Ze’ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) had distinguished himself while still a youth in his struggle on behalf of Jewish rights in Tzarist Russia. During the First World War, he, together with Joseph Trumpeldor, advocated the setting up a Hebrew army. He enlisted in the: Royal Fusiliers” and with it he reached the Palestine front. During the riots in Jerusalem in 1920 he was the “Haganah” commander. Arrested, he was sentenced to fifteen years with hard labor. After receiving a pardon, he was elected to the Zionist Executive.
Later he resigned from the Zionist Executive because of his opposition to the Weizmann Pro-British policy and organized the “New Zionist Organization” based upon his own Revisionist movement.
Within the Jewish communities in East Europe, he strongly advocated forsaking the diaspora en masse and migrating to Palestine “illegally”. As a commander of Betar (Beitar), he prepared the youth belonging to his movement for war in Palestine.
He died in New York in the midst of his travels in the United States where he urged the setting up of a Jewish army and the establishment of a Jewish state. In his will he requested that his remains be transferred to Palestine “but only upon orders from the government of the Jewish State which will surely come into being”. His remains were transferred to Jerusalem in 1964 by order of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and accorded a State funeral on Mount Herzl.
Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a man of many talents; a gifted statesman, poet, writer, translator and orator.
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