I love that this Israeli self-defense group (in NYC, sounds like?) named itself after the Jewish Legion. But as the Resident Legion Guy on twitter, I have to correct this part of an otherwise wonderful piece (I have three separate Tablet tabs open rn, such a great pub)
They trained in Egypt, but many of the expelled were in the US--Ben Gurion was the one who recruited my ggf in Cleveland. Many of the East European refugees thus were not in the Russian battalion of the Legion b/c they had, like my fam, gone to America first.
They were thus put in the North American battalion, mainly the 39th Royal Fusiliers. But language was a problem because the ones who came from America weren't Americans! Americans weren't allowed yet to fight in WWI even for Brits, only resident aliens.
Thank God for the Canadians, I guess! At one point a commander gave an order to cease fire at target practice and one soldier went to pick up the shells when he was shot in the arse (possibly arm, depending on the diary you read). A Yiddish language mixup that became legendary.
Anyway, this group trained in Canada and stopped through the UK before training in Egypt at the EEF base, where most of the Legionnaires trained. Eventually there was a Palestinian battalion raised but they missed combat (and in fact this is a story for a later thread).
Also all were not young. Col. Margolin, who led the 39th, also fought at Gallipoli. He was Russian, made aliyah, then went to Australia and fought with Australian forces. Laid up in hospital in London, he was told Australia would not send him back into combat. Fun plot twist here
Jabotinsky stopped by Margolin's hospital bed and said I have an idea you might be interested in. So Margolin got transferred to the British troops, took up with EEF (leaving his pension behind, I think--and maybe taking pay cut) and commanded the 39th.
Margolin's parents were buried in Palestine. After the Jewish Legion took Es Salt so Allenby could go up the shore line to Megiddo, Margolin was made military governor of a town in historic Palestine--a Jew! Then he visited his parents' graves in a colonel's uniform.
When he took command of the 39th Royal Fusiliers, I believe he was nearing 40 years old. From what I can make out so far, appears under his command served my ggf along with Ben Gurion, Ben Tzvi, and Yitzhak Rabin's father (I think he was in Chicago when recruited?). Not positive.
Ben Gurion's roommate--well, that's also a tale for another time. Just wanted to tweet some correctives to the Israeli gentleman's well intentioned but misguided impression of the makeup of the Jewish Legion.

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More from @SethAMandel

18 Jun
Absolutely sparkling essay by @b_judah on something I've thought about so much while reading modern Jewish American fiction. Ben puts it into words so perfectly: American Jewish writers are bored by their lives and experiences unherd.com/2021/06/how-am…
I'll add one thought to @b_judah's phenomenal piece, which is that the obsession with Israel by the *characters* in these books takes the form of pilgrimage and redemption. Israel is the escape, Israel is the answer. And yet, this is from Zionism-agnostics in many cases!
For example: Nathan Englander's protagonist in KADDISH DOT COM. Both protagonists follow that route in Nicole Krauss's FOREST DARK, leaving their very successful emptiness for Israel. Same with Cherise Wolas's THE FAMILY TABOR (a better version of Krauss's book). plus--
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I'm usually against reboots but this one looks intriguing ImageImage
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In episode 3 Bibi and Mansour Abbas find out they're related.
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Gonna take this opportunity to briefly explain that the Squad's coordinated talking point--talk to us privately not publicly--is disingenuous and false. Ron notes the hypocrisy of Cori Bush but it's been true of Omar as well, and it's important
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are we witnessing the formation of the very first Democratic spine? Historic moment.
The question at hand is: Is there one single person in the Democratic Party who supports Jews' right to live in safety more than he or she fears a mean tweet from AOC.
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I feel like you maybe don't quite understand the purpose of subtitles? Image
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