Outpost’s tribute to Shmuel Katz: The last great Zionist

by Maskil on July 23, 2008

From the “How did I miss this one?” dept.

Outpost, the monthly publication of Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI), dedicated its June 2008 issue to the memory of the late Shmuel Katz, characterized by Herbert Zweibon (chairman of AFSI) as “the last great Zionist of Israel’s founding generation” (Katz passed away on May 9 at the age of 93).

The Outpost website has a rather strange structure, with no links from the Table of Contents page for the June 2008 issue to the individual tributes and extracts from his writings. Please use the links below to access the articles:

Mideast Outpost: JUNE 2008 OUTPOST

THE LAST GREAT ZIONIST: HERBERT ZWEIBON

SHMUEL KATZ: STEADFAST ZIONISM, HUMOROUS CHARM: DOUGLAS FEITH

HANDS OFF THE GOLAN!!!: SHMUEL KATZ

DAYS OF FIRE: SHMUEL KATZ

BATTLEGROUND: SHMUEL KATZ

SHMUEL KATZ: A ZIONIST ICON: WILLIAM VAN CLEAVE

SHMUEL: HIS VERY SELF AND VOICE: EDWARD ALEXANDER

MY FRIENDSHIP WITH SHMUEL KATZ: YISRAEL MEDAD

THE ESSENTIAL SHMUEL KATZ: WILLIAM MEHLMAN

SHMUEL KATZ: ISRAEL’S WINSTON CHURCHILL: JOEL GILBERT

SHMUEL KATZ: JABOTINSKY’S HEIR: RUTH KING

The July issue also carries a tribute to Katz from Rael Jean Isaac.

A TRIBUTE TO SHMUEL KATZ: Rael Jean Isaac

I was pleased to find that many of his books are still available (if not still in print) from sites such as Amazon, albeit remaindered or second-hand copies in some cases. (The article Shmuel Katz’s Legacy by Moshe Phillips was extremely useful in identifying the body of his work available in English.)

Days of Fire – Google Book Search

Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine

The hollow peace

Battletruth: The world and Israel

Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze’Ev) Jabotinsky Two Volume Set

The Aaronsohn Saga

Katz was also responsible for translating an edition of Menachem Begin’s The Revolt into English from the original Hebrew.

Revolt

Everyone who considers him or herself an advocate for Israel should at least have a copy of Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine on his or her bookshelf. Although first published 35 years ago, it remains the unsurpassed and uncontested “handbook” of the Jewish claim to establish a nation-state in Palestine.

The use of terrorism to achieve political aims has attained political respectability for various national groups (notably the Palestinians). Zionism’s relatively brief use of terror against the British following their betrayal of the mandate for Palestine (and in the wake of the Holocaust) remains non-PC to this day, however. Days of Fire tells the story of that struggle from the point of view of an objective participant (Katz was a member of the Irgun high command). It still makes for spellbinding reading.

Shmuel Katz may seem anachronistic and politically incorrect to many today (even assuming they know of his life and contribution to Zionism). Some things (hopefully) never go out of fashion, however; common sense, conviction, integrity, honesty, consistency. Shmuel Katz embodied such qualities and more, and has earned an honoured place in the Zionist pantheon, as both someone who shaped events and chronicled and interpreted them, as an activist and a scholar.

Although Katz was also South African-born, he was of a much earlier generation to mine, so I know of him only through his writings. I hope this post will serve as my own tribute to one of the heroes of my youth, even although I strayed far from my early convictions.

Share

Previous post:

Next post: