Thursday, December 01, 2016

  • Thursday, December 01, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mosaic Magazine has translated, into English, for the first time, a 1911 essay by Ze'ev Jabotinsky called "Instead of Apologizing." In the essay, Jabotinsky describes how Jews should react to the blood libel that was still popular at the time, and his advice applies very well to the similar libels hurled against Jews and Jewish nationalists today.

Read the whole thing, but here are large excerpts, perhaps 40%  of the essay:

Taking a long, hard look at the current penchant for accusations of ritual murder, one is left with a most oppressive feeling—a feeling that any impressionable individual will find hard to bear. Just think about it: these things are being said about us—about me, about you, about your mother! So whenever we Jews speak with a Gentile, we must remain aware, every one of us, that our interlocutor may at that very moment be cowering to himself and thinking, “How do I know that you, too, haven’t been tippling from the glass of ritual murder?” Just try and get your head around that! I mean, when it comes down to it, this is even worse than everything else we have to put up with in this prison of a country.

I can imagine that an impressionable person—if he reflects on this accusation and all of its ramifications—may be driven mad with resentment and despair, or at least will need to sob and tear his hair out. A person less fainthearted but still naïve will need to run outside and grab passersby by their coattails and try to prove to them, until his throat is hoarse, that this is slander and that we are not guilty of anything of the sort.

But in the end someone who has been blind from birth (and we have very many people like that) will take a different course of action. He will console himself with the usual soothing phrases: that no one really believes in such absurdities; that even those making the accusations do not themselves believe them; that the blood libel is merely a political tactic; that the entire sensible segment of the Christian community (which naturally constitutes its majority) will never listen to such slander, and is even scandalized by it—in a word, that everything is just fine...

I am not one of those impressionable people who cry out in amazement, nor am I one of those naïve people who make excuses, nor one of those blind-from-birth folks who cannot see what is happening right under their noses. I must dissociate myself most emphatically from the last category. It is all very fine and convenient to imagine that your enemies are mere charlatans and fraudsters, but in the long run this kind of oversimplified explanation of an enemy’s psychology always leads to the severest outcomes. By no means are all of our enemies dimwits, and by no means are all of them liars. I strongly advise my coreligionists not to delude themselves on that score.

...For several years now, Jews in Russia have all too frequently found themselves sitting on the defendants’ bench. That is not their fault. But what definitely is their fault is this: they have been behaving like people on trial for a crime. We are continually justifying ourselves at the top of our voices. We swear that we are in no way revolutionaries, we do not shirk our soldierly obligations, and we haven’t sold Russia to the Japanese.

Then out jumps [the Jewish socialist terrorist Evno Fishelevich] Azev and we start swearing that we are not guilty, that we are not at all like him. Out jumps [the Jewish anarchist assassin Dmitry Grigorievich] Bogrov and once again we are being hauled into the dock by the scruff of our necks and once again we take on the role forced on us and we start justifying ourselves.
Now they have raised a rumpus over ritual murder, and once again we have taken on the role of prisoners on trial: we press our hands to our hearts, with quivering fingers we leaf through old stacks of supporting documents that no one is interested in, and we swear right and left that we do not consume this drink, that never has a drop of it passed our lips, may the Lord smite me on the spot. . . .

How much longer will this go on? Tell me, my friends, are you not tired by now of this rigmarole? Isn’t it high time, in response to all of these accusations, rebukes, suspicions, smears, and denunciations—both present and future—to fold our arms over our chests and loudly, clearly, coldly, and calmly put forth the only argument which this public can understand: why don’t you all go to hell?

What kind of people are we that we have to justify ourselves before them? And who are they to demand it of us? What is the point of this whole comedy of putting an entire people on trial when the verdict is known in advance? How does it benefit us to participate voluntarily in this comedy, to brighten up these villainous and humiliating proceedings with our speeches for the defense?

Our defense is useless and hopeless, our enemies will not believe it, and apathetic people will pay no attention to it. The time for apologies is over.

...We think that our continual readiness to subject ourselves without a murmur to searches, to turn out our pockets, will finally convince humanity that we are honorable people. We are constantly saying, “Look at us! We are such gentlemen! We have nothing to hide!”

But that is an outright error. Real gentlemen will never allow anyone to search their apartments, their pockets, or their souls for any reason whatsoever. Only people under surveillance are prepared to be searched at any time of day or night. And that is precisely the position we are putting ourselves in, thus tempting the most terrible danger of all: suppose we are framed for theft?
...The reason that we are not liked is not because all kinds of accusations are leveled against us: no, they level accusations against us because they do not like us.
That is why there are so many of these accusations; that is why they are so diverse and so contradictory. One day people are shouting that we exploit the poor, the next day that we are sowing socialism and leading the poor to revolt against their exploiters. One Polish newspaper recently claimed that the Jews partitioned Poland and handed it over to the Russians, while a hundred Russian newspapers claim that Jews want to partition Russia and hand it over to Poland. The Italians are saying that attacks on them in the European media are organized by the Jews, and the Turks are saying that the Jews put Italy up to capturing Tripoli [in its 1911 invasion of Ottoman Libya].
What is the point of reacting to all of this shrieking and barking with sworn statements, reassurances, and pledges? There is no point, and it should be unthinkable to behave thus. As soon as we rebut one argument, another is born. There are no limits to human spite and stupidity.
We have nothingto apologize for. We are a people, just like all peoples; we have no pretensions to be any better. One of the first conditions of equal rights is that we claim for ourselves the right to have our own blackguards, just as other peoples have theirs.  Yes, we have subversives, human traffickers, draft dodgers. Not only do we have them, but what is truly odd is that we have so few of them under present circumstances. Other peoples have an abundance of this kind of human asset, as well as embezzlers, pogromists, and torturers. But so what? They live side by side as neighbors and have no scruples about it.
At the end of the day, whether they like us or not should make no difference to us whatsoever. We do not practice ritual murder, and we never did; but if they absolutely must believe “there is this one sect . . . ,” well, let them go ahead and believe whatever their imaginations come up with. What business is it of ours and why should it worry us? Do our neighbors blush because Christians in Kishinev hammered nails into the eyes of Jewish infants [during the bloody 1903 pogrom]? Not at all. They walk along with their heads held high—and quite rightly, because the persona of a people is sovereign, is accountable to no one, and is not obliged to explain itself, even when something happens that requires explanation.
Why should we be happy to be thrust into the dock—we who have heard these same slanders for centuries, and know what they add up to, for ourselves and for them? We are not obliged to give account to anyone, we are not sitting for an exam, and no one is entitled to demand an answer from us for any charge he wishes to direct our way. We were here before them, and we will be leaving after them. We are fine just the way we are. We will not be any different, nor do we want to be.
(h/t David B)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive