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The Iron Wall

Vladimir ze’ev Jabotinksy, 1923


In 1923 Jabotinsky wrote this essay arguing that the Arabs would only ever accept a Jewish homeland “when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall.” In other words, the Arabs will accept the Jewish presence in Palestine only because they have to, not because they want to. No amount of negotiation would convince them; therefore, there was no point in even trying. His Iron Wall essay espoused an organized system of Jewish self-defense that would see the Jews rely only on themselves for their security. Though aggressive, Jabotinsky viewed this system as purely defensive, not to be used to attack the Arabs. At the same he reiterated his commitment to equal rights and to the presence of a national Arab group in Palestine.

There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority.