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Rare Speech by Zeev Jabotinsky Discovered

by Gad Nahshon

The Jabotinsky Institute in Israel (38 King George Street, POB 23110, Tel Aviv 61230 or Israel: Tel. 03-5287320, Fax. 03-528-5587; email: is featuring a rare commodity and a unique one: a speech in Hebrew by Zeev Jabotinsky, the legendary Zionist leader and the father of the 'Revisionism,' 'Baitar,' and many other organizations until his tragic death in August 1940 in upstate New York.

The story of this rare speech was published in the 'Institute News' (edited by Naomi Tal and Irit Sivan). Amira Stern is the executive director of the Jabotinsky Institute. Peleg Tamir is its chairman and Yitzhak Shamir is its honorary chairman. The Institute is the landmark for research of Jabotinsky's heritage and legacy. It is the main worldly archive of the history of the Revisionist movement and its various organizations as well as the history of the 'Irgun Tsvai Leumi' and the Herut party.

As to the discovery of Jabotinsky's Hebrew speech: On the same occasion, Mr. Hurwitz took the opportunity to donate a number of gramophone records, which had been kept in storage for many years, to the Archives of the Institute. One of these was a recording of Jabotinsky's voice - a veritable treasure trove! One record included a speech of his, made during the 1930 election campaign on behalf of the Revisionist Party in Palestine. This was recorded in South Africa, as his re-entry to Palestine was prohibited by the Mandate authorities.

The speech is fifteen minutes long and Jabotinsky's voice comes through quite distinctly. His diction is perfect and his Hebrew impeccable. Upon the initiative of Yossi Ahimeir, and with the help of Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin, the discovery was brought to the attention of Israel Television. To commemorate the 61st anniversary of the death of Rosh Betar, Channel One TV broadcast a story on the weekend diary program that highlighted the record's discovery and included footage of Harry Hurwitz's home, the Mt. Herzl state ceremony and the Jabotinsky Institute. Included in the filming were Reuben Rivlin, Minister for Communications; Jabotinsky's grandchildren - Dr. Karni Rubin and Ze'ev Jabotinsky Jr. and their children; Institute executive members Amiram Bukspan, Eldad Halachmi and Mordechai Sarig; Jabotinsky Fraternal Order head Prof. Theodore Balberyszski; Chairman of the Begin Centre executive, Mr. Yechel Kadishai and Institute employees.

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