Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Correct History - Rejoinder to Benny Morris

Thanks to a good friend, Yonatan Silverman, who translates, I now possess a copy of Benny Morris' new "One State, Two States" (it's not really a book but an extended essay/overview). See here and here.

On page 44, you can read that Jabotinsky spoke at the 17th Zionist Congress, held in 1931, and wished to resurrect the historic borders of the Land of Israel, on both banks of the Jordan. However, writes Morris, "the Zionist majority rejected Jabotinsky's call". There is a footnote there relating to Arye Naor's book, "Greater Israel".

His 'history' is off.

Jabotinsky proposed more specifically that the aim of Zionism, the endziel, be "a Jewish state, the creation of a Jewish majority in Palestine on both sides of the Jordan". He did so propose in response to Chaim Weizmann's throwawy line, in an interview with the JTA, "I have no understanding of, an no sympathy for a Jewish majority in Palestine". (see Schechtmann, JB, The Jabotinsky Story, Vol. II, pp. 147 - 154)

So, there were three elements: a Jewish state and not just some cultural center; a Jewish majority and no just a few 'colonies'; and a territory -not just historic Jewishly but the area even Weizmann himself had supported.

And what happened?

In a roll-call vote of 121 to 57, the Congress decided not to vote at all on the resolution and to keep it off the agenda.

The Congress had a choice to amend the resolution, to keep "Jewish State" in, or "Jewish majority" or "both banks of the Jordan" or any combination. But no, they preferred not to deal with the issue.

By the way, Weizmann was not re-elected as WZO President.

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