we came to stand
with the lions
waving flags
as we roared
across the square
a single voice
of joined-up words
in translation:
‘Hear o Israel
The Lord our God
The Lord is One’

we came to express
with our friends
holding hands
as we cried
in that square
a single desire
of heartfelt hope
and yearning:
‘Hear o Israel
we stand as one
we stand for life’!

SDK 5th July 2002

movie-tone news

1. the movie-tone news rolls on
shining ratchet-framed prints
on my brain cells as I sleep,
flashing rapid flicks sharply
on my eyelids as I dream,
shooting silent snaps fiercely
on my midnight canvas screen

the celluloid reel goes on
flapping jagged edged snaps
in the silence of my night,
shredding jaded imprints harshly
in the pathway of my sight,
flipping slighted views falsely
in the album of my plight,

the bioscope scene stays on
flashing tattered-torn film snips
on the outlook of my choice
twisting age-old mores crudely
on the flip side of my coin
tossing natural beauty wildly
to the den of roaring lions

2. as that reel rolls on by
of the movie-tone news
violent nail-packed bombs
fire off two by two
to explode total myths
of peaceful debate
to end all the terror
to establish a state
that nobody sees
will never create
a balance of peoples
living side by side
in bliss and contentment
and mutual respect

3. in place of this deal
is a figment of hate
an excuse of those brutes
a tool to dictate
to some ignorant
masses how their
lives should be run
on this earth that we know
as solid and there
with the beauty of nature
for us all to share
in free will and free choice
to securely embrace
in the passage of time
‘till death do us part,
in a natural way.

SDK 15th January 2002



The album of my brain  



The album of my brain
is pasted with enlarged
negatives of thorn trees
red sand and shimmering heat.
In the tumult of my dreams
that dark room of the night
develops unfocused frames
of spot-lighted springbok
reflecting the glimmering gold
in the dusk of the dying sun;
of nature’s arid camp
unswept rugged and dusty
guarded with pride and might
crowned by the lion’s head.
The tip of my twisted tongue
saturated with salty tears
hurls me to the crashing waves
on the talcum-powdery shore
and my midnight screams
are echoed by the jackal
stalking in search of his prey.
The elasticated cells of my being
stretched to the soil of my birth
are snapped by the poisonous python,
venomous creature of the veld,
hissing his snaky serum
to destroy the private viewing
from the dark room of my night.


SDK 1982

© Sharon D Klaff January 1982


The dark room of my night 

The dark room of my night
returns with hasty warning:
a muted echo groans as
the winds of change blow
‘cross sepia-tinged hills,
silent stills of new horizons
displayed in dusty desert
dryness as torrential gales
howl, heaving that change
further east and further north
sighing in a shepherd’s morning:
the trek through time blocking
his vision, his line of sight
a camouflage of derision limited
in biblical ruse to see that cross
lit by the half mooned star,
the bearer hiding his range of view,
the very nature of his endeavour,
in sweat and blood with spiked
garlands to prick his bubbled
notion on the cycle of life, rotating
revolutions in perpetual motion
reflecting the scarlet tinged sky
in the minds eye of those
who cannot see clearly,
a smoky silkscreen rising
to hide intentions so disparate
as to defy the very nature
of hydrogenised molecules
sheathed as divine icons.
The dark room of my night
develops images of spores
in vengeful wait to alter
forever the movie-tone news
rolling on, celluloid flapping
its last frame snapping
past the end of the reel.

SDK 2001

© Sharon D Klaff 26th February 2001


Back room saloon

many a maiden knows that tune
slipping out of the back-room saloon:

the lute harping, fiddling the lyre,
notes strumming, mellow desire,
sighs whispering, sneaking on by
mystery lingering, veiled and so shy;

mistress of the dark, lying still,
mindful of the stark, consensual will,
never to embark, from the over the hill,
considered a mark, of sacred goodwill;

silent concealment governs all round
presiding over that back-room of town.

SDK 5th November 2001


in childhood you learn
the expectations of men
with fantasy for them
and nothing for you
but death with a view
of their expectations

in childhood you miss
the expectations of youth
with fantasy for you
and nothing for them
but life with a view
of your expectations

SDK 16.08.01

The new Imperialism

Recently [May 2004] I met up with a non-Jewish Canadian acquaintance who is married to a Jew. They are both well-educated people of the liberal to left persuasion, holding firm views on world events involving such issues as poverty, equal opportunities and human rights. She is a particularly vocal and forthright woman with strong opinions founded in her resolve to be humanitarian. Living a modern busy life schedule my acquaintance has subscribed to the prevalent inaccurate but popular perception of Islam as the ancient religion with its Arab adherents being threatened by the usurper Jews who have occupied their ancient land of Palestine to ethnically cleanse it of Muslims and she queries the reason the Jews need a country at all, not least in the region of ancient Israel. She also takes a rigid stance against the US led Allied action in Iraq.

My acquaintance represents a microcosm of the increasing number of anti-war protesters who march the streets in the millions together with the Palestinian pro terrorist lobby as though being anti-war and pro terrorist is one and the same, displaying a total incongruity of thought processes. Coupled with this, leaders in the West who are increasingly conscious of the sensibilities of religious intolerance, have declared a war on terrorism, camouflaging the fact that the world is currently involved in a war that presents a real and present danger, not only in the Middle East, but to the demise of democracy and Western Civilisation.

For this current war is one of an imperialist totalitarian ideology utilising stealth, coupled with terrorism, as the means of achieving its goal. A war on terrorism in general is therefore illogical, allowing a loophole through which propaganda for the new imperialist threat can filter.

Prior to WWll, the general reaction among the international community was no different from what it is today. It was clear to Churchill that war was imminent, but the majority in the West regarded him as something of a maverick and tried desperately to discredit him, just as the liberal ideologues tried to do with Thatcher and Reagan and are currently doing to Bush. These interminable ideologues cloud their vision by their resolve to expound liberalism rather than enact democracy and freedom.

They relished the collapse of the Berlin wall without aforethought as to the fallout of such a speedy dramatic change in global stability. Today the world is still reeling from the effects of tearing down that wall, not least in the Middle East from where terrorism emanates to the four corners of the globe. These liberal ideologues never really understood the mechanisms of the cold war and they do not understand the workings of the current dictators. They are therefore easy prey for the mollification tactics of tyrants and demagogues.

History shows that the success of such mollification is founded in a charismatic tyrannical ideology and a handy scapegoat. Nazism and Communism were the ideological threats of the last century, replaced now by Islamic Imperialism. It is not coincidence that the Islamic leaders supported the Axis in WWll or that the USSR fostered their cause with financial aid and military training. There is a link between these three ideologies – they are all totalitarian in nature with a view to world dominance. Such ideologies benefit from a handy scapegoat as catalyst for their cause.

Throughout history, from the destruction of the Temple in 70 BCE, through the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290, to the Spanish Inquisition in 1478 and WWll in 1939, as well as the continued systematic ethnic cleansing of Jews in most Islamic states, the Jew has fulfilled the role of scapegoat most adequately. None of these movements would have gained popular support without creating a common enemy to unite their people – as always, the Jew depicted as controller: running their land, taking their jobs and squeezing them out of the benefits of their economy.

In the past the Jew served these tyrants well, being a nation without a state with nowhere to go except a certain death as the greater world gave tacit support. During the last century, after first appeasing the Nazis prior to WWll, the UK was forced to defend its own borders whilst the rest of Europe was either occupied by the Nazis, or became willing Nazi accomplices as a result of deliberate collaboration or on-going trade with the German industrial machine under the guise of being neutral. Ultimately  only once the USA became directly threatened at Pearl Harbour did they save the day for Western Civilisation and democracy.

During the ensuing decades after WWll, the US again played in the background whilst the current war germinated, backing various peace negotiations in the Middle East from afar as the Islamic nations invaded the West by stealth, covertly harnessing their scapegoat, the Jew. As the impact of each atrocity on his person or state faded with time, they pushed the boundaries in their quest to exploit him, from hijacking his airline, to killing his sportsmen and successively waging war on his reborn nation-state, culminating in the current use of the worst of all WMDs, the human bomb, a weapon based in the controlled poverty of their people, infiltrating the Jew’s suburbs and murdering his family.

However, the problem posed for the current imperialists is that this perpetual scapegoat is no longer an orphan, a nation without a state. He has a guardian in his rekindled home, a spoke in the wheel that has forced a review of the new imperialist strategy to ensure the success of its goal, a world dominated by Islam. This is borne out of the present tolerance of adverse sentiments against the Jew’s aspirations, his home and his leader allowing my Canadian acquaintance and her kin a certain smugness based in their certainty that it is simply the Jew’s yearning for and hanging on to his state (Zionism) that is the problem and not the Jew himself.

 The current imperialists have a two-pronged strategy:

  • Slow infiltration into the West as is evidenced by the increasing Muslim communities throughout Europe and the Americas, with Mosques in which Imams preach world dominance and hatred, springing up at breakneck speed in contrast to  the steady decline in formal Christianity. In this they have been almost completely  successful in achieving a high degree of conversion to Islam with terrorist cells  firmly established throughout the West and other democratic aligned nations. After ignoring the fate of the Jew for so long the West is only now beginning to realise that they have become by default almost impotent to stop such events as the Madrid rail and London underground bombings.
  •  Steady sustenance of the scapegoat by direct onslaught on the Jew utilising terrorism first by contained attacks on his person, followed by more intense attacks on his state. Having failed to eradicate the Infidel Jew or destroy the Jewish state, the last four to five years has seen a consolidation of the scapegoat in a continued drive to win support for this second prong of the strategy from the very West that has been infiltrated.

These imperialists understand well the weakness of Western democracy. They have engaged a modern technological PR machine to resurrect Nazi methodology by camouflaging their aspirations under the guise that the Jew is controller of all things, turning the spotlight back onto him as power-hungry villain. Thus world economic and political domination is put forward as the imperialist aspiration of the Jew who has infiltrated the highest levels of Western Governments and occupied Palestinian land as a first step in that direction.

In a modern world of political correctness and patronisation, these Islamic leaders are confident that they can utilise the “liberal intelligentsia” of the West to sway public opinion by drawing an analogy between the Jew and the Nazi regime that attempted to eradicate him.

What better weapon than to create in the Jew an icon of his own tormentor, the flag of Israel with the swastika emblazoned at its centre? Quite the image to win over those in the West who never really liked “those people” in their midst, now comfortable with the new nomenclature of anti-Zionism or anti-Israel that replaces the old but very same anti-Semitism! Now however, there is an added dimension to this PR machine.

A strategy has been set into motion to split the Judeo-Christian ethic, a methodology of divide and rule, to slip subliminally into the consciousness of the West just as has the notion of the ancient religion of Islam and centuries old Palestinian history with its foundation in the Holy Land preceding that of the Israelites; of Abraham being their forefather long before Mohammed lived to create his religion; of Jerusalem (the city of David) as their Holy City even though Mohammed had never been there; of the word “occupation” with its multifarious interpretations; of an acceptable world empathy for those WMDs, the human bombs wrought out of “poverty, desperation and lack of hope”.  Now we have the Jew planning not only to eradicate the Muslim from his midst, but also the Christian.

Having retained the support of Western Arabists and gained that of the Western “liberal intelligentsia”, all that remains is to convince them that the Jew not only wants to eliminate the Muslims from their midst, but the Christians as well. Listen carefully at the new vernacular that has entered the spin that rolls off the tongue of Michael Tarazi, the PLO legal advisor, an American who claims Christian Palestinian heritage, when he tells those whose ear he has engaged that like the Muslims, the Christians too are a target of the “Jew Nazi regime” that “occupies Palestine”.

And all this time these very same liberal ideologues ignore the suicidal murder and child abuse practiced by the Muslims in their schools and homes alike, training their children and next generation to hate and kill the Jew as the pig, dressing them in military garb with detonators strapped to their bodies to blow themselves up as martyrs, encouraging them to throw grenades at the Jew under the heavy silence of the UN, its Middle East proxy UNRWA, Amnesty International, ICRC and Save the Children, encouraging the production of the next generation army to continue their fight in this world war against democracy and freedom.

Having failed to obliterate the Jew, they have hijacked him in his entirety, beginning with his religion, his planes and now his history and his suffering, with the aim of eradicating his nation-state, the ultimate prize being the world domination they erroneously attribute to the Jew.

Western society has once again become impotent to envisage that following the successful harnessing of his support against the Jew, comes the onslaught on his own person, his land and his people. Churchill was elected at the eleventh hour and the US arrived in the nick of time to save themselves from Nazi domination regardless of the atrocities perpetrated on the Jew.

Today both Britain and the USA have realised that they have to act in Afghanistan and the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria if they are to make any inroads into stemming what they are convinced is the cause and effect of global terror. What they do not overtly acknowledge is the greater picture of  Islamic imperialist totalitarian aspirations, founded in the very religion that preaches the demise of the infidel, Christian, Jew and Atheist alike, in its drive to create the international caliphate it craves.

This is not about the merits of the survival of Israel within secure borders, living side by side in peace with her neighbours, but one of intrinsic importance to the very survival of the West as the free democratic civilisation we all aspire to maintain.

As a by-product, it is hoped that finally the West will rid itself of the Jew as scapegoat and embrace him as an equal partner in the survival of the Judeo- Christian ethic which is the embodiment Western Civilization.

SD Klaff May 2004

Birthday message June 2011

Today is my 63rd birthday. I sit here feeling ambivalent – how to enjoy my day with my family whilst also dispelling the urgency I feel about the path the world is taking. The latter hangs heavily over my entire life, much as I suspect a person like Jabotinsky felt in the 1920’s when he foresaw the imminent dangers in Europe, but nobody would listen. Indeed he was considered paranoid, a scaremonger amongst other dismissive attitudes. His only ally was Churchill who was also disregarded by his peers in the House and the media, dismissed as a blundering fool. The world is in a perilous state once again the media, together with our ostrich Western Leaders welcoming the upheaval across Northern Africa and in the Middle East as an Arab Spring – connotations of small buds bursting out from the soil in anticipation of beautiful fields of vibrant poppies, irises and other flora. Whilst pounding Libya and encouraging the riots and chaos in these Arabic/Islamic dictatorships, they ignore the unease and riots in Spain and Greece, persisting in this stupid bankrupt venture they call European Union, feeding it pounds and dollars to bloat their ill-conceived gravy train.  Like the natural disasters that take us by surprise, they seem oblivious of the rumble beneath all of this, the basis for the upheaval, not a seasonal spring, but a tsunami waiting to engulf us all in a terrible nightmare. For what awaits us is the final revolution, the ultimate burst of the Islamic imperialist dream to install an international caliphate. I have spent my entire life trying to make sense of how a so-called civilised country like Germany could build an industrial complex under the noses of world leaders and the media that would develop into the biggest killing machine in history and I now understand how it happened. Weak, vain leaders are taken in by the hoax of propaganda, refusing to see their own hatred as a partner in this extermination. 
Last century the propaganda during the world economic crisis centred on the Jew as the culprit for all ills, the rationale being to get rid of him as a nation in totality and thus the world would be free, beautiful and prosperous. Now the propaganda centres on Israel as representative of the Jew – eradicate Israel and all will be well, the world will have an Andalusian peace that replacement history tells us was enjoyed by all under the dictatorship of the Islamic caliphate, the splendour of Spain as a multicultural dreamland run by Islamic despots. They ignore the destruction of the Bamiyan Idols in Afghanistan, the blowing up of the Twin Towers fade into hazy memory, the 7/7 tube bombings, the Madrid train explosions – the list is endless. These are placed in the background against the illogical acceptance of “flotillas” and “settlements” and “occupation” and “division of Jerusalem for all faiths” as a ruse to totally eradicate Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, the ancient homeland of the most ancient people to survive more than 4000 years of a history steeped in continued attempts at genocide of its people, whilst they accept on the streets in London, Paris, New York and more, cries of Khyber Khyber Al Yahud – the war cry of Islam recalling the destruction of the Jews of Khyber  by Mohammed – all 800 hundred of them murdered – the call for Islam again for genocide of the Jews in present times.
They ignore the Hamas charter that calls for all Jews to be sought out and eradicated, an idea taken directly from the Koran. They accuse those who dare to speak out against such calls as racist scaremongers and arrest them as they have Geert Wilders in Holland, or refuse them entry into the UK as they have Geller and Spencer, whilst they accept war cries in the name of the religion of peace. They create fear so people are cowered into silence lest they be arrested in place of the rioters and those who call for death in our streets. Western Civilisation is dying a painful death and the ultimate sentence is about to be executed whilst Cameron and his wife holiday in Spain and Obama tours the world electioneering for his own future. And it seems Merkel et al are somewhat silent at this time. As for the media – well they capitulated years ago.
This is my birthday message to those who care to listen, to those who are looking for answers: don’t be afraid; speak out; make yourself heard; stamp your feet; shout above the roof tops; take them on and insist that all our representatives remove their blinkers, wash off their bias, their hatreds and their ignorance. Rinse them out, bend their ears, nag them and pound them with letters and demands until they become pure again and hear our cry for balance, peace, survival and the eradication of evil.

London 7th July 2005


I remember your little girl giggles
that filled the air with rippling laughter
as you sat there on the bed, the two of you,
your feet hardly reaching the edge,
furrowed brows peeping over the top
of the oversized reading book
of Mr and Mrs, standing in a bath tub
nakedly staring out at you and asking
what it was that you noticed.
Tee hee, tee hee you covered your mouths,
your eyes bulging six year old innocence
one of you saying it was naughty
the other that they couldn’t possibly
both fit in that tub together!
And then both of you blossoming
in different directions but beautifully
over the years into bright young adults with
hopeful expectations of future fruitfulness.

I remember only too well her innocence
eroded as they attempted to tease
her life away, my feeling of emptiness
as I waited for news after that blast
that I heard in the distance, knowing
that she was there, not knowing
if she would ever be here again,
but then our tears mixed up on our cheeks
as we pressed them together
and our hot breath warmed the
the chill that had frozen our hearts.

I remember the last time I saw you
a while back when you embraced me
as of yesteryear to enquire how I was,
your wide smile stretching to show
your snowy white teeth revealing
a beauty more than skin deep;
and now her tears mix with mine again
but our breath cannot warm the chill
that has frozen our hearts as we know
that you were there and would never
be here again as they teased you away
in that blasted bus and stole the essence
of your being from all who loved you.

Sharon Klaff July 14th 2005

The Eleventh Hour

Memories of Ze’ev Jabotinsky
by Benzion Olsfanger

I joined the South African Betar movement in 1932, when I was studying engineering at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. I well remember Jabotinsky’s two missions to South Africa in 1937 and 1938 respectively over a total period of some six months, on behalf of the New Zionist Organisation, of which he was the President.

In 1935, Jabotinsky and his Revisionist Zionist Party had concluded that the Zionist movement was so undemocratic that it was impossible to change its leadership and policy. They were convinced that under the leadership of the Jewish Agency, Zionism was being liquidated and Jabotinsky and his party seceded from the World Zionist Organisation. Some 700,000 Jewish voters gave them the mandate to found democratically the New Zionist Organisation and on the 8th September 1935, at a conference in Vienna, the fundamental principles of the new people’s movement were proclaimed. The membership of the New Zionist Organisation was mostly from amongst Jews of Eastern Europe. The Jews of Western Europe and the United States showed little or no interest in Jabotinsky or his movement. At the time of the rapid rise to power of the Nazis in the year 1933, Jabotinsky warned: “liquidate the diaspora or the diaspora will liquidate you” to the deaf ears of the Zionist establishment.

Jabotinsky described the lot of the Eastern European Jews as a “frozen stampede”; they wanted to flee, but there was nowhere to go because no state would welcome them. Therefore he propagated his Humanitarian Zionism, which comprised a ten year plan for their orderly evacuation from the zones of distress in Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, and their settlement in a Jewish State, with a Jewish majority, in Palestine on both sides of the River Jordan. There was no recognised state of Jordan in those days, but simply Trans-Jordan or Eastern Palestine, which the British had partitioned from Mandatory Palestine in 1922 and where they had installed the Hashemite Abdullah as its ruler. Likewise in 1923, the British had partitioned and handed over the Golan Heights to the land-rich French Mandate of Syria. Jabotinsky claimed these lands to be part of the Mandate of Palestine, which was granted into Britain’s care by the then League of Nations. The purpose of that Mandate was to establish the Jewish State in Palestine and not to hand over the Mandatory lands to Arabs. In his evidence submitted to the Peel Commission of Inquiry on Palestine in 1937, Jabotinsky suggested that if Britain was really unable to fulfill its Mandatory obligations, then it should give up its administration of the region and return its governance  to the League of Nations. (These were very prophetic words, because prior to the actual foundation of Israel in 1948, Britain returned its mandate to the United Nations and then withdrew from the Middle East.) The Jewish State in Mandatory Palestine was vital for Jabotinsky’s plan to evacuate the millions of Eastern Jews locked up in the “frozen stampede”. He warned that the eleventh hour had come for rescuing the these Jews by implementing the ten-year plan, and that funds were urgently needed save the Jews from a certain genocide.

The New Zionist organisation lacked a steady and reliable source of funds and so Jabotinsky set out on fund raising tours. There was then in South Africa an active, strong and sophisticated Revisionist Zionist movement including the Betar movement, of which I was a member. At that time there was also great prosperity in South Africa due to a boom in gold mining, construction and industrial expansion. Indeed South African Jewry ranked amongst the largest contributors to the Zionist cause. With the local Revisionist Zionists functioning as a nucleus, Jabotinsky came to South Africa to raise money for the New Zionist Organisation as well as to increase its membership there. He addressed public meetings countrywide that were enthusiastically attended by the Jewish communities who generously donated to the cause. Many non-Zionists were so impressed by Jabotinsky and joined the New Zionist Organisation. However, the South African Zionist Federation that was comprised of the General Zionists, Religious Mizrachi and Socialist Zionist parties and affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation, opposed Jabotinsky, propagated a counter-campaign against him with the help of imported propagandists from abroad and condemned the Revisionists as “dissidents”. He initiated conciliation with the South African Zionist Federation to be negotiated at a proposed round table conference, but they rejected this. Nevertheless, Jabotinsky was well received by many Jews, Gentiles, the media and government circles and he was much sought after by Jewish societies who organised banquets, dinner parties and drawing-room meetings in support of him for the purpose of raising funds. There was also a flow of visitors to his suite in the old Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg.

I attended many of Jabotinsky’s public meetings and never tired of his spellbinding oratory. Listening to him speak was like attending a symphony concert. I particularly remember his first public meeting in the Johannesburg Plaza Theatre. His theme was “The Path to the Jewish State”. He meticulously prepared his delivery in programmed detail, even including the jokes, nuances and pauses. He stood on the stage erect and at ease and spoke fluently, clearly and audibly, in perfect, plain and idiomatic English for some two hours, using body language in imitative gestures to emphasise actions he was describing. He emanated a certain presence that focused total audience attention on him in a way few orators are able to do. He evoked images of people, places and events in a spellbinding manner. The packed audience sat still, silent and enthralled. They gave him prolonged and enthusiastic applause throughout and they donated generously.

In June 1937, in my capacity as the only car owner in the Betar movement, I was selected to accompany Jabotinsky and his colleague Eliyahu Ben-Horin on a touring mission to the Jewish communities in Northern Transvaal and adjacent Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). This was a tour of some 3,000 kilometres that included, on the way back to Johannesburg, a trip through the Kruger National Park Game Reserve that had been planned to give Jabotinsky a break from his strenuous work. At the Beit Bridge crossing over the Limpopo River boundary, between Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, Jabotinsky presented his Nansen passport to the Rhodesian customs officials. This was a League of Nations passport conceived by the humanitarian Polar explorer, Nansen, and issued to stateless Russian exiles, Jabotinsky’s birthplace being Odessa in Russia [current day Ukraine]. He became stateless in 1929 when the British Administration in Palestine  arbitrarily exiled him from his home there, were he had been legally entitled to live. That same year, 1929, marks the year the Jews of Hebron were massacred by the local Arab population, unimpeded by the Colonial Office responsible for civil obedience in the region. Consequently however, Jabotinsky was not hampered by allegiance to any state or government in his selfless, single-minded, fearless, relentless and prodigious drive to achieve the Jewish State so that the Jews of Eastern Europe could escape from that “frozen stampede”.

Jabotinsky was a multi-talented genius. He was a statesman, prophet, orator, linguist, soldier, lawyer, poet, journalist and novelist. He used all these talents in his fight to re-establish in Mandatory Palestine the ancient Jewish State so that the Jews could have a safe haven from the impending genocide he had predicted. He earned his living as a syndicating journalist and contributed to his movement’s funds. In his book “The Story of the Jewish Legion”, Jabotinsky describes his successful three-year struggle to persuade the governments of Britain, France and Italy to agree to the formation in 1915 of the Jewish Legion (Ha’Gedud Ha’Ivri), that participated in the British conquest of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire and in which Jabotinsky was an officer. In his novel “Samson” which he amplified from the biblical narrative, he reveals his political philosophy. I remember seeing in the year 1952, Cecil de Mille’s movie “Samson” based on Jabotinsky’s novel, in which Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr and a young Angela Lansbury respectively portray Samson, Delilah and Semadar.

During the tour of Southern Africa, I had the unique opportunity of observing Jabotinsky the private man at close quarters. I found him to be courteous, kind, sociable, likable, even-tempered, unassuming, as well as an alert and penetrating observer. He zestfully enjoyed the tour and sang when he was in a happy mood. He was devoid of arrogance, egotism and patronage. He did not hate his communist and socialist ideological opponents, even those who vilified, denigrated and abused him. Nevertheless, if interrupted in oration by provocative hecklers, he silenced them with harsh verbal whip-lashing. He had impeccable manners and was indeed the living embodiment of that “Hadar” which he propagated to his Betar movement.

In August 1939 the devastating and unforeseen Ribbentrop-Molotov non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia was signed after secret negotiations. This precipitated in the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, beginning with the joint Nazi-Communist partition and occupation of Poland. The eleventh hour Jabotinsky had predicted, passed by unnoticed by the world at large, but the “frozen stampede” remained, the Jews of Eastern Europe were trapped, facing the liquidation Jabotinsky had predicted.

Undaunted by the momentous task he had taken on, Jabotinsky traveled to the USA on a mission to propagate the raising of a Jewish army to fight against Nazi Germany. There was opposition to his efforts from USA government circles and the World Zionist Organisation. At that time the desperate Battle of Britain was imminent and the United States was neutral. Jabotinsky never realised his mission as he suffered a sudden fatal heart attack in New York in August 1940 at the age of 60. In his will drawn up in 1935, he directed that he was to be buried where he died, and that his remains be re-interred in the future Jewish State only by order of its government. He was finally reburied in Israel in 1965, 17 years after Israel’s founding and 36 years after his exile, by the order of the government of Levi Eshkol, who himself had been a soldier in Jabotinsky’s Jewish Legion.

Before his death, Jabotinsky wrote one of his last articles in New York entitled “Communism is Poison to Zionism” that proved to be prophetic during the period of the Cold War when communist Russia was Israel’s enemy.

I believe that Jabotinsky ranks amongst the great fighting leaders and prophets of ancient Israel. He left a legacy: his followers participated in the war of liberation, and afterwards formed an opposition party in the Israeli Knesset [parliament] which ultimately formed a coalition with other opposition parties to take over the reigns of power in the elections of 1977.

In his time, the historical circumstances were overwhelming against his ten-year plan. Nevertheless, he fought to the bitter end giving his life to save the Jewish nation. Catastrophically, the Galut was not liquidated and so the “frozen stampede”, was liquidated in the Holocaust.

1937 Archives of the “Eleventh Hour”, initial organ of the New Zionist Organisation of South Africa
1937 – 1938 Archives of the “Zionist Record”, organ of the South African Zionist Federation
Archives of the “Jewish Herald”, final organ of the New Zionist Organisation of South Africa
July 9 1938 Jabotinsky wrote to the author from Rome whilst en route to England from South Africa. He was then living in the London suburb of St. John’s Wood.
August 3 1965 Supplement to the “Jewish Herald” entitled “Ze’ev Jabotinsky 1880 – 1940” on the occasion of the reburial of his remains in Israel.
Pierre Van Paassen “The forgotten ally”