Jabotinsky in the mirror of reality

Eighty years after the passing of Jabotinsky, it is time to stop sitting back. Opinion.

Yaakov Hagoel ,

Yaakov Hagoel
Yaakov Hagoel
Flash 90

Eighty years ago, the stormy heart of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Zionist leader, founder of the Revisionist movement and Betar Youth Organization, fell silent.

After decades of his teachings being pushed to the margins of public discourse, today Jabotinsky finally receives a proper place in history. His ideology has slowly but surely seeped into the public consciousness and is appreciated for its merits.

The Jewish and Zionist world is facing a very significant period. Today, both the political right and left now see the inevitable implementation of the process of applying Israeli sovereignty to Jewish communities in all parts of the Land of Israel.

This significant step comes with clear support and recognition from the world's greatest democratic superpower - the United States of America. Once and for all the uncertainty is being cleared away regarding the future of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and solidifies the main tenets of modern-day Zionism.

Back in the 1930s, Jabotinsky shared his dream of an Arab-Jewish agreement regarding the Land of Israel. His respectful attitude towards the Arabs is expressed in these remarks:

"But perhaps no war is necessary. Perhaps you, the children of Ishmael son of Abraham, our patriarch, will support the claim of the people of Israel... that a homeless nation may be allowed to return and settle in its ancient kingdom."

Knowing the power of the stubbornness of the Arab nations as well as the genuine desire to fulfill the aspirations of the Jewish people for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he opened a door to a liberal approach of "compensation" while providing "a well-known measure of independence."

Now here we are in the year 2020 and countless proposals for bridging the gaps between the Arabs and the Israelis have been discussed, proposed, attempted and force-fed.

Attempts to bring peace and creative solutions for both sides were offered as early as the last century.

There was the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which was met by a complete refusal from the Arab world, who used severe violence and rioting against Jews in the years that followed. The United Nations Partition Plan of November 29, 1947 was also completely rejected by the Arab world, and following the vote, and hostile actions were launched against Jews both in Arab lands and in the Land of Israel.

From the Six Day War of 1967 until today, countless plans and initiatives were launched and failed. Amid international headlines and great fanfare, agreements was tried and tested. They include: the Madrid Conference, the Oslo Accords, the Hebron Protocol, the Wye River Memorandum, the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum, the Camp David Summit, the Taba Summit, the Arab Peace Initiative, the Road Map for Peace, the French Peace Initiative and the Kerry Initiative. In-between those initiatives, plans such as the Disengagement and the Convergence Plan have been tried, and unfortunately, have simply not worked, resulting in fierce debates, societal rifts, terrorism and military operations.

Our generation was privileged to be born into an independent country, with language, culture, a strong military, robust economy, educational excellence and high-tech expertise. We did not experience what our parents and grandparents did in exile. We did not struggle to hold on to our Jewish heritage or feel the longing to return to our home - the Land of Israel.

America's Deal of the Century is now under consideration and has been debated from different angles. But eighty years after the passing of Jabotinsky, it is time to stop sitting back.

The principles of the Zionist movement include the unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital, in the life of the nation. Zionism calls for Aliyah to Israel from all countries and the effective integration of all immigrants into Israel as a Jewish-Zionist and democratic state. Settling the land is an expression of Zionist fulfillment.

In my opinion, the Deal of the Century, yet another of the innumerable plans for trying to live a normalized life here, may be a rare window of opportunity to unite our ranks. For the first time since Israel's founding, our borders could be solidified and Jerusalem recognized as our eternal and historic capital, while fulfilling Zionism by implementing our sovereignty in the heartland of our nation, Judea and Samaria.

For a moment, Jabotinsky seems to be somewhat involved in these current proceedings.

"If we sit back," Jabotinsky wrote, "and look at how others are clamoring and we do not intervene… the nations of the world will not consider us, our neighbors will lift their heads against us, and any piece of goodness that we may have and any future goodness we would have in our world will fall in the hands of others, and only we will be disappointed."

And us? Our job today, eighty years since his passing, is to act for the fulfillment of Zionist values. It is to settle, build, flourish, educate and sustain the exemplary society which the forefathers of our country and the pioneers of Zionism dreamed.

The writer is the Vice-Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and the chairman of the World Likud.




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