Jabotinsky, Vladimir(yăb'ətĭn`skē), 1880–1940, Jewish Zionist leader, b. Russia. A fiery orator and an accomplished writer in several languages, he was a militant Zionist and a persistent advocate of Jewish self-defense against pogroms in Russia. He formed the first Jewish self-defense unit in Palestine during the clashes with the Arabs in 1920; this brought him into open conflict with the British. He strongly condemned the official policy of the Zionist organization, charging it with weakness and appeasement of the British in Palestine. In 1925 he founded the Zionist Revisionist organization, which advocated large-scale Jewish immigration into Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River. At the beginning of World War II he worked for the creation of a Jewish army. He was the author of several books, including The Story of the Jewish Legion (tr. 1945).
See biographies by J. B. Schechtman (2 vol., 1956–61) and H. Halkin (2014).