so I didn’t know Netanyahu and the Likud had opened the gates of hell on me over Shabbat.”
The roots of the Jabotinsky movement would never have encouraged attacking a Jew who loves Eretz Israel, let alone on Shabbat.
Political benefit wasn’t Jabotinsky’s way, as he was only concerned with what was best for the People of Israel. True, Jabotinsky followers would realize that enemies of the Land of Israel spun Bennett’s words, as he never called on soldiers to refuse orders as was falsely claimed. Regardless of how one votes, it is clear that Habayit Hayehudi in a Netanyahu government is a much stronger coalition partner than the left could be.
The time to vote is upon the State of Israel. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said many years ago: “Tell them [the Jewish People] three things in my name, and not two: they must get iron [i.e. weapons]; they must choose a king; and they must learn to laugh.”
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 US PR Firm.