The legacy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky: Zionism is inherently moral and just

Jabotinsky, 1923: We must either suspend our settlement efforts or continue them without paying attention to the mood of the natives.

Ronn Torossian,

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian
INN:RT

In 1923, Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote “The Ethics of The Iron Wall,” a timeless document which simply and rightfully argues that morality comes before everything else – and along with that the simple concept that Zionism is "moral and just."

In a world where Israel is the out-sized focus of attention, Jabotinsky’s words nearly 100 years later resonate as if they were written today, “It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are.  They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not "meet halfway" those who do not want to meet you.”


Jabotinsky’s words nearly 100 years later resonate as if they were written today...
Israel is right to have demands for safety and survival above all else. Jabotinsky’s timeless essay continues, “…there is no morality, no ethics that concedes the right of a glutton to gorge, while more tempered people die of starvation.”

He continues, “And the Talmud quotes a very instructive legal action – which has a direct bearing on this matter. Two people walking along the road find a piece of cloth. One of them says: 'I found it.  It is mine:' But the other says: 'No: that is not true: I found the cloth, and it is mine:' The judge to whom they appeal cuts the cloth in two, and each of these obstinate folk gets half.  But there is another version of this action.  It is only one of the two claimants who is obstinate: the other, on the contrary, has determined to make the world wonder at this magnanimity.  So he says: 'We both found the cloth, and therefore I ask only a half of it, because the second belongs to B  But B. insists that he found it, and that he alone is entitled to it. "

"In this case, the Talmud recommends a wise Judgment, that is, how very disappointing to our magnanimous gentleman.  The judge says: 'There is agreement about one half of the cloth.  A. admits that it belongs to B. So  it is only the second half that is in dispute.  We shall, therefore divide this into two halves: And the obstinate claimant gets three-quarters of the cloth, while the 'gentleman' has only one quarter, and serve him right.  It is a very fine thing to be a gentleman, but it is no reason for being an idiot.  Our ancestors knew that.  But we have forgotten it.  We should bear it in mind.  Particularly, since we are very badly situated in this matter of concessions.”

As Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “The Iron Wall” noted presciently, A voluntary agreement is unattainable, and so those who regard an accord with the Arabs as an indispensable condition of Zionism must admit to themselves today that this condition cannot be attained and hence that we must give up Zionism. We must either suspend our settlement efforts or continue them without paying attention to the mood of the natives.”

Israel and the Jewish people live.

Ronn Torossian is one of the foremost Public Relations executives in the world – and a lifelong follower of Ze’ev Jabotinsky.


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