Locations to Visit When In Israel

Some places to visit which are key to better understanding Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the movement he created

Acre Prison
Acre Prison is where Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky and his fellow Betarim were imprisoned by the British Mandatory Government in 1920 for protecting Jews in Jerusalem from Arab rioters. Following a public outcry against the verdict, he received amnesty and was released from Acre prison. Later the British imprisoned Irgun and Stern Group (LEHI) underground fighters at this location. Several fighters were executed there by the British. The prison is perhaps best known for the escape of dozens of fighters. For more on Acre go to http://ilmuseums.com/museum_eng.asp?id=105 

Russian Compound
Another prison where the British held Irgun and LEHI soldiers was Jerusalem’s Russian Compound. The museum there has significant exhibits that relate the stories of the underground. For more information go to http://ilmuseums.com/museum_eng.asp?id=38 

Etzel Museum
The Irgun was also known as the Etzel. This museum in Tel Aviv details the history the Irgun and the movement’s impact on the British decision to leave Eretz Israel. For more information go to http://ilmuseums.com/museum_eng.asp?id=164 

LEHI Museum
The LEHI underground launched a campaign to force the British to leave Eretz Israel. Its founder Yair (Avraham) Stern had been a leader in the Irgun and formed the LEHI in order to fight the British at all costs. The LEHI museum is housed in the building where Stern was assassinated by the Brititsh. The museum is also known as Beit Yair and includes personal artifacts from Yair’s life including the copy of the Tanach he studied. The address is 8 Avraham Stern St in the Florentine section of Tel Aviv. 

Menachem Begin Heritage Center
To better understand this founding father of Israel, prime minister and leader of the Irgun there is simply no better place to visit than the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. For more about the center go to the center’s website: www.begincenter.org.il/english 

Jabotinsky Institute
Ze’ev Jabotinsky was the Zionist statesman that created a bold, new vision for Zionism and his words and leadership have inspired generations of Zionists. The Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv has a museum which teaches about him, and offers books, materials, films and more on the man. 

Tel Chai
Tel Chai was a settlement in the Galil that was the site of a battle against Arab marauders. The Zionist hero Joseph Trumpeldor and seven others died in the settlement’s defense against a much larger Bedouin force. Trumpeldor had been instrumental in forming the Jewish Legion during World War One. Jabotinsky named his Betar movement after Trumpledor. 

A large stature of a lion sits at the sight as does a museum in kibbutz Kfar Giladi. Trumpeldor’s inspiring last words were: “Ein Davar, tov lamut be-ad Artzeinu.” (No matter, it is good to die for our Land). 

Rosh Pina
Shlomo Ben Yosef is buried in Rosh Pina. Rosh Pina was an early Zionist settlement. In 1938 in response to attacks on Jews by Arab terrorists, Ben Yosef was a Polish born member of Betar and the Irgun, and two comrades organized a reprisal attack. They were subsequently arrested by the British. Ben Yosef was executed by the British in Acre; he was 25 years old. His last words were: “I die with the name of Jabotinsky on my lips, sacrificing my life in the hope that the Jewish nation may learn the lesson that Havlaga, Self-restraint, is fatal.” Jabotinsky called Ben Yosef “the teacher of us all.”