The decades-old historic rivalry and animosity between the two great main camps in the Zionist movement - the Labor/Socialist/Histadrut wing and the Revisionist/Herut/Likud - has seen its ups and many downs. There is talk of Labour Party Chairman Isaac Herzog deliberating an entrance into the Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu-led government coalition.Be that as it may, it is a sign of the melding of outlooks and perspectived that Herzog could speak in "Jabotinsky talk" as in this interview with Jeffrey Goldberg yesterday:
When I asked Herzog if he would be lobbying Congress to disapprove the deal (AIPAC, I’m told, has invited him to do so), he said he wouldn’t...I don’t intend to hide my feelings. Most of the Israeli body politic is worried about the agreement, and people need to understand our worries. The world doesn’t fully understand the fact that we are left here alone in this neighborhood, that there is a Shia empire that is trying to inflame the region with a heavy hand. But I don’t intend to clash with the administration. We’re very glad for all that the Obama administration has done for us. We have respect for the United States, for this great ally and friend, and we don’t want to be in a confrontation or clash. But we have to let people know that we think this is a dangerous situation.”
“We have to build an iron wall to protect Israel. There are clear risks to Israel’s security in this deal.”
That "iron wall" mention is, of course, referring to the title, which became the ideological summation, of Jabotinsky's two-part essay published in late 1923. That article opened with these words:
Emotionally, my attitude to the Arabs is the same as to all other nations – polite indifference. Politically, my attitude is determined by two principles. First of all, I consider it utterly impossible to eject the Arabs from Palestine. There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority. And secondly, I belong to the group that once drew up the Helsingfors Programme, the programme of national rights for all nationalities living in the same State. In drawing up that programme, we had in mind not only the Jews , but all nations everywhere, and its basis is equality of rights. I am prepared to take an oath binding ourselves and our descendants that we shall never do anything contrary to the principle of equal rights, and that we shall never try to eject anyone. This seems to me a fairly peaceful credo.
and continued with these
Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach...In this matter there is no difference between our "militarists" and our "vegetarians". Except that the first prefer that the iron wall should consist of Jewish soldiers, and the others are content that they should be British. We all demand that there should be an iron wall. Yet we keep spoiling our own case, by talking about "agreement" which means telling the Mandatory Government that the important thing is not the iron wall, but discussions. Empty rhetoric of this kind is dangerous. And that is why it is not only a pleasure but a duty to discredit it and to demonstrate that it is both fantastic and dishonest.
Not only has Herzog admitted to the correctness of the "iron wall" policy but he seems to be becoming less of what Jabotinsky termed a "vegetarian". He knows that the Obama-directed and Kerry-led negotiations was basically, now that we see the results, simple empty rhetoric.The true rhetoric still belongs to Iran and its leaders.And the true Zionism belongs to Jabotinsky.