On Thursday evening over 200 people joined Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) and The Nordau Circle as they commemorated the 71st yahrzeit of Revisionist-Zionist leader Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky at the Congregation Ohab Tzedek on Manhattan's trendy Upper West Side, known for its high percentage of New York professionals.
AFSI's executive director Helen Freedman explained that "Jabotinsky's ideology is the bedrock for those who believe in a greater Israel, with its
biblical, legal and historical entitlements and is the driving force for AFSI."
MK Dr. Arieh Eldad (National Union, a member of the Israeli Knesset since 2003, spoke of the incalculable impact of Jabotinsky's ideals on modern day Israel. "The defense policy of Israel was created 30 years before its birth, as it was based on Jabotinsky's short essay entitled "The Iron Wall", said Dr. Eldad.
"In 1923, Jabotinsky wrote, 'Except for those who were born blind, it was realized long ago that it is utterly impossible to obtain the voluntary consent of the Arab world for converting 'Palestine' from Arab land into a country with a Jewish majority. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character, it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall."
Jabotinsky was not referring to 'Palestinians', who did not yet claim to be a people, but to the Arabs living in the Middle East, who later attacked the fledgling state of Israel.
Adding that the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, also adopted this policy, Dr. Eldad said, "When the Arabs will be convinced that
they can't break this wall then we can have peace. Jabotinsky saw the future much clearer than any of us today and this is why his "Iron Wall" vision is so vitally essential now."
Dr. Eldad castigated the mentaliity of the "apologetic Jews who do not really believe that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people" and
referred to Zionism as an abnormal liberation movement in that it represented a double mission of sorts. "Not only did Zionism call upon us to
return to our land but we also were called upon to liberate it from foreign occupiers", he said.
Debunking the claim of a territorial conflict, Dr. Eldad said, "To the Muslim world this is a religious war. What motivates the Arab hatred against
us is their scrupulous dedication to the execution of Shariah law." Calling for the Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria and the end of the Muslim occupation thereof, Dr. Eldad called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a weak leader" who needs to summon up the courage to stand up to President Obama and his pressure on Israel to retreat to the indefensible borders of 1967.
Jabotinsky, born in 1880 in Odessa, Russia to a liberal Jewish family,left home at 18 for Italy and Switzerland to study law and journalism. The
horrific 1903 pogrom against the Jews of Kishinev led him to focus his energies on his people and the nascent Zionist dream of establishing a
Jewish state in the land of Israel.
He spearheaded a campaign to reestablish the first Jewish army in Israel in nearly 2,000 years, was elected as a delegate to the 6th World Zionist Congress in 1923, and founded the Betar Zionist youth movement in honor of his friend and fellow Jewish soldier Yosef Trumpeldor. Young Betarim were taught to defend Jews against their enemies and devote their energies to helping create a new Jewish state. Derided as a "fascist" by his detractors because of his nationalist zeal and scorned and ridiculed as an alarmist when he traveled through Europe in the early 1930s urging Jews to evacuate Europe, Jabotinsky was only posthumously credited for his foresight.
"Jabotinsky was a man of uncanny vision, principle and fearlessness," declared Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the American Center for Security and columnist at The Washington Times. Gaffney underscored the dangers posed by the radical Islamic movement; the implementation of "stealth jihad" and the egregious repercussions of the proliferation of Shariah law that has permeated Western civlization. Quoting from a scholarly study entitled, "Shariah: The Threat to America" published by the Center for Security Policy, Mr. Gaffney said, "Never has Israel been in sa much danger as it is today and the objectives of the Islamists is still to drive the Jews into the sea."
The "Arab Spring" Gaffney said, "means within a year's time, there will be another big war for Israel's survival." Noting the hostility of Egypt,
Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Latin America towards Israel, he said that the common denominator that binds the ideological directives of these nations is adherence actualizing Shariah law.
Taking issue with President Obama, Gaffney said, "We need to punish people who threaten Israel. We need to deny funding to the United Nations and we must put on notice that any nation that thinks about attacking Israel will be an enemy of the United States."
"G-d only bestows the power of prophecy upon a wise person of strong character. The biblical commentator, Rashi, tells us in the first verse of
the Torah that G-d created the world and as such gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. Hashem showed His might to our nation so that we would have the courage to mightily possess it, without apologies. This gives strength to the prophecy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky", said the synagogue's Rabbi Alan Schwartz.