Jabotinsky’s “revisionist zionism”


by David Holden

Ze’ev Jabotinsky MBE (Hebrew: זאב ז’בוטינסקי‎; Ukrainian: Володи́мир (Зеєв) Євге́нович Жаботи́нський), born Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky (Russian: Влади́мир Евге́ньевич Жаботи́нский) (18 October 1880 – 4 August 1940)

extract from Alan Hart’s recent post on VT
alan hart
In Netanyahu’s case there is scope for wondering how seriously we should take him. Yes, he is most definitely committed to a Greater Israel and denying the Palestinians a state on any terms (land and other) they can accept; but on other matters is he the master of bluff? Does he really believe, for example, that an Iran armed with a few nuclear bombs could and would pose an existential threat to the Zionist state (if he does, he’s mad); or did he decide to play the Iran threat card to get Palestine off the agenda, in order to allow Israel to continue its colonization and slow ethnic cleansing of the occupied West Bank without fear of sanction by the major powers?
There is, however, every reason to take Lieberman seriously, and the key to understanding why is in his party’s description of itself – “a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky.”


In the first and still existing Western draft of the history of the making of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, Jabotinsky is described as being not only the founding father of the Haganah and thus the Israeli army but also the founder of “Revisionist Zionism”.
As I explain at length in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, “Revisionist Zionism” is actually HONEST Zionism. Those who in 1897 proclaimed the coming into existence of Zionism (sometimes described as “practical Zionism” and/or “socialist Labour Zionism”) were DISHONEST.
They agreed not to go public with their real goal – a Jewish state in all of Arab Palestine. Instead they talked and wrote for public consumption about the need for Jewish settlement, by obvious implication something far short of statehood; and they pretended they could come to an agreeable accommodation with the Arabs. Simply stated, they didn’t want the world and their fellow Jews especially to even think about the probability that the creation of a Jewish state would require some and perhaps many Palestinians to be dispossessed of their land, their homes and their rights.
It was to anaesthetize the Jewish conscience that Zionism’s pre-Jabotinsky leaders came up with the monstrous, wicked propaganda lie that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without land.”
Enter Jabotinsky. His book The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs was published in 1923. Its main thrust was that Zionism had to take Palestine from its Arab owners by force or not at all.
Jabotinsky’s book became the main inspirational text for most Jewish nationalists who became Israelis.
To understand Jabotinsky’s mindset is to understand how and why Israel became the arrogant, aggressive, oppressive, rascist state it is today and, also, why Lieberman is what he is. For that reason I am now going to quote nine paragraphs from The Iron Wall.

There can be no discussion of voluntary reconciliation coming from the Arabs, not now and not in the foreseeable future. All well-meaning people, with the exception of those blind from birth, understood long ago the complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the Arabs of Palestine for the transformation of Palestine from an Arab country to a country with a Jewish majority.
Any native people view their country as their national home, of which they will be the complete masters. They will never voluntarily allow a new master. So it is for the Arabs. Compromisers among us try to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked with hidden formulations of our basic goals. I flatly refuse to accept this view of the Palestinian Arabs.
They have the precise psychology that we have. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervour that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux upon his prairie. Each people will struggle against colonizers until the last spark of hope that they can avoid the dangers of colonization and conquest is extinguished. The Palestinians will struggle in this way until there is hardly a spark of hope.
palestinian child
It matters not what kind of words we use to explain our colonization. Colonization has its own integral and inescapable meaning understood by every Jew and every Arab. Colonization has only one goal. This is in the nature of things. To change that nature is impossible. It has been necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs and the same condition exists now.
Even an agreement with non-Palestinians (other Arabs) represents the same kind of fantasy. In order for Arab nationalists of Baghdad and Mecca and Damascus to agree to pay so serious a price they would have to refuse to maintain the Arab character of Palestine.
We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.

Whether through the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, external force is a necessity for establishing in the country conditions of rule and defence through which the local population, regardless of what it wishes, will be deprived of the possibility of impeding our colonization, administratively or physically. Force must play its role – with strength and without indulgence. In this, there are no meaningful differences between our militarists and our vegetarians. One prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets; the other an Iron Wall of English bayonets.
If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for that land, or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else? Or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible – not difficult, not dangerous but IMPOSSIBLE! Zionism is a colonizing adventure and therefore it stands or it falls by the question of armed force. It is important to speak Hebrew but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonization.
To the hackneyed reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer – absolutely untrue. This is our ethic. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the faintest spark of hope for the Arabs to impede us, they will not sell these hopes – not for any sweet words nor for any tasty morsel, because this (the Palestinians) is not a rabble but a people, a living people. And no people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions, except when there is no hope left, until we have removed every opening visible in the Iron Wall.

That, a decade before the Nazis came to power in Germany, was the ideology of what was called Revisionist Zionism. Its Big Idea was the application of brute force in order to give the Arabs, when they had been dispossessed of their land, no hope of getting it back. There was to be no consideration of what was morally or legally right or wrong. Compromise was entirely ruled out. It was a “them or us” strategy.
With that attitude prevailing as Israel heads further and faster down the road to Nazi-like fascism, there can be no hope for an initiative from within for peace on any terms the Palestinians could accept.

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