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.
Moreover, Sharon was never a follower of Jabotinsky, as Whittam Smith insists, since he was originally a member of the forerunner of the Labour Party. His mentors were David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan – both from Labour’s right wing, which advocated military prowess.
Jabotinsky would certainly have placed security for Israel at the top of his agenda and condemned Palestinian rejectionists, but it is something else to suggest that he would have been rooting for Sharon. Throughout his life, Jabotinsky vehemently opposed transfer and condemned the British proposal in the Peel Commission in 1937 to move a quarter of a million Palestinian Arabs. Whittam Smith falls into the trap of using an incisive analysis of the situation in 1923 and extrapolating it to fit in with a totally transformed political landscape in 2004.
Dr COLIN SHINDLER
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London