Bibi, Churchill, and Jabotinsky

Bibi, Churchill, and Jabotinsky

It is a shame that too many pundits and editorial writers do not realize that there is a factor in Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions that goes beyond politics or “personality clashes” (“Netanyahu’s planned speech roils pro-Israel community,” January 30). They do not seem to understand that he is utterly convinced that regardless of his intentions, President Obama’s policy is leading Israel and then the United States and other western democracies to a catastrophe.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s late father, Benzion Netanyahu, was a renowned professor of history at Dropsie College, Cornell University, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But when he was in his late twenties he was personal secretary to a prominent right-wing Zionist leader named Vladimir Jabotinsky. The media now tends to forget that during the 1930s Winston Churchill was being ignored, derided, and denounced in England and France for his repeated grim warnings about the objective of Hitler and the Nazis. During those same years, Jabotinsky was going through eastern Europe exhorting his Jewish audiences to “get out of Europe” because they were on the verge of a catastrophe. He also was ignored, derided, and bitterly denounced.

A sidelight: Jabotinsky died of a heart attack in New York on August 4, 1940. He was 59. That same day, the famous Charles A. Lindbergh addressed a mass outdoor America First Committee rally in Chicago’s Soldier Field. It was broadcast coast to coast on network radio. Lindbergh’s perspective was that the only people who were eager for the United States to help defeat Nazi Germany were the British and the Jews.