Jabotinsky's New Jew: Concept and models

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Abstract

The founder of Revisionist Zionism, Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, believed that Zionism would create a new type of Jew. The youth organization that he headed, Betar Youth, used a variety of means to train its members to realize the vision of the new Jew, from physical and paramilitary exercises to learning and using the Hebrew language, from a certain code of behavior to making every effort to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael. Jabotinsky presented three figures as models of the new Jewish character: Herzl, who had brought the nation back into history; Trumpeldor, who personified the pure idea of pioneering and serving the nation; and Shlomo Ben Yosef, who, when sentenced to death by the British Mandate authorities, demonstrated strength and honor while in prison and went to the gallows with the Betar Song on his lips. These three men symbolized in their lives the idea of the new Jew-the antithesis to the figure of the ghetto Jew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-159
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Betar
  • Jabotinsky
  • New Jew
  • Revisionism
  • Zionism

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