(HAARETZ) — Winston Churchill was probably the most prominent non-Jewish supporter of the Zionist movement throughout the first half of the 20th century, yet his memory is barely commemorated in Israel.
This was rectified Sunday when the Jerusalem Foundation, in cooperation with the local municipality, unveiled a new bust of Churchill in the Moses Montefiore Garden at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in the center of the capital.
The relationship between Churchill and the Zionist movement goes back to the warm friendships he and his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had with Jewish figures in the late 19th century. These friendships were noted by many of their contemporaries in a period during which anti-Semitism was still prevalent, and even fashionable, among the British upper class.
The young Churchill’s relationship with the British Jewish community was taken to a different level in 1904 when he was elected to the House of Commons representing the constituency of Manchester North West, where a third of the voters were Jewish. His biggest supporters were the leaders of the Jewish community, and he and his wife Clementine became regular visitors to Jewish events.