Monday, April 30, 2007

A Bit Odd

Shalem Center has published a new book, New Essays on Zionism.

After almost 20 years of non-stop academic and pseudo-intellectual post-Zionist attacks, the Center laudably has counter-attacked. I am not complaining here that this was a collection mainly of former Azure essays, making the editor's work quite simple. But I do have a complaint nevertherless.

What irks me is that out of over 400 pages, Ze'ev Jabotinsky is mentioned on three of them. Twice in one article by...Amnon Rubinstein - not quite the Jabotinsky fan even if he is quite fair about Zionist history - and once more in Ze'ev Mahgen's essay. None of Shalem's "new" thinkers seem to consider Jabotinsky worthy of deliberation.

Now, you might say that I am a bit unobjective when it comes to Jabotinsky. Maybe. However, in the past few years, there has been a new, two-volume 1300 + page biography of him, Lone Wolf; his novel, The Five, was published in English translation for the first time; an analysis of his nationalism was recently published, in English; another book, The Trumph of Military Zionism, is out; not to mention his letters, eight volumes so far and a few other books [1] [2] [3] [4]

For example, here's one appreciation:

Often slighted as a marginal or eccentric figure, Jabotinsky emerges from this account as a thinker with a coherent view of nationalism and as an extraordinarily sensitive observer who often correctly foresaw the course of political developments. His fundamental principle of mutual respect nations provides a sound basis for the development of relations among Ukrainians and Jews.

Jabotinsky was a journalist, poet, novelist as well as a politician and a statesman. He worked in the cultural as well as political field. You would think that Shalem could have found some writer who could present the potential impact that Jabotinsky's thought has for today's battles against the post- and anti-Zionists. For these were exactly the battles he fought then 70-90 years ago, with passion, logic and philosophical ethics.

Too bad.

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