• Issue: March 1970
  • Designer: F. Horn
  • Plate no.: 278
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky was born in Odessa (Russia) on the 12th Heshvan 5641 (October 18, 1880). At the age of 17, Jabotinsky published his first article in one of the local newspapers. Soon afterwards he left for Switzerland, from where he continued to supply his paper with articles and essays. It was there that for the first time, at a gathering of Jewish students, he expressed his views: ". . . in exile the Jews are faced with the danger of a general massacre. Nothing short of a massive immigration to Eretz Israel will preserve the Jewish people."

He later moved to Italy, where he quickly learned the Italian language and, using the pseudonym "Altalena", continued to publish articles and stories in the Russian press.

In the spring of 1903 Jabotinsky joined the nucleus of a movement which was to protect the Jews in Russia against rioters and was most active in forming a large defense battalion.

During that time he published his first Zionist article, addressing himself "To the Haters of Zion." He was elected as a delegate to the 6th Zionist Congress, where he met with Dr. Theodor Herzl.

At the end of 1908 Jabotinsky left for Constantinople, then the capital of Turkey, on an important mission on behalf of the Zionist movement. Here, for the first time, he established contact with Sephardic Jewry. After his return to Odessa in 1910 he began his great drive for the revival of the Hebrew language.

After the outbreak of World War I he visited the battlefronts as a roving reporter. In Alexandria, Egypt, he met Joseph Trumpeldor and then worked for the establishment of a Jewish battalion, but he refused to acquiesce in the establishment of a Jewish unit in one of the service branches of the British Army. He left for London where he worked tirelessly until receiving the official confirmation, in August 1917, of the establishment of the first Jewish battalion. Jabotinsky himself was made a lieutenant in the battalion, which took part in the seizure of the passages over the Jordan and the capture of E-Salt in the course of the liberation of Eretz Israel from Turkish rule.

On Passover 1920, Ze'ev Jabotinsky headed the defense of Jerusalem against the Arab rioters and was subsequently sentenced to 15 years hard labor by the British Mandatory authorities. The sentence evoked a storm of protests all over the world and his punishment was reduced to one year imprisonment. Later on, legal action was discontinued altogether.

Beginning July 1920 he held important posts with the Zionist Executive, but, disagreeing with the Zionist policy, he resigned from the Executive in 1923 and directed all his efforts towards organizing the Union of the Zionist Revisionists ("Zohar") and forming the "Betar" Youth Movement.

From then until his death he fought tirelessly for the idea of a Jewish State. After he had left for overseas on a propaganda campaign, the Mandatory Government denied him the right to return. Upon the outbreak of the 1936 riots in Palestine he ordered the "Zohar" members to disregard the self-restraint decided on by the leadership of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel. It was then that the "Irgun Zevai Leumi" (EZL) was founded.

In 1937 Jabotinsky set out on a campaign in Eastern Europe. He discerned the approaching danger in the region and came forward with his "Evacuation Scheme." In 1939 he started a large-scale campaign in the Unites States for the benefit of the Jews living in the countries of distress. Then World War II broke out. With what was left of his strength and energy he pleaded, wrote and tried to convince the Americans of the Jewish plight in Eastern Europe.

Jabotinsky died in New York on the 29th Tamuz 5700 (August 4, 1940). In his last will he asked to be left buried in his temporary grave until a Jewish State in Eretz Israel would be established and the President of the State would order his mortal remains to be brought for burial in the homeland.

Jabotinsky's remains were indeed brought to Israel in 1964, where they have been interred on Mount Herzl, in Jerusalem.

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Defense Of Jerusalem