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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winston Churchill and the Jews

More generally, he left a long record of activism for Jewish causes and was rarely deterred from these, even when he found himself in a distinct minority. When overruled by his own Cabinet, he often sought ways around the problem to help Jews and Zionism. The personal and official papers consulted in these studies confirm the picture of a man who rejected anti-Semitism in public and private, something that can be said of very few of his colleagues. He may therefore still be called, as Rabinowicz described him more than half a century ago, "one of the giants of our time...among the greatest friends the Jewish people have had." If his record on this subject nonetheless looks more qualified than it did to an earlier generation, the fault still lies largely elsewhere - with the innumerable other statesmen and officials who wished Jews and Zionism ill, who failed the Jews far more frequently, more comprehensively, and with fewer, if any, qualms of conscience.