Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Right to this Land

by Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Following the outbreak of the Arab revolt in Palestine in 1936, the British formed the Peel Commission of 1936-1937, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, to offer recommendations for how to deal with the violence. In 1937 the commission suggested dividing the land into cantons, while leaving the majority of the territory in Arab hands.

The Jewish leadership at the time, headed by Prof. Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett adopted the partition plan, despite the fact that the plan only allotted the Jews about 5,000 square kilometers (1,900 square miles) of the land.

My grandfather, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, resolutely rejected the Jewish leadership's right to concede any part of the Land of Israel. Because he was forbidden by the British from entering mandate-controlled Palestine, he recorded his objection on a gramophone record which was smuggled in for the Jewish public to hear. That recorded message seems like it could have been written today in response to how the Likud "leaders" voted Wednesday against the outpost arrangement bill.

Here are the words recorded by the head of the Beitar movement, for your consideration: "Do not say, so what if we concede Hebron, Nablus and beyond the Jordan — this concession is not comprised of words devoid of meaning, and everyone will understand this to be the case. Do not underestimate the power of a concession! … Do not underestimate the power of a right, and don't exaggerate the value of a building that is being built. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it. … The Christian hand may not touch our rights — which are eternal and are complete, and shall not be relinquished."

I too, like my grandfather, respect the prime minister's declaration that dozens of new homes will be built in Beit El, even though I have difficulty understanding what has prevented him from doing this for more than three years already. But woe upon us if the extra construction becomes the basis for our right to build communities in Judea and Samaria.

The opposite is true: The legitimacy of our right is protected by international law, and is based on decisions made in 1922 by the League of Nations, decisions that are still valid today.

The destruction, even of one building, erodes this right of ours. Those who voted in favor of the erosion of this right have lent their hands to a policy that runs counter to the wishes of the vast majority of Likud members.

My recommendation is as follows: Immediately hold a referendum among all members of the Likud party.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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