“The biggest obstacle in the recreation of Jewish independence was the ability of the Jews to defend themselves.
This capacity had been lost completely in the Diaspora
The Jews, who were known in antiquity as great fighters from Joshua, David, the Kings of Israel, the Maccabeees, Bar-Kochba –
the Jews were renowned for their capacity to fight and defend themselves.
They didn’t always succeed, but they always resisted their tormentors.
That capacity was lost over the centuries until the Jews became wind-tossed leaves, unable to defend themselves at all.
And, in fact, the word “Jew” was gradually substituted for the word “wandering Jew” and then “cowardly Jew”.
And the idea that Jews could take up arms and fight and be perhaps among the best fighters in the world,
this was viewed as lunacy, not only among the non-Jews, but among the Jews themselves.
And it took feats of imagination, of brilliance, to imagine that the Jews could reconstitute that capacity to resist and to fight, that characterized them in antiquity.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at interment of the ashes of Jewish Legion (WWI) Commander Lt.-Col. John Henry Patterson
דברי ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בטקס הטמנת אפרו של מפקד הגדודים העבריים לוטננט-קולונל ג’ון הנרי פטרסון במושב אביחיל