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Churchill and the Jews [Hardcover]

Martin Gilbert
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Jun 2007
CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS covers the whole life of this greatest of Britons -- from his youth, when he was shocked by the anti-Semitism displayed during the Dreyfus Affair, to his last meeting with David Ben-Gurion in 1960, when he gave Ben-Gurion an article he had written about Moses. In the intervening years, during which Churchill cemented his place in history, his affinity with the Jews remained undimmed, even though his championing of Zionist issues and interests was often like a red rag to the bull of the British Establishment. One of those closest to Churchill once confided to the author that "Winston had one fault -- he was too fond of Jews." What does this mean? How did this fondness manifest itself? Exploring all aspects of his life and career, CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS sheds new light on a key figure of the twentieth century and how his attitudes affected not just the prosecution of the Second World War but the establishment of a Jewish state that followed it.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (4 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743294939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294935
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sir Martin Gilbert is one of our most distinguished historians. Born in 1936, he was appointed Churchill's official biographer in 1968. Since then he has written numerous bestselling works of biography and history, including his seminal six-volume life of Winston Churchill. For more information visit www.martingilbert.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A staunch supporter of Zionism 4 May 2008
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
From the vast materials that he has accumulated about Churchill, Sir Martin Gilbert has now selected material relating to Churchill's relationship with the Jews. Throughout his life, Churchill was a staunch supporter of the Jews and of the Zionist cause. His father had many friends among the wealthy leaders of Anglo-Jewish society - Lord Rothschild, Sir Ernest Cassel, Baron de Hirsch - friendships which his son inherited. Churchill entered Parliament in 1901, where he strongly opposed both the Conservatives' Aliens Bill of 1904 and the Liberals' Aliens Act of 1906. At the 1906 General Election he had become MP for North-West Manchester, where a third of the electorate was Jewish (and where he first met Chaim Weizmann, who had settled in Manchester in 1904.) Long before the Balfour Declaration in November 1917, Churchill spoke up in favour of Zionism, and he was of course an enthusiastic supporter of that document. When he was made Colonial Secretary in 1921, he became responsible for Mandate Palestine.

At that time Arab opposition to the Balfour Declaration and to Jewish immigration into Palestine was already very strong, and in Britain also there were second thoughts about the wisdom of the Declaration and attempts to undo it. Churchill vigorously opposed these, admired the contribution the Jews had already made to Palestine, and insisted that the Arabs would themselves benefit from this. He had no intention of limiting immigration or of allowing any representative institutions to Palestine as a whole because the Arabs would have a majority there. The Churchill White Paper of 1922 reaffirmed this policy, but also said that `the Jewish National Home in Palestine is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great read 16 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
sir martin wrote the full story of churchill relations with the jews here from chain weizmann to ben gurion . from 1901 to 1964 or so ., lord randolph had many jewish friends . and emery reves churchill literary agent was jewish . i think sir martin is one too ... so like churchill said the jews know that i am their friend
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A pivotal and scholarly study by one of the greatest historians of the 20th century and official biographer of Winston Churchill into Churchill's very special relationship with the Jewish people and his support for the Jewish cause and the Jewish national liberation movement- Zionism.
Churchill's father Randolph was himself berated by associates because of his friendship with individual Jews.
Winston Churchill would take this friendship further into the public domain and was a supporter of the Balfour Declaration promising a restoration of the Land of Israel to it's ancient inhabitants the Jews.
Churchill saw the evils of both Bolshevism/Communism and Nazism and led the fight against both diabolical systems.
He rightly pointed to the cruel excesses carried out by Bolshevik commissars and foresaw the great struggle for the soul that would last to the current day between Zionism and Communism. The fact that the Zionist cause would distract young Jews from advancing Communism and give them an alternative focus-that of rebuilding the Jewish ancient home in their ancient homeland- the drive of Communism for world domination, is in my opinion the real root of the hatred of Leftist Jews for Zionism and Israel.
Churchill endorsed Zionism and charged Jewish Bolsheviks with engineering a world wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization'. While Churchill was correct to condemn Bolshevism and Jewish-born Bolshevik criminals, his description of Bolshevism as a 'Jewish movement' was an anomaly in his usual friendly attitude to the Jewish people, and was a gross exaggeration and generalization.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and exciting 23 Jun 2014
This book illustrates a neglected area of Churchill's personality.

He fought all his life for a Jewish state recognising that the Jews were needed within the orbit of Western political life rather than their embracing the Communist world.

That an aristocratic Tory like Churchill realised this and managed not to succumb to the visceral anti-Semitism of his contemporaries is a mark of the man's greatness. That this aspect of his political life has been quietly forgotten about and almost 'air brushed' out of Tory Party history says far more about the British political system than most people care to recognise.
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23 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazong story 24 Jun 2007
This story of Churchill's relationship with 'the Jews' stems from the author's own magnificent biographies of Churchill. Winston Churchill was not an Philosemite so much as he was a decent person who understood the plight of European Jews. He befriended many Jews in England and had Jews among his constituency. He supported and was integral to the Balfour declartion and the creation of the British mandate for Palestine. He was a friend of Wiezman and supported Zionism.

Most importantly Churchill was an early opponent of Hitler and he based his opposition mainly on his hatred of the racist and anti-semitic features of Nazism. This is clear from the fact that Churchill admired Mussolini in the 1920s, he found Hitler to be a monster and he was prescient in his view that Hitler's rule would lead to mass killing and suppression of the Jews.

Churchill supported efforts to save Jews in the Second World War. After the war, in the wake of the Lehi and Irgun Jewish underground attacks on the British forces in Palestine Churchill still remained a supporter of Zionism and supported recognition of Israel and opposed Nasser. Churchill was different than most Englishment of his period in his understanding that Jews were equals and people and that Jews deserved sympathy. Even today Churchill's views on Zionism and the right of Jews to have their own country(self-determination) puts him at odds with most of his countryment, which is why Churchill was so quintisentially American in his view of Jews.

Seth J. Frantzman
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