Causes of World War I From the Perspective of the Zionist Leader Vladimir Jabotinsky

  • Vefa Kurban Ege University
Keywords: Jabotinsky, World War I, Jewish Nationalism


Vladimir Jabotinsky is known to be a journalist and a lawyer who played a crucial role in the history of Zionism. He was born on October 18, 1880 in an assimilated family in Odessa.

Putting forward the idea of establishing a military unit consisting entirely of Jews and struggling for this idea, Jabotinsky is one of the most important figures of the Jewish nationalists. Jabotinsky is known to have introduced the idea of revisionist Zionism and to be the leader of this idea.

Jabotinsky took interest in journalism and began writing for one of Russia’s most important newspapers, “Odesskiy Listok”. Later, he was posted to Switzerland and Italy as a correspondent for this newspaper. Jabotinsky also collaborated with the newspaper “Odesskie Novosti”. He then studied Law at the University of Rome.

In 1909, Jabotinsky worked as the Istanbul correspondent of the Russian newspaper. He closely followed the Young Turk movement in the Ottoman Empire. Jabotinsky’s activities in Istanbul attracted the attention of Jewish organizations and he was commissioned by the World Zionist Organization for lobby activities in Istanbul.

 Jabotinsky thought that the World War I would bring an end to the Ottoman Empire and he came into prominence in the World Zionist Organization by bringing forward the idea of forming a Jewish Legion that would fight alongside with Britain to “save” Palestine from the Ottoman Empire and he also began to be recognized by the Jews from all around the world.

In 1916, Jabotinsky wrote a book called “Turkey and the War”. The first edition of the book was published in London in 1917.

In this study; Jabotinsky’s identity, his Zionist activities, how he explained the alleged causes of the World War I in his book called “Turkey and the War”, small nations’ fight for independence, his view on the dispute over Alsace-Lorraine, his interpretation of militarism and what he wrote regarding other issues will be analyzed and studied.