JERUSALEM (Jul. 8)
Israel’s Parliament met today in a special session in memory of Vladimir Jabotinsky as Jews by the thousands filed pass the coffins of the late Revisionist leader and that of his wife in final tribute in Tel Aviv.
Speaker Kaddish Luz, in an hour-long address, paid tribute to the memory of the Zionist leader. The Speaker said that despite sharp ideological differences which still prevailed, the achievements of Jabotinsky sufficed to make his name eternal as one of the chosen leaders of the era who contributed much to the return to Zion and to Israel’s revival. Cabinet members and members of the Jabotinsky family attended the special Knesset session.
The Speaker stressed Jabotinsky’s role as founder of the Jewish Legion in the First World War and the part he had in the organization of Jewish self-defense units in the 1920 riots in Jerusalem. He stressed that Jabotinsky was among the first to propose Jewish self-defense as far back as the period of Czarist Russia.
The coffins were placed in state in Tel Aviv last night after being brought from Lydda Airport. The remains will be reinterred tomorrow in Jerusalem. Menahem Beigin, leader of the Hezut party, led a group of 300 persons which received the coffins at the Lydda Airport when they arrived from New York. He declared that “Jabotinsky has come home at last to his mother country.” All 300 recited the Prayer for the Dead when the caskets were brought down from the plane.
Men who led the Irgun underground movement during the British Mandate then placed Jabotinsky’s sword-which had been kept in the Jabotinsky Museum-on the coffin. Rabel Ohevet Ami, the first woman to be sentenced to life imprisonment in the underground fight against the Mandatory regime, placed a wreath of flowers on the coffin of Jabotinsky’s wife.
The coffins then were placed on a black-wrapped car and the procession then began its trip to Tel Aviv. Participating were the President’s military aide-de-camp, the commander of the central sector, Beg. J. Gavish, colonels of the Air Force and the Navy who also represented the Army, veterans of the Jewish Legion, Herut, the Revisionists, and representatives of the Maccabi. Thousands of persons lined both sides of the route of the procession to pay homage to the Revisionist founder. At Ramat Gan, the coffins were placed briefly near the monument to Dov Gruner, a member of the Irgun, who was hanged by the British. Parents of members of the Irgun and the Stern group, another underground movement, who were executed by the British placed flowers on the coffins.