In 1923, after despairing of the idea of the Hebrew battalions established within the British army, Ze’ev Jabotinsky founded Betar- A Hebrew Youth Alliance named after Yosef Trumpeldor.
The Betar movement was established on the occasion of Jabotinsky’s visit to Riga, Latvia, in November of that year.
During his visit to Riga, Jabotinsky gave a series of lectures on Jewish activism, presenting his program for organized military training for young Jews, who will assemble armed defense units in Israel.
The movement’s name, “Brit Yosef Trumpeldor”, is derived both from the name of Yosef Trumpeldor which symbolizes Jewish warfare and Jewish heroism in modern times, and from the name of the Old City Beitar, which was the last stronghold of Bar Kochba’s army and symbolizes Jewish heroism and war to death in antiquity.
“The role of Betar is quite simple, and yet very difficult – to create the same Jewish type that the people need in order to establish the Jewish state more quickly and more efficiently. In other words – to create the “normal” or “healthy” citizen of the Jewish nation. Indeed, this is where the great difficulty lies: because today’s Jewish people are “abnormal” and “unhealthy”, because life of exile in all its extent hinders us from educating healthy and normal citizens. During the two thousand years of exile, the Jewish people ceased to concentrate their collective will in one main and primary role; He ceased to act as one whole and one nation, refrained from standing on his own two feet with a weapon in hand facing the dangers in front of him. He got used to shouting lips and forgot the deeds, in his life disorder and disorganization took over, negligence became his constitution in his private and public life.
Therefore, the Betar education marches up the mountain, and it will be a long time before all the Betarian, in their conduct and behavior, will reach the district of his desire. Because it is sublime and noble, it is a beautiful sign of Betar, which he always remembers and strives to reach, at least in slow steps.
Jabotinsky, founder of the Betar organization (Brit Yosef Truplador in Eretz Israel)
Jabotinsky instilled the theory of Betar in the seven principles of the vow:
Zion: Only the Land of Israel has the power to solve the problem of the people of Israel and alleviate its distress in diaspora.
One-Flag: The fundamental principle that distinguishes Betar from other movements is the “Had-Nes” (monism, One-Flag).
The only flag, the supreme order and the sole ruler of the movement, is the ideal of the establishment of the Jewish state Jabotinsky believed that
“two ideals are absurd, just as two gods, two altars and two temples”
If Zionism is an ideal, there is no other independent aspiration and equal rights, another generation can be subject to it.”
Hebrew language: The Betar movement sees the Hebrew language as the only and eternal language of the people of Israel. A Jew who does not know Hebrew – is not a complete Jew.
Elegance: A word that entails external beauty, pride, way of life, loyalty and many other lofty values, is the embodiment of humanity..
The “Beitar Hadar” must be the aspiration of each and every one, every step and every action that the Beitar takes must be considering it.
Recruitment: The Betar must be ready for any service for the people. This concept was taken by Jabotinsky from the role model of Trumpeldor.
Defensive: One of Betar’s ideological principles is military readiness.
Betar demands from all its members to complete military training and to know how to use weapons in order to be ready at all times to respond personally to the call for defense.
Obedience: Voluntary discipline. The willingness to obey has the effect of contributing strength to the efforts of the people and maintaining its stability and national unity.