Iron Wall (essay)

The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs) is an essay written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky in 1923. It was originally published in Russian, the language in which Jabotinsky wrote for the Russian press.[1]

He wrote the essay after the British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill prohibited Zionist settlement on the east bank of the Jordan River, and formed the Zionist Revisionist party after writing it.[2]

Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinian Arabs would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that "Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach."[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he argued, would be for Jews to first establish a strong Jewish state, which would eventually prompt the Arabs to "drop their extremist leaders, whose watchword is ‘never!’ and pass the leadership to the moderate groups, who will approach us with a proposal that we should both agree to mutual concessions."

A week following the publication of this essay, Jabotinsky followed with "The Ethics of the Iron Wall," in which he argued that morality comes before everything else, and that Zionism is "moral and just," since it subscribes to "national self-determination" as a "sacred principle," which Arabs may also enjoy.[3]


  1. ^ a b Jabotinsky, Ze'ev (4 November 1923). "The Iron Wall" (PDF).
  2. ^ Zionist Freedom Alliance - Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Jabotinsky, Ze'ev (11 November 1923). "The Ethics of the Iron Wall" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2013.

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