Vladimir Y. Zhabotinsky, 1880-1940) Russian-born Revisionist Zionist leader, author, orator, soldier, founder of the Jewish Self-Defense Organization in Odessa. Helped form the British Army’s Jewish Legion in WW I, a founder and early leader of the militant Zionist underground organization, Irgun. Worked as a journalist and as a lawyer, joined Zionist movement after 1903 Kishinev pogrom. A powerful speaker and influential leader, established the Jewish Self-Defense Organization, to safeguard Jewish communities throughout Russia from pogroms. Took Hebrew name Ze'ev ("wolf"). During pogroms, his slogan was, "better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it!" and "Jewish youth, learn to shoot!" Elected Russian delegate to the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland 1903. After Herzl's 1904 death became leader of right-wing Zionists. In WW I, conceived idea of a Jewish Legion to fight withthe British against the Ottomans who controlled Palestine. In 1915, with Joseph Trumpeldor, created the Zion Mule Corps of mainly Russian Jews exiled from Palestine by the Turks. It served with distinction in Battle of Gallipoli. Jabotinsky traveled to London, where he continued his efforts to establish Jewish units to fight in Palestine as part of the British Army. The British established 3 Jewish Battalions in 1917, initiating the Jewish Legion. An officer in the 38th Royal Fusiliers, he fought with General Allenby in 1917, and was awarded an MBE for heading the first company to cross the River Jordan into Palestine. After his Sept. 1919 discharge, he openly trained Jews in self-defense and the use of small arms. During Passover 1920, Jabotinsky stood at the head of the Haganah in Jerusalem against Arab riots. He was arrested and given a 15-year prison term for possession of weapons. Following public outcry, he received amnesty and was released from Acre prison. In 1920, Jabotinsky was elected to the 1st Assembly of Representatives in Palestine, in 1921 elected to the executive council of the Zionist Organization. He quit mainstream Zionist movement in 1923, due to differences with Chaim Weizmann, and established the Alliance of Revisionists-Zionists and its youth movement, Betar. His new party demanded mainstream Zionist movement recognize as its stated objective establishment of a modern Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan River with the help and aid of the British. His support base was mostly located in Poland and Latvia. During 19281929, he resided in Palestine and edited the Hebrew daily Doar Hayom while, at the same time, undertaking increased political activity. In 1930, while visiting South Africa, he was informed by the Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine. During the 30s, he was deeply concerned about the Jewish community in Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. In 1936, he prepared a plan which called for the evacuation of the entire Jewish population of Poland, Hungary and Romania to Palestine. He toured Eastern Europe, meeting with the Polish Foreign Minister; the Regent of Hungary, and the Prime Minister of Romania to discuss the evacuation plan. It gained approval of all 3 governments, rendered moot when the British vetoed it, and Chaim Weizmann dismissed it. In 1938, Jabotinsky warned European Jews to leave for Palestine as soon as possible. He believed Jews could not regain any part of Palestine without Arab opposition, but believed that the Jewish state could be a home for Arab citizens. In 1934 he wrote draft constitution for the Jewish state which declared that the Arab minority would be on an equal footing with its Jewish counterpart, both would share state's duties, military and civil service, and enjoy all prerogatives. In 1937, the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (I.Z.L) became the military arm of the Jabotinsky movement and he became its commander; future Israeli PM Menachem Begin was one of his disciples. He continued to write poetry, novels, short stories and articles on politics, social and economic problems. From among his literary creations, “The Jewish Legion”, “Prelude to Delilah (Samson)” and “The Five”, served as an inspiration for Jews of the Diaspora. During 19391940, Jabotinsky was active in Britain and the US hoping to establish a Jewish army to fight with the Allies against Nazi Germany. Died in New York while visiting an armed Jewish self-defense camp run by Betar, and was buried in in NYC in accordance with his will: "I want to be buried outside Palestine, may NOT be transferred to Palestine unless by order of that country's eventual Jewish government." in 1964, PM Levi Eshkol ordered his and his wife’s reinterment at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem. A monument to him remains at his original burial site in New York. In Israel, there are more streets, parks and squares named after Jabotinsky than any other figure in Jewish or Israeli history. The Jabotinsky Medal is awarded for distinguished service to the State of Israel. Good content & association 10 ¾ x 8 ¼ TLS “Z.Z.” in Hebrew on thin paper, (Tel-Aviv), July 18 1935, to the editor/ publisher of Mishmar Hayarden (in green ink, Jabotinsky writes Hamedina)in Tel Aviv. Translation as: “I hereby see that in the pamphlet of the Betar songs that was published in Levuv by mistake my name was on the song Hayalim Almonim [“Unknown Soldiers”]. I would have been in the parade had I the right to place my signature under this pretty song but it is a mistake, it is not mine. In total respect, Z.Z.” “Unknown Soldiers” was written by Stern Group (Lehi) founder Abraham Stern (1907-1942). Between 1932 and 1934 Stern wrote dozens of poems. “Unknown Soldiers” was adopted first by the Irgun and later by the Lehi as an undeground anthem. In it Stern sang of Jews who would enlist in a volunteeer army of their own, go underground and die fighting in the streets, only to be buried secretly at night. One of the commanders of Lehi, Israel Eldad, claimed this song (along with two others, written by Uri Zvi Greenberg and Jabotinsky) actually led to creation of the underground.
Legendary leader for the development of Israel, Jabotinsky organized the Haganah self-defense force in 1920. This reproduction would look great in an album or display.