The Long Shadow of Joseph Trumpeldor

The man who helped found the first all-Jewish combat unit in millennia died exactly 100 years ago. His legacy is grievously under-recognized.

Joseph Trumpeldor in 1905. World History Archive via Alamy.

Joseph Trumpeldor in 1905. World History Archive via Alamy.

Observation
March 2 2020
About the author

Oren Kessler is a Tel Aviv-based journalist. He was previously deputy director for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and is currently writing a book about the 1936-39 Palestinian revolt.


Joseph Trumpeldor is a name familiar throughout Israel. Most of the country’s cities have streets bearing his name (Haifa has two), and Tel Aviv’s most iconic cemetery carries it as well. But beyond the basics—his one arm, his gallant death 100 years ago on March 1, 1920—knowledge of the man tends to dwindle.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Joseph Trumpeldor