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.

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July 24, 2014 16:46
Jabotinsky

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

 
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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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