Jabotinsky: “What flowed through their veins was not blood but bouillion.”
By Ted Belman
As I continue to read Lone Wolf, the biography of Zeev Jabotinsky, I came upon an excerpt of his writings that I simply had to share with you.
In 1928 Jabotinsky returned to Palestine to settle down so to speak, after his would wide duties occupied his time. Shortly after arriving back, a provocation took place at the Wall that incensed him and his circle. The Brits removed the separation wall which divided male and female worshippers and they did so on Yom Kippur.This outrage aroused fierce spontaneous protests throughout the Jewish Community and throughout the Jewish world.
At the request of Jabotinsky, the Va’ad Leumi convened a special session. Jabotinsky waxed eloquent and made a proposal. They rejected it.
He was more concerned with their attitude than their rejection. He wrote;
- When I arrived here in the fall I found the whole community in a state of great agitation over the events at the Western Wall. Afterwards, I realized that I had believed in a great awakening simply because in those days I was meeting mostly Revisionists. Two weeks later at the meeting of the Va’ad Leumi devoted to the subject, I realized clearly that apart from us the dissidents,
all the others have forgotten how to be offended
- . There were Rabbis there, also regular synagogue goers, as well as “left-wingers”. They made high-flowing speeches – but you cannot easily fool a man of experience. I felt, all the time, and they themselves felt it, that behind the florid words there was no sense of tension.
Here, of course, was a case of unforgivable insincerity. Everybody knew perfectly well that it was our duty to make it absolutely clear that such behaviour by the government was utterly unacceptable. This was no doubt the logical thought that passed through their heads- but that was all. What flowed through their veins was not blood but bouillion. Evidently we have become accustomed, we have accustomized ourselves, to insult, as well as to the fact that nobody will rush to our defense, and that we ourselves can do nothing. Our hearts have stopped reacting.
As true today as it was then. The world is divided between activists and passivists.