web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Thatcher Remembered For Befriending UK Jews And Maintaining Strong Ties With Israel


Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

WASHINGTON – History will remember former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for relentlessly facing down communism and helping to turn back more than three decades of socialist advance in her country.

But it was Thatcher’s embrace of British Jews and insistent promotion of Jews in her Conservative Party that inspired an outpouring of tributes from Jewish and Israeli leaders following her death Monday at 87.

Thatcher, who suffered from dementia in her later years, died peacefully after suffering a stroke, her spokesperson said.

Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister, from 1979 to 1990, helped thrust Britain back onto the international stage following its post-World War II years of end-of-empire angst and political turmoil.

For the country’s Jews, however, her naming of several of their number to Cabinet positions and her determined pushback against anti-Jewish grumbling among the Conservative Party’s backbenchers made what once was unimaginable: the possibility of a Jewish prime minister.

“Lady Thatcher was always extremely supportive and admiring of the ethos of the British Jewish community,” Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told JTA.

Wineman said the mutual admiration was rooted in personal history. In the 1930s, Thatcher’s family took in an Austrian Jewish refugee. In 1959, Thatcher was elected to Parliament representing Finchley, a north London constituency with a large Jewish population.

“She counted a number of Jews among her closest advisers and confidants, and at one point nearly a quarter of her Cabinet were of Jewish origins,” Wineman said.

Moshe Maor, a Hebrew University political science professor whose expertise is Britain, said Thatcher admired the British Jewish community’s self-reliance, an ethos she embraced as she dedicated herself to weaning Britons off public assistance.

“Thatcher admired hard work, and the Jewish community was not dependent on the state,” Maor said. “It was structured in such a way that Jews help others in their community. That was the culture Thatcher tried to advance.”

It was one also embraced by Britain’s late chief rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits, whom Thatcher elevated to the House of Lords. Frustrated by protests among Christian leaders of the rapid pace of her economic reforms, she increasingly turned for spiritual reinforcement to Jakobovits, who became widely known as “Thatcher’s rabbi.”

Thatcher’s rule coincided with social changes among the country’s 350,000 Jews. Once proudly working class, British Jews by the 1980s had become increasingly middle class, more likely to be self-employed and alarmed at the leftward lurch of the leadership in the Labor Party.

“She got on quite well with Jews,” Wineman said. “She said once that she thought she probably had more constituents in Tel Aviv than in Finchley.”

Thatcher never hesitated to advance the careers of talented young Jews in her party – among them Leon Brittan, a secretary of trade; Nigel Lawson, a chancellor of the exchequer; Edwina Currie, a health minister; Malcolm Rifkind, a secretary of state for Scotland; and Michael Howard, a secretary of employment.

Rifkind went on to become foreign minister. Howard became home secretary and then opposition leader, burying forever the notion that a British leader had to come from the country’s official faith, Anglicanism.

Thatcher’s embrace of the Jewish community did not make its romance with the Tories a permanent one. Tony Blair’s purges of the Labor left after his 1997 election helped draw back some Jewish voters. But Howard’s precedent helped set the stage for ascension of the current leader of the Labor Party, Ed Miliband, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants.

Thatcher also earned kudos for her robust foreign policy and maintaining strong ties with Israel at a time of tension between the Jewish state and other European nations. “She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination, of conviction, of strength; a woman of greatness,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Monday. “She was a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish people. She inspired a generation of political leaders.”

Thatcher restored the notion of Britain shining everywhere the sun rose when she launched a war in 1982 to keep Argentina from claiming the Falkland Islands. After the war was won Thatcher was ready to take on the mantle of Iron Lady vs. Iron Curtain. She became President Ronald Reagan’s indispensable partner in squeezing the life out of Soviet hegemony.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Thatcher Remembered For Befriending UK Jews And Maintaining Strong Ties With Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest News Stories
John Kerry

Bibi’s cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, but still considering 12-hour break.

IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, hy'd, who fell in action Sunday, July 20, 2014 with six comrades when his APC was hit by an anti-tank missile fired by terrorists in Gaza. Declared dead Friday, July 25, 2014. May God avenge his blood.

Hamas exploited the fog of war: they did not kidnap Shaul Aron, he was killed in action.

A soldier called up to talk to my 5 year old son…

An Arab driver, driving into a group of Jews at a Gush Etzion bus stop.

An Arab driver swerved into a group of women and girls standing at a Gush Etzion Junction (Tzomet HaGush) bus stop.

1st Sgt. Yair Ashkenazi, Reserves, (36) HY”D, was killed this morning during operations in northern Gaza.

11:45am Rocket alerts, including Tel Aviv and Lod. The smell of a Cease fire is in the air. 11:47am 07-25-2014 Ramla, Lod 11:47am 07-25-2014 Tel Aviv – Yafo , Bat Yam, Bnei Brak / Givaatayim / Petach Tikva, Dan coastal plain, Kiryat Ono, Elad, Rosh Ha’yin, Ramla, Lod, Shoham, Kfar Chabad 11:47am 07-25-2014 Tel Aviv […]

Chabad has provided a list of all the soldiers injured so far in Operation Protective Edge, so you can add them to your prayers.

We’re waiting to hear back if there will be a cease fire this afternoon. The terms grant Hamas political legitimacy.

11:10am Massive number of rocket alerts: 11:10am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Ashkelon 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Ashkelon, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Ashkelon 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Ashkelon, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Zikim […]

The IDF has released a list of senior Gazan terrorists who have been taken out…

Thousands of Israelis in Turkey have been trapped there due to the war with Gaza.

Abbas faces the acid test of his clinging to power, but he is forced himself into a lose-lose-corner.

Golani 12 Platoon commander, Shai Siman-Tov, was seriously injured yesterday,

The IDF has begun to systematically tear apart the roots of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure

Amb. Ron Dermer takes on CNN’s coverage of Hamas, and wins.

Hip Hop musicians create a song and video to express how they feel about the current Arab/Israel war.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/europe/thatcher-remembered-for-befriending-uk-jews-and-maintaining-strong-ties-with-israel/2013/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: