On August 23, 2012 at the Luxe Hotel Sunset in Los Angeles, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors presented an evening devoted to exploring the historical roots of the Israeli right, from Vladimir Jabotinsky to Menachem Begin to Benjamin Netanyahu, and a discussion of its current relevance to what is happening in Israel today.

Vladimir Jabotinsky was a journalist, essayist, translator, author, novelist, orator, military leader, and head of the Revisionist Zionist movement, which attempted to return Zionism in the 1920s and 1930s to its Herzlian roots. Menachem Begin was one his principal followers, the head of Jabotinsky’s youth movement in Poland and later the leader of its military wing, the Irgun. Benjamin Netanyahu’s father was Jabotinsky’s personal secretary, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has frequently cited Jabotinsky as an influence on him in considering the current threats against Israel.

Understanding the current status of the right in Israel requires an understanding of the connections – and also the differences -- between these three historic figures. It may also provide some insights into the approach of the current Israeli government as it faces a continuing existential threat.

Our three speakers each devoted a short presentation to each of these figures, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience.

The speakers:

Rick Richman is editor of Jewish Current Issues. His articles and posts have appeared in American Thinker, Commentary Magazine, Contentions, The Jewish Journal, The Jewish Press, The New York Sun, and PJ Media. He holds an A.B. cum laude from Harvard and a J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School.

Steven M. Goldberg is National Vice Chairman of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of World Likud, a member of the Extended Executive Board of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and Vice President of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. He is a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Russ, August & Kabat, and a graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Law.

Professor Louis Gordon holds a J.D. from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. His work has appeared in the Forward, Studies In Zionism, Midstream, Haumma, the Jerusalem Post, the Jerusalem Report, Middle East Quarterly, Tradition, and numerous other publications.
The evening will also feature an excerpt from the documentary film, Flames of Revolt: The Story of the IRGUN, which includes rare footage of those who participated in the events leading up to the re-creation of the modern State of Israel.

This presentation provided us with both historical and current relevance.

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