Notes and further reading:
This event is described in Jabotinsky’s autobiography, published in 1936. There are historians who claim that this event must have been made up by Jabotinsky. This is partially based on the fact that Herzl’s schedule at the congress had him in another room in a meeting at the time slot for Jabotinsky’s 15 minute address. Of course, that’s explicit in the anecdote, so it’s not clear why this is a disproof.
Panel 2 Vyacheslav von Plehve Of course, the agenda of Herzl’s meeting with Plehve was getting the Jews out of Tsarist control and into a Jewish homeland. But for many, meeting with such an anti-Semite was going too far. Controversially, Zionists would continue to meet with anti-Semites for the same reason. Namely, to rescue Jews.
Panel 4 “Nevertheless, I decided that the interdiction did not apply to me because my experience – the experience of a journalist in Russia, skilled in the art of writing on a risky question without irritating the censor – would help me on this occasion too, to steer clear of the reefs”. Story of My Life, page 68. Young Jabotinsky photo
Panel 1 Abdul Hamid II
Panel 2 Kishinev Progrom
Panel 3 Uganda Scheme The land Chamberlain referred to is in today’s Kenya. The Zionist delegates did not know that in their future the British would retract the offer anyway.
Panel 5 Sitting on the floor was an allusion to shiva. Many also walked out of the room.
Panel 6 In general, the Jews of the West were much more acculturated than the Eastern delegates. Although mostly secular, these delegates were mostly from the Pale of Settlement and were culturally much more traditionally Jewish.
Panel 7 “I wondered myself at the motive hidden deep in my soul that prompted me to vote against… I had no romantic love for Eretz Yisrael then – I am not sure that I have it now… yet still I voted against…” Story of My Life, page 69-70.
Panel 9 “… I am not one of those who will easily bow to a personality. In general I do not remember… one man who made an impression on me whatsoever either before Herzl or after him…” Story of My Life, page 68.
Michael Unterberg (author) and Zvi Ron (artist) have been making comics together since they were classmates in Yeshivah of Flatbush elementary school. They both live in Gush Etzion.
Please do not reuse without permission from the authors. Thank you.