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Jewish Sovereignty: Ze’ev Jabotinsky at the Peel Commission

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 18 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky (1880-1940) gave up a career as a celebrated European journalist, poet, and philosopher to lead the Revisionist Zionist movement and to help found the Jewish Legion of the British army, the first all-Jewish fighting force to see action in many centuries. In the 1930s, Jabotinsky was reluctantly forced to confront the hostile shift in policy of the British government toward Zionism. Appearing in 1937 before the Peel Commission, established by Britain to determine the causes of Arab unrest, Jabotinsky delivered one of the great Zionist speeches. His eloquence heightened in the face of the disaster threatening European Jewry, he passionately expounds on the simple proposition at the heart of Zionism: the Jews must be allowed a state of their own. In this seminar, we will explore this speech’s themes and legacy.

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