MembersWingate: How a British Captain’s Bible Propensity Brought IDF Ascendancy – Part II

Join us as we continue to explore the gripping story of how Orde Wingate, a devout Christian Zionist, laid the foundation of the Israeli army

By David Shishkoff | | Topics: Christian Zionism
Orde Wingate's contribution to what is today the modern fighting force of the IDF is immeasurable. Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90

In Part I we learned unexpectedly that the foundations of Israeli military might were laid by an unorthodox, Bible-toting Christian British officer named Orde Wingate. When posted to Palestine he quickly became an outspoken Zionist along with his wife Lorna. As researcher Aaron Meyer put it, “Wingate identified the Jews as the underdog, was convinced of the essential rightness of the Zionist cause, found it supported by the Bible, and foresaw his own destiny intermingled with the Jewish State.”

Never one to conform blindly to conventional wisdom, Wingate’s fertile mind developed novel ideas about how to counter the Arab rebellion then threatening the British in Palestine and at the same time to empower the returning Jewish exiles with more self-defense capabilities. Initially his superiors did not approve.

Wingate proposed forming combined units of British soldiers and Jewish volunteers to take back the night from the rebel gangs, whereas the British military doctrine had...

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