Friday, August 9, 2013

Jabotinsky - No Apologies

I have attempted to offer an updated translation of an excerpt of Jabotinsky's famous No Apologies.

For many years Jews have sat in the dock of the accused. That is not their fault, but what is indisputably their fault is that they hold themselves to their role as the accused.

We constantly offer full-throated apologies... Instead of turning our backs on our accusers, as we have nothing to apologize for and no one to apologize to, we swear that we had nothing to do with it... and enter once again into the role of the defendant, we press our hands to our hearts, with trembling fingers we leaf through the old findings of our innocence from past verdicts that no one is interested in...

How much longer will this go on? Tell me my friends, aren't you tired of this nonsense and isn't it time to respond to these and all future accusations, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by folding our hands and clearly and coldly saying, in the only form of argument that this crowd understands, "Go to Hell"?

Who are we that we must defend ourselves to them and who are they to interrogate us? What sense is there in this comedy of justice conducted over an entire people where the verdict is always known ahead of time?

What sense is there in participating in this comedy of our own free will, sanctifying this sordid procedure of torments with our defensive speeches? Our defense is pointless and hopeless. Our enemies will not believe it and the apathetic will not hear it.

Our habit of constantly, eagerly apologizing to every mob has already done us a great deal of harm and will do even more harm in the future.

Everyone is used to hearing from our lips the piteous tones of the accused. The tragic consequence of this condition confirms the famous saying, "The lady doth protest too much"...

Each charge causes such an absurd upheaval among us that everyone can't help but think, "They're always afraid because of a guilty conscience."

It's our willingness to take an oath at any moment that convinces everyone that we are suspect. We think that our readiness to turn out our pockets and be searched at any moment without a word of protest will eventually convince mankind of our integrity; "See what gentlemen we are. We have nothing to hide."

But this is a crude error. True gentlemen will not allow anyone, on any pretext to search their homes, their pockets or their souls.

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