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Ze'ev Jabotinsky Comes Home

​​Ze’ev Vladimir Jabotinsky, As controversial as he was in life, he was equally controversial in death, when he returned to Israel, 24 years after he died on August 4th, 1940.


Ze’ev Vladimir Jabotinsky? Most people don’t know much about him. Most people know he was the father of right-wing Herut movement, a revisionist, and a generally controversial figure.

His death, it has to be said, was as controversial as his life.


Portrait of Ze'ev Jabotinsky from the Library Collections



In 1935 he published his will and testament, where among the clauses he asked his remains be buried in the land of Israel (should he die outside of it) and that it would be done by order of the Jewish government that would be in power there.


 Jabotinsky's will in the Hebrew paper Ma'ariv on July 28, 1957, descrining the clauses and requsts


Jabotinsky died in 1940, and in the tumultuous first years of the State of Israel the idea of bringing Jabotinsky's remains back did not even occur to then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, despite Herut's public campaign during the 1950s. It was only after Ben-Gurion left office in 1964 that the new Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, heeded the campaigners demand to bring Jabotinsky's remains to the State of Israel and be buried on Mt. Herzel, where he and his wife were laid to rest.





Israeli Cabinet approves the return of Jabotinsky's remains as reported in "The Sentinal," on March 19th, 1964.


The leader of the Herut in 1964 was Menachem Begin and he sent a message to Levi Eshkol in which expressed the party's "gratitude for this historic decision."

Menachem Begin would become Israel's Prime Minister in 1977.