Mor Janashvili

Mor Janashvili is a “hero” for not being deterred by terrorism, says presenter at the Jabotinsky Zionism Conference.

By Beth Stern, United With Israel

Mor Ganashvili, a Jewish resident of Acre (Akko) badly injured during the May riots in mixed cities, received the Jabotinsky Award Sunday for staying in his hometown and not giving in to terrorism.

The Jabotinsky Zionism Conference that celebrates the early Zionist leader’s vision and legacy is sponsored by Israel Hayom and the Betar youth movement, which Ze’ev Jabotinsky founded in the 1920s.

Israel Hayom’s editor in chief, Boaz Bismuth, said upon presenting the certificate to the wheelchair-bound, burly man, “Mor was the target of an unprovoked attack by an Arab mob and was critically wounded. Your daily struggle in the wake of this injury and your recovery show what Zionism in the Land of Israel is.”

“Mor,” he added, “has shown in his recovery that he is a hero. He has not been deterred by terrorism and has continued to live in Acre, and by doing so has shown an exemplary display of Zionism and what it means to live up to the principles of Jabotinsky.”

Jabotinsky founded the nationalist Revisionist Movement as a counter to the socialist model embraced by mainstream Zionists. He advocated armed revolt against the British, even during World War II, due to their White Paper that closed Palestine to Jews desperate to leave Europe.

He was also a proponent of the Jewish right to all of British-mandate Palestine, which included the eastern side of the Jordan River that the British unilaterally lopped off and turned into the Hashemite kingdom of Transjordan.

His most famous adherent was Menachem Begin, who headed the Irgun underground group that fought the British and who eventually became Israel’s first prime minister from the right-wing part of the political spectrum.

Ganashvili was driving in Acre during the early days of Operation Guardian of the Walls when Arab Israelis rioted in support of Hamas’ launching of thousands of rockets indiscriminately into Israel, provoking the IDF’s 11-day retaliation. A hail of rocks suddenly struck his car, and he lost control of the vehicle, hitting one of the attackers.

When he got out of his car, he was savagely beaten by a mob with rocks, sticks and knives. Several local Arab Israelis eventually managed to surround him and protect him until the authorities could arrive and take him to the hospital.

Seven months after the attack, he is still recovering from his injuries. He told the audience that it was a great honor for him to be given the award and hoped that “the message that comes out of this conference is that Israel will never be silent and won’t try to hide what has been unfolding, because we have come to this land to live, not to die.”

President Isaac Herzog sent a pre-recorded video to the conference in which he said, “Jabotinsky knew that only by being proactive and determined can we build our national home, and it is amazing to see just how essential these values are today in Israeli society.”

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