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"Remembering the Founders of the Jewish Legion" Topic

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445 hits since 14 Jul 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2017 11:10 a.m. PST

"The story of the Jewish Legion begins with two Russian-born Zionists, Vladimir Ze-ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) and Josef Trumpledor (1880-1920). Jabotinsky was one of the leading Zionists in Russia, a delegate to the World Zionist Congress, a lecturer, a journalist, and what we call today a community organizer. In December 1914 he went to Alexandria as a war correspondent for the Moscow liberal daily Russkiya Vedomosti.

He found in Egypt thousands of foreign-born Jews deported from Palestine by the Ottoman government. In particular he met Josef Trumpeldor, a decorated (Cross of St. George) Russian veteran of the siege of Port Arthur where he lost an arm and was imprisoned by the Japanese. In March 1915, a delegation led by these two was received by Gen. Sir John G. Maxwell, where they presented a plan to raise an infantry unit from these deportees to fight the Ottomans in Palestine and the Levant.

This was a problematic request. British Army rules at the time prohibited service in the Army by persons not Crown subjects, like Jabotinsky and Trumpeldor. Moreover, even though there were some British Jews in the mix, the government opposed the use of Zionists in the campaign in Palestine because the liberation of Eretz Yisrael from Muslim rule was not a diplomatic goal…"


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