Heroes of AFSI
Theodor Herzl (May 2, 1860 — July 3, 1904) was an Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism.

As a young man, Herzl was engaged in a Burschenschaft association, which strove for German unity under the motto Ehre, Freiheit, Vaterland ("Honor, Freedom, Fatherland"), and his early work did not focus on Jewish life.

As the Paris correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, Herzl followed the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious anti-Semitic incident in France in which a French Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying for Germany. He witnessed mass rallies in Paris following the Dreyfus trial where many chanted "Death to the Jews!" Herzl came to reject his early ideas regarding Jewish emancipation and assimilation, and to believe that the Jews must remove themselves from Europe and create their own state.

Some historians discount the Dreyfus affair and say it was the rise of the anti-Semitic demagogue Karl Lueger in Vienna in 1895 that seems to have had a greater effect on Herzl, before the pro-Dreyfus campaign had not really emerged. It was at this time that he wrote his play "The New Ghetto", which shows the ambivalence and lack of real security and equality of emancipated, well-to-do Jews in Vienna. Around this time Herzl grew to believe that anti-Semitism could not be defeated or cured, only avoided, and that the only way to avoid it was the establishment of a Jewish state. In Der Judenstaat he writes:

"The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.”

In June 1896, with the help of the sympathetic Polish emigre aristocrat Count Philip Michael Nevlenski, he met for the first time with the Sultan of Turkey to put forward his proposal for a Jewish state in Palestine. However the Sultan refused to cede Palestine to Zionists, saying, "if one day the Islamic State falls apart then you can have Palestine for free, but as long as I am alive I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land."

Subsequently Herzl tried working with other countries such as England and Russia.

Herzl died in Edlach, Lower Austria in 1904 of heart failure at age 44. His will stipulated that he should have the poorest-class funeral without speeches or flowers and he added, "I wish to be buried in the vault beside my father, and to lie there till the Jewish people shall take my remains to Palestine". In 1949 his remains were moved from Vienna to be reburied on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

For more information on Herzl, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky MBE (born on October 18, 1880, died August 4, 1940) was a Revisionist Zionist leader, author, orator, soldier, and founder of the Jewish Self-Defense Organization in Odessa. He also helped form the Jewish Legion of the British army in World War I, and was a founder and early leader of the militant Zionist underground organization, Irgun.

Born Vladimir Jabotinsky in Odessa, Russian Empire, he was raised in a Jewish middle-class home and educated in Russian schools. While he took Hebrew lessons as a child, Jabotinsky wrote in his autobiography that his upbringing was divorced from Jewish faith and tradition.

Jabotinsky's talents as a journalist became apparent even before he finished high school. His first writings were published in Odessa newspapers when he was 16. Upon graduation he was sent to Bern, Switzerland and later to Italy as a reporter for the Russian press.

After the Kishinev pogrom of 1903, Jabotinsky joined the Zionist movement, where he soon became known as a powerful speaker and an influential leader. With more pogroms looming on the horizon, Jabotinsky established the Jewish Self-Defense Organization, a Jewish militia, to safeguard Jewish communities throughout Russia. Jabotinsky became the source of great controversy in the Russian Jewish community as a result of these actions. Around this time, he set upon himself the goal of learning modern Hebrew, and took a Hebrew name - Vladimir became Ze'ev ("wolf"). During the pogroms, he organized self-defense units in Jewish communities across Russia and fought for the civil rights of the Jewish population as a whole. That year Jabotinsky was elected as a Russian delegate to the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. After Herzl's death in 1904 he became the leader of the right-wing Zionists.

During World War I, he conceived the idea of establishing a Jewish Legion to fight alongside the British against the Ottomans who then controlled Palestine. In 1915, together with Joseph Trumpeldor, a one-armed veteran of the Russo-Japanese War, he created the Zion Mule Corps, which consisted of several hundred Jewish men, mainly Russians, who had been exiled from Palestine by the Turks and had settled in Egypt. The unit served with distinction in the Battle of Gallipoli. When the Zion Mule Corps was disbanded, Jabotinsky traveled to London, where he continued his efforts to establish Jewish units to fight in Palestine as part of the British Army. Although Jabotinsky did not serve with the Zion Mule Corps, Trumpeldor, Jabotinsky and 120 V.M.C. did serve in Platoon 16/20th Battalion of the London Regiment. In 1917, the government agreed to establish three Jewish Battalions, initiating the Jewish Legion. Jabotinsky soldiered in the Jordan Valley in 1918 and was decorated for bravery. As an officer in the 38th Royal Fusiliers, Jabotinsky fought with General Allenby in 1917, and was decorated with the MBE for heading the first company to cross the River Jordan into Palestine.

After Ze'ev Jabotinsky was discharged from the British Army in September 1919, he openly trained Jews in self-defense and the use of small arms. After the 1920 Palestine riots, at the demand of the Arab leadership, the British searched the offices and apartments of the Zionist leadership, including Weizmann's and Jabotinsky's homes, for arms. In Jabotinsky's house they found 3 rifles, 2 pistols, and 250 rounds of ammunition. Nineteen men were arrested, including Jabotinsky.

A committee of inquiry placed responsibility for the riots on the Zionist Commission, for provoking the Arabs. Jabotinsky was given a 15-year prison term for possession of weapons. The court blamed 'Bolshevism,' claiming that it 'flowed in Zionism's inner heart' and ironically identified the fiercely anti-Socialist Jabotinsky with the Socialist-aligned Poalei Zion ('Zionist Workers') party, which it called 'a definite Bolshevist institution.' Following the public outcry against the verdict, he received amnesty and was released from Acre prison.

In 1921, Jabotinsky was elected to the executive council of the World Zionist Organization. He quit the latter group in 1923, however, due to differences of opinion between him and its chairman, Chaim Weizmann, and established the new revisionist party called Alliance of Revisionists-Zionists and its youth movement, Betar (a Hebrew acronym for the "League of Joseph Trumpeldor"). His new party demanded that the Zionist movement recognize as its objective the establishment of a Jewish state along both banks of the Jordan River. His main goal was to establish a modern Jewish state with the help and aid of the British Empire. His philosophy contrasted with the socialist oriented Labor Zionists, in that it focused its economic and social policy on the ideal of the Jewish Middle class in Europe. An Anglophile, his ideal for a Jewish state was a form of nation state based loosely on the British imperial model, whose waning self-confidence he deplored. His support base was mostly located in Poland, and his activities focused on attaining British support to help in the development of the Yishuv. Another area of major support for Jabotinsky was Latvia, where his fiery speeches in Russian made an impression on the largely Russian-speaking Latvian Jewish community.

In 1930, when Jabotinsky was visiting South Africa, he was informed by the British Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine.

The movement he established was not a monolithic entity, but contained three separate factions, of which Jabotinsky's was the most moderate. Jabotinsky favored cooperation with the British, while more irredentistically-minded individuals like David Raziel, Abba Ahimeir, and Uri Zvi Greenberg focused on independent action in Mandate Palestine, fighting politically against Labor, the British Authorities, and retaliating against Arab attacks. During his time in exile, Jabotinsky started regarding Benito Mussolini as a potential ally against the British, and contacts were made with Italy. However, unlike the Maximalists, Jabotinsky never embraced fascism, instead wanting Palestine to become a democratic state.

In 1938, Jabotinsky stated in a speech that Polish Jews 'were living on the edge of the volcano' and warned that a wave of bloody super-pogroms would be happening in Poland sometime in the near future. Jabotinsky went on to warn Jews in Europe that they should leave for Palestine as soon as possible.

Jabotinsky died of a heart attack in New York, on August 4, 1940, while visiting an armed Jewish self-defense camp run by Betar. He was buried in New Montefiore cemetery in New York rather than in Palestine, in accordance with the statement in his will, "I want to be buried outside Palestine, may NOT be transferred to Palestine unless by order of that country's eventual Jewish government." After the State of Israel was established, the governments headed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion did not make such a decision. In 1964, shortly after becoming prime minister, Levi Eshkol ordered the reinterment of Jabotinsky and his wife in Jerusalem at Mount Herzl Cemetery. A monument to Jabotinsky remains at his original burial site in New York.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky's legacy is carried on today by Israel's Herut party (merged with other right wing parties to form the Likud in 1973), Herut – The National Movement (a breakaway from Likud), Magshimey Herut (young adult activist movement) and Betar (youth movement). In the United States, his call for Jewish self defense has led to the formation of Americans for a Safe Israel and the Jewish Defense Organization. In Israel, there are more streets, parks and squares named after Jabotinsky than any other figure in Jewish or Israeli history.

For more information on Jabotinsky, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Uri Zvi Greenberg (born September 22, 1896, died May 8, 1981) was an acclaimed Israeli poet and journalist.

Uri Zvi Greenberg was born in the shtetel Bialikamin, Galitzia, into a prominent Hasidic family and raised in Lemberg (Lviv), then Austria-Hungary (today Ukraine). Some of his poems in Yiddish and Hebrew were published before he was 20. In 1915 he was drafted into the army to fight in the First World War. After returning to Lemberg, he was witness to the pogroms of November 1918. He immigrated to Mandate Palestine (the Land of Israel) in 1924. Greenberg was in Poland when the Second World War erupted in 1939, but managed to escape.

In 1930, Greenberg joined the Revisionist camp, representing the Revisionist movement at several Zionist congresses and in Poland. After the 1929 Hebron massacre he became more militant, and joined both the Irgun and Lehi.

Greenberg envisioned and warned of the destruction of European Jewry. He believed that the Holocaust was a tragic but largely inevitable outcome of Jewish indifference to their destiny.

Following Israeli independence in 1948, he joined Menachem Begin's Herut movement. In 1949, he was elected to the first Knesset. He lost his seat in the 1951 elections. After the Six-Day War he joined the Movement for Greater Israel (a mistranslation of Eretz Yisrael Shlema - "Entire Land of Israel"), which advocated Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank.

It has been said of Greenberg that if he was not so far to the right politically, he would have been considered the Poet Laureate of Israel.

For more information on Greenberg, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Shmuel "Mooki" Katz, born Samuel Katz (December 9, 1914 – May 9, 2008) was an Israeli writer, historian and journalist. He was a member of the first Knesset and is also known for his research on Jewish leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

Katz was born in 1914 in South Africa, and in 1930 he joined the Betar movement. In 1936 he immigrated to Mandate Palestine and joined the Irgun. In 1939 he was sent to London by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to speak on issues concerning Palestine. While there he founded the revisionist publication “The Jewish Standard” and was its editor, 1939-1941, and in 1945.

In 1946 Katz returned to Mandate Palestine and joined the HQ of the Irgun where he was active in the aspect of foreign relations. He was one of the seven members of the high command of the Irgun, as well as a spokesman of the organization.

In 1948 Katz assisted in the bringing of the ship, Altalena to the shores of Israel. (This ship, which was full of arms to be used for defence against the Arabs, was shot at and sunk by the Palmach, under the orders of individuals who became part of the Labor government.) Shmuel Katz was one of the founders of the Herut political party and served as one of its members in the First Knesset. In 1951 he left politics and managed the Karni book publishing firm. He was co-founder of the Movement for Greater Israel in 1967, and in 1971 he helped to create Americans for a Safe Israel.

In 1977 Katz became "Adviser to the Prime Minister of Information Abroad" to Menachem Begin. He accompanied Begin on two trips to Washington and was asked to explain some points to President Jimmy Carter. He quit this task on January 5, 1978 because of differences with the Cabinet over peace proposals with Egypt. Katz was then active with the Tehiya party for some years and later with Herut - The National Movement after it split away from the ruling Likud. He also has written for the Daily Express and The Jerusalem Post.

For more information on Katz, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Israel Eldad (born 1910 as Israel Scheib in Podvolochisk, Galicia – 1996), was a noted Israeli independence fighter and Revisionist Zionist philosopher. He was an early member and later chief ideological strategist of the Lehi.

Israel Scheib was born in 1910 in Eastern Galicia, in a traditional Jewish home. The Scheibs wandered as refugees during the First World War. In 1918, in Lvov, young Scheib witnessed a funeral procession for Jews murdered in a pogrom.

After high school, Scheib enrolled at the Rabbinical Seminary of Vienna for religious studies and the University of Vienna for secular studies. He completed his doctorate on “The Voluntarism of Eduard von Hartmann, Based on Schopenhauer,” but never took his rabbinical exams at the seminary.

Meanwhile, he attended, with his father, a protest demonstration in front of the local British Consulate following the 1929 Arab riots in the Land of Israel. The next year he read a poem by Uri Zvi Greenberg, “I’ll Tell It to a Child,” about a messiah who cannot redeem his people because they are not ready to accept redemption. Two or three years later, Scheib met Greenberg at a speech Greenberg was giving entitled “The Land of Israel Is in Flames.”

Scheib’s first job after graduation was teaching high school in Volkovisk. He also published articles in Revisionist Zionist journals and became the commander of a local Betar chapter.

Scheib joined the staff of the Teachers Seminary in Vilna in 1937, where he stayed for two years. During that time he rose in the Betar ranks to the position of regional staff officer. In 1938, at the Third Betar Conference in Warsaw, when the Revisionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky attacked the militant stance of Poland's Betar leader Menachem Begin, Scheib spoke in Begin's defense. The next year, when the Second World War broke out, Scheib and Begin escaped together from Warsaw. Begin was arrested by the Soviet police in the middle of a chess game with Scheib, and it was several years before they met again in British Mandatory Palestine, where Scheib was already a leader of the Lehi underground and Begin would soon commanded the Irgun. The Lehi was at that point waging a violent struggle for freedom from British rule and the Irgun would, under Begin, soon join the revolt in hopes of freeing Palestine and creating a Jewish state.

Scheib adopted several aliases while living underground, including “Sambatyon” and “Eldad.” Eldad stuck and became the name by which he is remembered. He worked in 1942 directly with Lehi founder Avraham Stern. After Stern’s killing by the British, Eldad became one of a triumvirate of Lehi commanders, serving with Natan Yellin-Mor and future prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. It was in this role where Eldad condoned the assassination of Folke Bernadotte, a UN mediator. Yellin-Mor was the diplomatic “foreign minister,” Shamir the operations man, and Eldad the ideologue. For the next six years Eldad wrote articles for various underground newspapers, some of which he edited. Eldad also wrote some of the speeches delivered in court by Lehi defendants.

Eldad was arrested by the British fleeing a Tel Aviv apartment, injured in a fall from a water pipe, and imprisoned in the Jerusalem prison in a body cast. He continued his political and philosophical writing from Cell 18 of the hospital ward at the Jerusalem Central Prison. Eventually Eldad healed enough to escape while on a visit to a dentist’s office, from which several Lehi fighters spirited him away.

During Israel's War of Independence, Eldad was critical of Menachem Begin's Irgun for not defending itself when its arms ship Altalena was attacked by Gr�n's (David Ben-Gurion) Palmach forces, commanded by Rubitzov (Yitzhak Rabin). He was also critical of the IDF for not fighting harder to conquer Jerusalem’s Old City and critical of Lehi fighters who did not rush to fight in Jerusalem. Towards the end of the war, Eldad disguised himself as a foreign journalist in order to sneak past Israeli military roadblocks and join the battle for Jerusalem.

Eldad eventually got a job teaching Bible and Hebrew literature in an Israeli high school, until Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion intervened and had him dismissed. Ben-Gurion was afraid Eldad would imbue the students with his Lehi ideology. Eldad went to court and won, but found few people willing to hire him after Ben-Gurion had labeled him a danger to the state. Eldad turned to literary work, wrote histories of underground battles, a biography of the mayor of Ramat Gan, a newspaper-style review of Jewish history called Chronicles, a book of Bible commentary (Hegionot Mikra), weekly newspaper columns, and many more books, encyclopedia entries and other works. In 1962, Eldad was made a lecturer at the Technion in Haifa. He taught there for twenty years. In 1988, Eldad was awarded Israel’s Bialik Prize for his contributions to Israeli thought.

By the 1990s, Eldad was known as the doyen of Israeli nationalists. He died on the first day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, in January 1996. His funeral was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir and Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky. Eldad was buried on the Mount of Olives, at the foot of the grave of his mentor and friend, Uri Zvi Greenberg.

The Israeli settlement Kfar Eldad was named after him.

Eldad did not believe that the creation of the state of Israel was the goal of Zionism. He considered the state a tool to be used in realizing the goal of Zionism, which he called Malkhut Yisrael (the Kingdom of Israel). Eldad sought what he referred to as national redemption, meaning a sovereign Jewish kingdom in the biblical borders of Israel, with all the world’s Jews living there, and the Jewish Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. Eldad steadfastly refused to give legitimacy to any Jewish presence in the Diaspora, which he felt was doomed to extinction. Nonetheless, in his view of history, past generations of Jews in exile from the Land of Israel were not denigrated as passive sufferers but were considered creative players in history. Eldad and his journal Sulam wrote frequently about Jewish political figures who throughout history tried to bring redemption to their people, but who were stymied by geopolitical or other obstacles.

For more information on Eldad, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Moshe Shamir (September 15, 1921 – August 20, 2004) was one of the most important Israeli writers of modern times.

In the Israeli War of Independence he served in Palmach. He began his political career as a member of the leftist movement Hashomer Hatzair, in which he filled a leadership role. He was one of the editors of their official newspaper Al Ha-Homa from 1939 to 1941. From 1944 to 1946 he was a member of kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek. He was founder and editor of the Israel Defense Forces official newspaper Bamahane ("In the Camp") from 1947 to 1950. During the 1950s he was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper Maariv and the editor of its literature section.

Shamir began writing stories at a young age. They immediately attracted attention, and not only for his literary ability. He was always engaged with political problems, always arousing opposition. The first opposition came from Meir Yairi, leader of the left-wing movement to which Shamir belonged, concerning what was perceived as "ideological aberration" in his stories. In hindsight it is difficult to understand what the fuss was about. The stories seem completely innocent and certainly are not hostile or injurious to the kibbutz movement. However, the anger that was aroused against Shamir was so strong that he decided to leave his kibbutz in 1947 for ideological reasons.

In his 1947 novel He Walked Through the Fields, which became the first play performed in the established State of Israel, the hero is a native-born Israeli, a "Sabra". The book won the Ussishkin Prize. It was adapted as a movie directed by Yosef Milo, who also directed its theatrical debut. In 1947 he founded the Israel Defense Forces newspaper Bamachane. He edited it until he was dismissed at the request of David Ben-Gurion for publishing an article about a celebration of the disbanding of Palmach. Thereafter he continually aroused scandals, more than any other Hebrew author of our time.

A survey made in the 50s by the Szold Institute found that two thirds of respondents preferred Shamir to all other Israeli authors.

The hero of his book With His Own Hands: Alik's Story (1951) is his brother Alik who fell in the War of Independence. The book became an icon of that war. Alik's Story was translated into English, adapted into radio plays, and even merited an adaptation for television. It is one of the greatest Israeli bestsellers of all time, selling to date over 150,000 copies. It became part of the program of study in schools.

As a young writer Shamir became accustomed to the heavy hand of criticism. He especially took criticism from Joseph Klausner concerning The King of Flesh and Blood, whose central character is the Hasmonean king Alexander Jann�us. Menachem Begin recalled Klausner's words in a later day when Moshe Shamir, as a member of the Knesset, crossed the political lines from left to right to oppose the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. As the prime minister at the time, Begin spoke out against Shamir in the Knesset, indicating that Shamir's objections showed a lack of awareness of the historic moves taking place. Begin said:

'Certainly you recall that, in his day, the late Prof. Joseph Klausner wrote, when you published your book The King of Flesh and Blood, these words: "There may sometimes be a writer who is not a historian, but to such an extent?" And now I say: "There may sometimes be a politician who does not recognize the rustling wings of history, but to such an extent?"'
After the Six-Day War, similarly to the songwriter Naomi Shemer, Moshe changed his political leaning (from left to right). He became one of the creators of the Movement for Greater Israel (Eretz Israel HaShlema, literally "Whole Land of Israel"), a part of the La'am faction in the Likud. He was elected to the Knesset in the legislative elections of 1977. He was among the founders of the "Bnai" faction (acronym for a phrase meaning "Union of Eretz Israel Faithful") that opposed the Camp David Accords (1978). In late 1979, after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, he broke away from Likud, along with Knesset member Geula Cohen, to found the Tehiya Bnai.

His shift from left to right took a toll on him as the main literary societies, taking a dim view, banned him from membership.

For more information on Moshe Shamir, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Colonel John Henry Patterson, DSO (November 10, 1867 – June 18, 1947), known as J.H. Patterson, was an Anglo-Irish soldier, hunter, author and Zionist, best known for his book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (1907), which details his experiences while building a railway in Kenya. In the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness, he was portrayed by actor Val Kilmer.

Patterson was born in Forgney, Ballymahon, County Westmeath (now Longford), Ireland, in 1867. His father was Protestant and his mother was Roman Catholic. He joined the British Army at age seventeen, rose quickly through the ranks.
In 1898, he was commissioned by the British East Africa Company to oversee the construction of a railway bridge over the Tsavo river in present-day Kenya and arrived at the site in March of that year.

Almost immediately after his arrival, lion attacks began to take place on the worker population, with the lions dragging men out of their tents at night and feeding on their victims. Despite the building of thorn barriers (bomas) around the camps, bonfires at night and strict after-dark curfews, the attacks escalated dramatically, to the point where the bridge construction eventually ceased due to a fearful, mass departure of the work force. Along with the obvious financial consequences of the work stoppage, Patterson also faced the challenge of maintaining his authority and even his personal safety at this remote site against the increasingly hostile and superstitious workers, many of whom were convinced that the lions were in fact evil spirits, come to punish those who worked at Tsavo, and that he was the cause of the misfortune because the attacks had coincided with his arrival.

The man-eating behaviour was considered highly unusual for lions and was eventually confirmed to be the work of a pair of rogue males, who were believed to be responsible for as many as one hundred and forty deaths, although the actual number is still uncertain due to a lack of accurate records at the time. Railway records officially attribute only twenty-eight worker deaths to the lions, but they were also reported to have killed a significant number of local people of which no official record was ever kept.

With his reputation, livelihood and safety at stake, Patterson, an experienced tiger hunter from his military service in India, undertook an extensive effort to deal with the crisis and after months of attempts and near misses, he finally killed the first lion on the night of December 9, 1898, and killed the second one on the morning of December 29 (narrowly escaping death in the process). The lions were maneless like many others in the Tsavo area and both were exceptionally large. Each lion was over nine feet long from nose to tip of tail and required eight men to carry it back to the camp.

Patterson was immediately declared a hero by the workers and local people, and word of the event quickly spread far and wide, as evidenced by the subsequent telegrams of congratulations he received. Word of the incident was even mentioned in the House of Lords in the British Parliament, by then Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. With the man-eater threat finally eliminated, the work force returned and the Tsavo railway bridge was completed in February 1899. Although the rails were later destroyed by German soldiers, the stone foundations were left standing.

Unfortunately, while on a hunting safari with a fellow British Army officer, Corporal Audley Blyth and his wife Ethel, his reputation was tarnished by the mysterious death of Corporal Blyth due to a gunshot wound (possible suicide – exact circumstances unknown). Witnesses confirmed that Patterson was not in Blyth’s tent when the shooting took place, and that it was in fact Blyth’s wife who was with him at the time, as she was reported as running (screaming) from the tent immediately after the shooting. Patterson had Blyth buried in the wilderness and then to the surprise of everyone, insisted on continuing the expedition instead of returning to the nearest post to report the incident. Shortly afterward, Patterson returned to England with Mrs. Blyth amid rumours of murder and an affair, and although he was never officially charged or censured, this incident would follow him for years afterward, most notably in the film The Macomber Affair (1947) which was based on an Ernest Hemingway adaptation of the story.

Ultimately, Patterson went on to serve in the Boer War and World War I. Although he was himself a Protestant, he became a major figure in Zionism as the commander of both the Zion Mule Corps and the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (aka Jewish Legion of the British Army) in World War One, which would eventually serve as the foundation of the Israeli Defence Force decades later. He was promoted to the rank of full Colonel in 1917, and retired from the British Army in 1920 after thirty-five years of service. His last two books, With the Zionists at Gallipoli (1916) and With the Judeans in Palestine (1922) are based on his experiences during these times. After his military career, Patterson continued his support of Zionism as a strong advocate toward the establishment of a separate Jewish state in the Middle East, which became a reality with the statehood of Israel on May 14, 1948, less than a year after his death.

Patterson and his wife, Francis (Francie) Helena, lived in a modest home in La Jolla, California for a number of years. Eventually, with his wife in need of regular care and his own health in decline, he took up residence at the home of his friend, Marion Travis in Bel Air, California, where he eventually died in his sleep at eighty years of age. His wife would pass away six weeks later in a San Diego nursing home. Patterson was cremated, his ashes being returned to present-day Israel – the exact location of his grave remains unknown to this day.

For more information on John Henry Patterson, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Aaron Aaronsohn (1876 – May 15, 1919) is remembered primarily as the discoverer of wild emmer (Triticum dicoccoides), which he believed to be "the mother of the wheat." He was also the founder and head of Nili, a ring of Jewish residents of Palestine who spied for Britain during World War I. Owing to information supplied by Nili to the British Army, General Edmund Allenby was able to mount a surprise attack on Beersheba, unexpectedly bypassing strong Ottoman defenses in Gaza.
Aaron Aaronsohn was born in Bacau, Romania, and brought to Palestine, then part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, at the age of six, when his parents were among the founders of Zichron Yaakov, one of the pioneer Jewish agricultural settlements of the First Aliyah.
After his study in France, sponsored by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Aaron Aaronsohn botanically mapped Palestine and its surroundings and became a leading expert on the subject. On his 1906 field trip to Mount Hermon, he discovered Triticum dicoccoides, an important find for agronomists and historians of human civilization. It made him world-famous and, on a trip to the United States, he was able to secure financial backing for a research station he established in Atlit - the first experimental station in the Levant.
After the war, Chaim Weizmann called Aaronsohn to work on the Versailles Peace Conference but Aaronsohn was killed in an airplane crash over the English Channel. His research on Eretz Israel and Transjordan flora, as well as part of his exploration diaries, were published posthumously.

For more information on Aaron Aaronsohn, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Joseph Trumpeldor (December 1, 1880 – March 1, 1920), was an early Zionist activist, notable for helping organize the Zion Mule Corps and bringing Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Joseph Trumpeldor was born in Pyatigorsk, Russia. His father, Wulf Trumpeldor, served as a cantonist in the Caucasian War, and as a "useful Jew", was allowed to settle outside the Pale of Settlement. Though proudly Jewish, Trumpeldor's upbringing was more Russian than traditionally Jewish. Originally in training as a dentist, Joseph Trumpeldor volunteered for the Russian army in 1902. During the Russo-Japanese War, he participated in the siege of Port Arthur, where he lost his left arm to shrapnel. He spent a hundred days in the hospital recovering, but elected to complete his service. Trumpeldor was truly dedicated to his country. When he was questioned about his decisions and told that he was heavily advised not to continue fighting given his handicap, he responded "but i still have another arm to give to the motherland". When Port Arthur surrendered, Trumpeldor went into Japanese captivity. He spent his time printing a newspaper on Jewish affairs and organized history, geography and literature classes. He also befriended several prisoners who shared his desire of founding a communal farm in Palestine. On return from captivity, he moved to St. Petersburg. Trumpeldor subsequently received four decorations for bravery including the Cross of St. George, which made him the most decorated Jewish soldier in Russia. In 1906 he became the first Jew in the army to receive an officer's commission.

Joseph gathered a group of young Zionists around him and in 1911 they emigrated to Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire. At first he joined a farm on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and then worked for a time at Kibbutz Degania. When World War I broke out, being an enemy national, he went to Egypt, where together with Ze'ev Jabotinsky he developed the idea of the Jewish Legion to fight with the British against common enemies and, the Zion Mule Corps was formed in 1915, considered to be the first all-Jewish military unit organized in close to two thousand years, and the ideological beginning of the Israel Defense Forces. He saw action in the Battle of Gallipoli with the Zion Mule Corps, where he was wounded in the shoulder. The Zion Mule Corps remained in Gallipoli through the entire campaign and was disbanded shortly after being transferred to Britain.

Upon his return to Petrograd, Russia in 1918, he organised Jews to defend themselves and established the HeHalutz, a youth organization that prepared immigrants for aliyah (immigration to Palestine), and returned to Palestine himself, then under the British Mandate. He was one of the founders of the Zionist Socialist movement in Palestine.

On 1 March 1920, several hundred Shiites, from the village of Jabal Amil in Southern Lebanon, gathered at the gate of Tel Hai, one of four Jewish farming villages in an isolated bloc at the northern end of the Upper Galilee's Hulah Valley. The Shiites believed that some French troops had taken refuge with the Jews and demanded to search the premises. The Jews generally tried to maintain neutrality in the chaos, occasionally sheltering both Arabs and French. On this day there were no French soldiers, and the Jews assented to a search. One of the farmers fired a shot into the air, a signal for reinforcements from nearby Kfar Giladi, which brought ten men led by Trumpeldor, who had been posted by Hashomer to organize defense.

It is unclear exactly what happened once Trumpeldor assumed command, but an early report speaks of 'misunderstanding on both sides'. Ultimately, a major firefight raged, and seven of the Jewish defenders were initially killed; Trumpeldor was shot in his hand and then his stomach. A doctor only arrived toward evening, and Trumpeldor died while being evacuated to Kfar Giladi. Five Arabs were killed in the fighting as well. The eight Jews were buried in two common graves in Kfar Giladi, and both locations were abandoned for a time.

After his death, Trumpeldor became a symbol of Jewish self-defence, and his memorial day on the 11th day of Adar is officially noted in Israel every year. His reputed last words, "Never mind, it is good to die for our country" became famous in the pre-state Zionist movement and in Israel of the 1950s and 1960s.

Joseph Trumpeldor is regarded as a hero by both right wing and left wing Zionists. The Revisionist Zionist movement named its youth movement (and precursor to Likud) Betar, an acronym for "Covenant of Joseph Trumpeldor", while the left wing movements remember Trumpeldor as the defender of the kibbutzim and have established memorials in his honour. The town of Kiryat Shmona ("City of Eight") is named after Trumpeldor and the seven others who died defending Tel Hai.

For more information on Joseph Trumpledor, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Major-General Orde Charles Wingate, DSO and two bars (26 February 1903–24 March 1944), was a British Army officer and creator of special military units in World War II and Palestine in the 1930s.

A highly religious man, Wingate became a supporter of Zionism, seeing it as his Christian duty to help the Jewish community in Palestine form a Jewish state. Assigned to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1936, he set about training members of the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization, which became the Israel Defense Forces with the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel.

Wingate was born 26 February 1903 in Naini Tal, near Almora, in Kumaon India to a military family. His father had become a committed member of the Plymouth Brethren early in his army career in India, and at the age of 46 married the oldest daughter of a family who were also Plymouth Brethren, after wooing her for twenty years.

Wingate spent most of his childhood in England where he received a very religious upbringing. It was not uncommon for him to be subjected to long days of reading and memorizing the Old Testament.[7] He was also subjected, by his father, to a harsh and Spartan regimen, living with a daily consciousness of hell-fire and eternal damnation. Because of their parents' strict beliefs, the family of seven children were kept away from other children and from the influence of the outside world. Until he was twelve years old, Orde had hardly ever mixed with children of his own age.

In 1921 he was accepted into the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, the Royal Artillery's officers' training school. For committing a minor offense against the rules a first year student would be subjected to a ragging ritual named “running”. This ritual consisted of the first-year being stripped and forced to run a gauntlet of senior students, all of whom wielded a knotted towel, which they used to hit the accused on his journey along the line. On reaching the end the first-year would then be thrown into an icy cold cistern of water. When it came time for Wingate to run the gauntlet, for allegedly having returned a horse to the stables too late, he walked to the senior student at the head of the gauntlet, stared at him and dared him to strike. The senior refused. Wingate, moved to the next senior and did the same, he too refused. In turn each senior declined to strike and coming to the end of the line Wingate walked to the cistern and dived straight into the icy cold water.

In June 1927, Wingate obtained six months leave in order to mount an expedition in the Sudan. Sending his luggage ahead of him, Wingate set off in September 1927 by bicycle, travelling first through France and Germany before making his way to Genoa via Czechoslovakia, Austria and Yugoslavia. Here he took a boat to Egypt. From Cairo he traveled to Khartoum.

In April 1928 his application to transfer to the Sudan Defence Force came through and he was posted to the East Arab Corps, serving in the area of Roseires and Gallabat on the borders of Ethiopia, where the SDF patrolled to catch slave traders and ivory poachers. He changed the method of regular patrolling to ambushes.

In March 1930 Wingate was given command of a company of 300 soldiers with the local rank of Bimbashi (major). He was never happier than when in the bush with his unit but when at HQ in Khartoum he antagonised the other officers with his aggressive and argumentative personality.[18]
In 1936 Wingate was assigned to the British Mandate of Palestine to a staff office position and became an intelligence officer. From his arrival, he saw the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine as being a religious duty toward the literal fulfillment of Christian prophecy and he immediately put himself into absolute alliance with Jewish political leaders.

Arab guerrillas had at the time of his arrival begun a campaign of attacks against both British mandate officials and Jewish communities, which became known as the Arab Revolt.

Wingate became politically involved with a number of Zionist leaders, eventually becoming an ardent supporter of Zionism. He formulated the idea of raising small assault units of British-led Jewish commandos, heavily armed with grenades and light infantry small arms, to combat the Arab uprising, and took his idea personally to Archibald Wavell, who was then a commander of British forces in Palestine. After Wavell gave his permission, Wingate convinced the Zionist Jewish Agency and the leadership of Haganah, the Jewish armed group.

In June 1938 the new British commander, General Haining, gave his permission to create the Special Night Squads, armed groups formed of British and Haganah volunteers. The Jewish Agency helped pay salaries and other costs of the Haganah personnel.

Wingate trained, commanded and accompanied them in their patrols. The units frequently ambushed Arab saboteurs who attacked oil pipelines of the Iraq Petroleum Company, raiding border villages the attackers had used as bases. In these raids, Wingate's men sometimes imposed severe collective punishments on the village inhabitants that were criticized by Zionist leaders as well as Wingate's British superiors. But the tactics proved effective in quelling the uprising, and Wingate was awarded the DSO in 1938.

However, his deepening direct political involvement with the Zionist cause and an incident where he spoke publicly in favour of formation of a Jewish state during his leave in Britain, caused his superiors in Palestine to remove him from command. He was so deeply associated with political causes in Palestine that his superiors considered him compromised as an intelligence officer in the country.

In May 1939, he was transferred back to Britain. Wingate became a hero of the Yishuv (the Jewish Community), and was loved by leaders such as Zvi Brenner and Moshe Dayan who had trained under him, and who claimed that Wingate had "taught us everything we know."

At the outbreak of World War II, Wingate was the commander of an anti-aircraft unit in Britain. He then fought against Italian occupation forces in Ethiopia. He created the Gideon Force, a guerrilla force composed of British, Sudanese and Ethiopian soldiers. The force was named after the biblical judge Gideon, who defeated a large force with a tiny band. Wingate invited a number of veterans of the Haganah SNS to join him. He insisted on leading from the front and accompanied his troops. The Gideon Force, with the aid of local resistance fighters, harassed Italian forts and their supply lines while the regular army took on the main forces of the Italian army. The small Gideon Force of no more than 1,700 men took the surrender of about 20,000 Italians toward the end of the campaign. At the end of the fighting, Wingate and the men of the Gideon Force linked with the force of Lieutenant-General Alan Cunningham which had advanced from Kenya to the south and accompanied the emperor in his triumphant return to Addis Ababa in May. Wingate was mentioned in dispatches in April 1941 and was awarded a second DSO in December.

Later he fought in Burma (in the Far East), with a force of mainly Indian troops called the "Chindits". The results were mixed, but afterwards, the Japanese had admitted that the Chindits had completely disrupted their plans for the first half of 1943. As a propaganda tool, the Chindit operation was used to prove to the army and those at home that the Japanese could be beaten and that British/Indian Troops could successfully operate in the jungle against experienced Japanese forces.

For more information on Orde Wingate, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated

Ben Hecht, (February 28, 1894 – April 18, 1964), was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, and novelist. Called "the Shakespeare of Hollywood", he received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some 70 films and as a prolific storyteller, authored 35 books and created some of the most entertaining screenplays or plays in America.

The number of screenplays he wrote or worked on that are now considered classics is, according to Chicago's Newberry Library, "astounding," and included films such as, Scarface (1932), The Front Page, Twentieth Century (1934), Barbary Coast (1935), Stagecoach, Some Like It Hot, Gone with the Wind, Gunga Din, Wuthering Heights, (all 1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Monkey Business, A Farewell to Arms (1957), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and Casino Royale (posthumously, in 1967).

It is estimated that of the seventy to ninety screenplays he wrote, many were written anonymously due to the British boycott of his work in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The boycott was a response to Hecht's active support of the Zionist movement in Palestine, during which time a supply ship to Palestine was named the S.S. Ben Hecht.

He could produce a screenplay in two weeks and, according to his autobiography, never spent more than eight weeks on a script. Yet he was still able to produce mostly rich, well-plotted, and witty screenplays. His scripts included virtually every movie genre: adventures, musicals, and impassioned romances. But ultimately, he was best known for two specific types of film: crime thrillers and screwball comedies. Despite his success, however, he disliked the effect that movies were having on the theater, American cultural standards, and on his own creativity.

Hecht was born in New York City, the son of Russian–Jewish immigrants. He was considered a child prodigy at age 10, seemingly on his way to a career as a concert violinist, but two years later was performing as a circus acrobat.

Hecht was among a number of signors of a formal statement, issued in July, 1941, calling for the "utmost material assistance by our government to England, the Soviet Union and China."

Hecht claimed that he had never experienced anti-Semitism in his life, and claimed to have had little to do with Judaism, but nevertheless "was drawn back to the Lower East Side late in life and lived for a while on Henry Street, where he could absorb the energy and social consciousness of the ghetto," wrote author Sanford Sternlicht.

"Before World War II Hecht took on a ten year commitment to publicize the atrocities befalling his own religious minority, the Jews of Europe and the quest for survivors, to find a permanent home in the Middle East." And in 1943, during the midst of the Holocaust, he predicted, in a widely published article, "Of these 6,000,000 Jews [of Europe], almost a third have already been massacred by Germans, Rumanians and Hungarians, and the most conservative of scorekeepers estimate that before the war ends at least another third will have been done to death."

Ben Hecht's activism began when he met Peter Bergson. Hecht wrote in his book Perfidy that he used to be a scriptwriter until his meeting with Bergson, when he accidentally bumped into history - i.e. the burning need to do anything possible to save the doomed Jews of Europe (paraphrase from Perfidy). After meeting Bergson, Hecht dedicated himself to working with his rescue group, and after the war ended he continued work for the establishment of the State of Israel. He wrote the screenplay for the Bergson Group’s production of A Flag is Born, which opened on September 5, 1946 at the Alvin Playhouse in New York City. The proceeds were used to purchase a ship that was renamed the S.S. Ben Hecht.

Thanks to his fund-raising, speeches, and jawboning, Sternlicht writes, "Ben Hecht did more to help Jewish refugees from the Holocaust and to ensure the survival of the nascent State of Israel than any other American Jew in the twentieth century".

From 1948 to 1951, Hecht was blacklisted in England because of his criticism of British policies in Palestine. In May 1947, for instance, ten months after Irgun, the Jewish insurgency organisation led by Begin, had retaliated for mass British arrests of Jews by blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, including Arabs and Jews as well as Britons, Hecht addressed Jewish militants thus: 'Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns at the British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.' His films were banned in England, and of the ones shown, his name was removed from the credits.

For more information on Ben Hecht, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Sarah Aaronsohn (1890 – October 9, 1917) was a member of Nili, a ring of Jewish spies working for the British in World War I, and a sister of notable botanist Aaron Aaronsohn.

Sarah was born and died in Zichron Yaakov, Palestine, which at the time was a province of the Turkish-ruled Ottoman Empire. She lived briefly in Istanbul until 1915, when she returned home to Zichron Yaakov in December to escape an unhappy marriage.
On her way from Istanbul to Haifa, Sarah personally witnessed the Armenian Genocide. In her testimony, she describes seeing hundreds of bodies of men, women and babies, sickened Armenians being loaded onto trains and a massacre of up to 5,000 Armenians by bounding them to a pyramid of thorns and setting it alight. Since her trip to Haifa, any allusions to Armenians got her into a fit of hysteria. According to Chaim Herzog, Sarah decided to assist British forces after she witnessed the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans in Anatolia.

Sarah, her brothers Aaron and Alex and their friend Avshalom Feinberg formed and led Nili. Sarah oversaw operations of the spy-ring and passed information to British agents offshore. When Aaron Aaronsohn was away, she headed the spy operations in Palestine. Sometimes she travelled widely through Ottoman territory collecting information useful to the British, and brought it directly to them in Egypt. In 1917, Alex urged her to remain in British-controlled Egypt, expecting hostilities by Ottoman authorities. She nevertheless returned to Zichron Yaakov to continue Nili activities.

In September 1917, the Ottomans caught her carrier pigeon with a message to the British and decrypted the Nili code. In October, the Ottomans surrounded Zichron Yaakov and arrested numerous people, including Sarah. After four days of torture, she managed to shoot and kill herself with a pistol concealed on the premises to avoid further torture and to protect her colleagues.

In her last letter, she expressed her hope that her activities in Nili would bring nearer the realization of a Jewish national home for the Jews in Eretz Israel.

For more information on Sarah Aaronsohn, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Zvi Yehuda Kook (born 23 April 1891, died 9 March 1982) was a rabbi, and a leader of Religious Zionism. His teachings are partially responsible for the modern religious settlement movement in Judea and Samaria. Many of his ideological followers in the Religious Zionist movement settled there.

Under the leadership of Kook, with its center in the yeshiva founded by his father, Jerusalem's Mercaz HaRav, thousands of religious Jews campaigned actively against territorial compromise, and established numerous settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many of these settlements were subsequently granted official recognition by Israeli governments, both right and left.

Rav Kook was born in Zaumel in the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire (now Žeimelis in Northern Lithuania), where his father was a rabbi.
In 1904 upon receiving nomination as Chief Rabbi of Jaffa in Ottoman-controlled Palestine, he moved there with his father.

From 1923 he served as the administrative director of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, and then after R.Kharlap died in 1952 he became Rosh Yeshiva until his own death. After the Six Day War in 1967 he induced the Israeli government to approve the building of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and sent his students to that mission. Kook was the leader of the settler movement, Gush Emunim. Their beliefs are based heavily on the teachings of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda's father, Rabbi Abraham Kook. The two rabbis taught that secular Zionists, through their conquests of the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), had unwittingly brought about the beginning of the "final redemption", which would end in the coming of the Jewish messiah. Gush Emunim supporters believe that building Jewish settlement on land God has allotted to the Jewish people as outlined in the Hebrew Bible, is an important step in the process of redemption.

For more information on Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Yuval Ne'eman (14 May 1925 – 26 April 2006), was an Israeli soldier, physicist and politician.

He was born in Tel Aviv during the Mandate era, graduated from high school at the age of 15, and studied mechanical engineering in the Technion. At the age of 15, Ne'eman also joined the Hagana. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in 1948 Neeman served in the Israeli Defense Forces as commander of Givati Brigade.

One of his greatest achievements in physics was his 1962 discovery of the classification of hadrons through their SU(3) flavour symmetry—today known as the quark model. His discovery was independent from that of Murray Gell-Mann, to whom a Nobel prize was later given for the achievement.
Ne'eman was also the director of the Center for Particle Theory at the University of Texas, Austin from 1968 to 1990.

A strong believer in the importance of space research and satellites to the country's economic future and security, Ne'eman founded the Israeli Space Agency in 1983 and chaired it almost until his death.

He was a self-declared atheist.
In the late 1970s, Ne'eman founded Tehiya, a right-wing breakaway from Likud, formed in opposition to Menachem Begin's support for the Camp David talks that paved the way for peace with Egypt and the evacuation of Yamit. He was elected to the Knesset in the 1981 elections in which Tehiya won three seats. The party joined Begin's coalition about a year after the elections and Neeman was appointed Minister of Science and Development.

For more information on Yuval Ne'eman, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon (July 17, 1888 - February 17, 1970) was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon. In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.

Agnon was born in Galicia, later immigrated to the British mandate of Palestine, and died in Jerusalem. His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator's role in literature. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.

In later years, Agnon's fame was such that when he complained to the municipality that traffic noise near his home was disturbing his work, the city closed the street to cars and posted a sign that read: "No entry to all vehicles, writer at work!"

Agnon joined the "Land of Israel Movement". This movement's purpose was to have Israel hold on to the territories it had captured in the six-day war, including Judea and Samaria and the Sinai.

For more information on Shmuel Yosef Agnon, see the wikipedia entry from which this was abbreviated.