Memorial Day for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel
Sulam, Shevat 5713 (Issue number 46)
by Dr. Israel Eldad, unsigned
Translated by Zev Golan
Let us remove the capital letters from Fighters for the Freedom of Israel when we refer to Avraham Stern (Yair) who fell on 25 Shevat 5702 [February 1942].
If he broke away from the larger structure, and split that structure, he did so only out of love for the true whole.
And if we are suffering today, everyone individually and all of us together in this country, it is because of the lack of wholeness in everything - in the land, the nation, in our thinking and in our faith. The partition was not partial, it divided everything, and not only the borders of the state are a caricature, but all our thinking and doing and our lives are along boundaries that are distorted and caricatures; and it is not only a matter of their being little or small, a little land or small state, but the entire form is distorted, there is a lack of completeness within and without; not only a blur in government, but also a blurry opposition, from Mapam on the left to Herut on the right, the same blur, the same absurd borders, winding and crooked.
And this increases the longing for Yair, who was free from distortions, who strove for and in many areas attained an emotional wholeness and simplicity, in political thought as well as in deed.
And if people ask today: Should Lehi [FFI, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel] be organized again? We answer: FFI with capital letters? No. At least not now, not in that form, for one must learn from past mistakes, too. But we need to renew the fighters for the freedom of Israel without the capital letters; in other words, the form and character epitomized by Yair. A wholeness of character, without evasions, without fear. Fire in the soul, and cold, clear concepts in thought. A poet and soldier and statesman. Formulating the very long-term context of his war and proudly and courageously unfurling his wide flag - the flag of Hebrew sovereignty, the flag that is the exact opposite of the current State of Israel, more opposite to the state than to the situation that existed before the state, because then there was desire for greatness and sovereignty and today there is none, the state has strangled it.
Therefore the 25th of Shevat is a date, and Abraham Stern is a man, worthy of being studied by anyone who longs for greatness and sovereignty, anyone who wishes to escape from the division people make between “personally“ and "otherwise," or the division between a disconnected past and a separate present. Anyone who wants to go further than the borders will have to get beyond many capital letters that have become anachronistic, and only after they accept new sets of capital letters, a new political idea and clear political concepts, will they create a new framework for action. This is the path walked by Yair. This is the path that will in the future be walked by all fighters for the freedom of Israel.
Translator's note: Eldad's reference to the distinction people make between “personally” and “otherwise” brings to mind the average Israelis, response when asked today: “How are you?” Most Israelis answer: “Personally, fine; but in a national sense.” In the original Hebrew, Eldad refers not to capital letters but to quotation marks, which we have translated as capital letters, to indicate that the reference is to proper names. As to what Eldad meant in the final paragraph, as it is said in Hebrew: hamevin yavin (he who understands, understands). ZG