A vindicated life

Hillel Halkin presents Ze’ev Jabotinsky as a political failure, but he doesn’t look past the Zionist leader’s lack of political influence in his lifetime to his prescience regarding the nature of the Jewish state.

July 24, 2014 16:46

Ze'ev Jabotinsky with his wife and son Eri.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Was Ze’ev Jabotinsky a political failure? In the epilogue to Jabotinsky: A Life, his exquisitely written and broadly encompassing autobiography, Hillel Halkin claims he was.

“[Theodor] Herzl died young and thwarted, but he had created political Zionism,” writes Halkin. “[Chaim] Weizmann ended as an irrelevance, the figurehead first president of a Jewish state that he had never wanted to fight for; yet he was instrumental in keeping Zionism alive in the years after Herzl’s death and in obtaining the Balfour Declaration, without which it could have gone no further.


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