New York and Jerusalem
New York and Jerusalem
With the outbreak of World War Two, Jabotinsky proposed to the British Prime Minister to establish a Jewish army of 100,000 fighters, who would fight on all fronts, but received no response. He then set off for the United States as head of a Hatzach delegation, to initiate an information campaign to establish a Jewish army. During his journey he visited the Betar Camp in Hunter, New York, where he suffered heart failure.
Zeev Jabotinsky died on 29 Tammuz 5700 (4/8/1940). He was buried in the Moshe Montefiore Cemetery on Long Island, in New York. In his will, written on November 3rd, 1935, he requested: "My will is that I will be buried or my body will be burned in the place where death finds me. My bones (should I be buried abroad) may not be transferred to Eretz Israel except by the instructions of its eventual Jewish government."
On March 15th, 1964, a decision was taken to fulfill his wishes, according to the government headed by Levi Eshkol, and he was interred on Mount Herzl, in Jerusalem. The burial ceremony for him and his wife, Joanna, who died in New York in 1949, was held on July 9th, 1964. Transfer of his remains had been delayed for many years due to refusal by first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to give the order, as detailed in his will.
On the day following Jabotinsky's death, Eretz Israel's newspapers were full of headlines of mourning, such as: "A hard blow has struck the Jewish people", "the eagle has fallen from the heights of the sky", "the heart of he who conquered hearts has stopped". The newspaper, 'Yediot HaYom' (News Today), wrote of him: "Fighter! That is, perhaps, the most fitting definition of the great exuberance and power of suffering for his ideas that Jabotinsky demonstrated in his lifetime. However, this doesn't express all there is to say about the undertaking of this tremendous personality. He was a brilliant writer, an ingenious speaker, he was a leader in the loftiest sense of the word, he was an ideologue in his method of Revisionist Zionism. He was a statesman, he was a military man…he was a pillar of fire in his surroundings…he was a type of fountainhead from which waters flowed and gurgled without a lull, for the sake of the Jewish people and for the sake of Eretz Israel."