Shamir: A Colourless Tough Guy

Shamir: a colourless tough guy Yitzhak Shamir was the accidental prime minister. When Menachem Begin resigned in 1983, the mantle of responsibility fell on Shamir’s shoulders. The colourless, uninspiring, 68-year-old was the stop-gap choice instead of the feared Ariel Sharon and the lightweight David Levy. Yet, including the two years when he almost shared power … Read more

The Visionary Zionist who Everyone Misunderstood

Vladimir Jabotinsky Vladimir Jabotinsky was one of the founding fathers of the modern Zionist movement. He was one of the great inspirers of discriminated and impoverished Jewish youth in Eastern Europe in the inter-war years. In a pre-television era, audiences would sit patiently for hours, enthralled and entranced by his rhetoric. A Russian-Jewish intellectual who … Read more

The Political Right in Israel: Different Faces of Jewish Populism

Right-hand man: Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party appeals to ordinary Israelis’ deep-seated fears By Dani Filc Routledge £75 Why do so many impoverished Israelis vote for the Right? Netanyahu’s policies of privatisation and empowerment of the private sector clearly seem to be against their interests. Yet they shout: “Long live Bibi and Israel”. Dani Filc … Read more

Opposing Partition: The Zionist Predicaments after the Shoah

INTRODUCTION In October 1947, two weeks before the vote on UN Resolution 181, the Revisionist Zionist headquarters in Paris approached the religious Zionist Mizrahi movement, the General Zionists, the Marxists of Hashomer Hatzair, and Ahdut Ha’avodah to form an anti-partition front.1 This willingness by Arieh Altman’s Revisionists to cultivate their deadly enemies on the Left … Read more

Andreas Whittam Smith on Jabotinsky

Andreas Whittam Smith (Opinion, 19 April) quotes selectively from a harsh English translation of Jabotinsky’s famous article “The Iron Wall” which was originally published in Russian in 1923. Jabotinsky wrote in the aftermath of Arab attacks in 1920 and 1921 and was actually protesting about the British inability to protect the Jews or arm them. … Read more

Vladimir Jabotinsky, Riga and the Legacy of Revisionist Zionism

Isaiah Berlin and Vladimir Jabotinsky In his ‘personal impression’ of Chaim Weizmann in 1958, Isaiah Berlin made a passing reference to Vladimir Jabotinsky as ‘the leader of the extreme right wing Zionists’.1 In one sense, such a comment presupposes that a leader must hold the same opinions as his followers. In the case of Jabotinsky, … Read more

Bibi, Betar and the Fascists

  Christopher Hitchens’ articles in the Evening Standard, Barbara Amiel’s reply in the Daily Telegraph and Malcolm Palmer’s  reply in the last issue of LJN all show a highly selective reading of  the history of the Revisionist Zionist movement and its main characters, Jabotinsky and Begin. Barbara Amiel was right to condemn Christopher Hitchen’s depiction … Read more