We Are Com­ing Unafraid: The Jew­ish Legions and the Promised Land in the First World War

Michael Keren and Shlomit Keren , 2010. 200 pp. $39.95 ISBN: 97874255274 – 6
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
As much as we know of Jew­ish his­to­ry, there is still more to tell, still more sto­ries to hear or read, still more lessons to be learned.

This won­der­ful book tells the sto­ry of a lit­tle known part of Jew­ish his­to­ry — the three exclu­sive­ly all-Jew­ish legions that were recruit­ed and trained and fought dur­ing World War I.

The units were formed by the British Army. The Jew­ish fight­ers were recruit­ed from the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, and Eng­land. The vol­un­teers came from all walks of life, rich and poor, edu­cat­ed and street smart, those with expe­ri­ence and those with­out. These Jew­ish men fought togeth­er in the Mid­dle East, they fought for Pales­tine. Some moved on after the War and became founders of the State of Israel. David Ben Guri­on, Israel’s first prime min­is­ter, was a mem­ber of a Jew­ish legion. Yitzchak Ben Zvi, Israel’s sec­ond pres­i­dent, fought in the Jew­ish legions.

Almost all the research infor­ma­tion and the his­tor­i­cal con­tent gath­ered in We Are Com­ing Unafraid comes from let­ters, diaries, and mem­oirs. Authors Michael Keren and Shlomit Keren very lib­er­al­ly excerpt and quote from these sources. The rich first hand descrip­tions pro­vide insight and access to long-ago events, enabling read­ers to trav­el back in time, get the feel of the trench­es and grasp the moti­va­tions of these Jew­ish sol­diers and heroes.
Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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