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Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky

Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky was born in Odessa, Russia, 1880, to an assimilated Jewish family. At the age of 18, he left for Italy and Switzerland to study Law, and served as a correspondent for several well-known Russian newspapers. He later edited newspapers in Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish.

After the pogrom against the Jews of Kishinev in 1903, he joined the Zionist movement in Russia, organised self-defence units and fought for Jewish minority rights in Russia.

During World War I, he initiated the establishment of the British Army's Jewish Legion, aiming to free the Land of Israel from Turkish rule. He fought in the assault of the Jordan River crossings and was decorated for bravery.

In 1921, Jabotinsky was elected a member of the Zionist Executive, but resigned two years later after a series of policy disagreement with Haim Weizman. He established the Union of Zionists-Revisionists and the Betar movement, which called for a massive and non selective Jewish immigration and the establishment of a Jewish State on both sides of the Jordan River.

In 1929, he left the country for the Zionist Congress, after which the British administration denied him re-entry into the country. From then on he was forced to struggle for Jewish liberation from abroad. When the Zionist Congress approved in 1935 the limitation of the Jewish immigration from Germany, he left with the Revisionists the Zionist Organisation and founded the New Zionist Organisation (N.Z.O). He died in New York in 1940 and his remains were reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in 1964.

Jabotinsky was a political leader, liberal thinker, journalist, writer, poet and gifted translator.


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