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Old 04 January 2009, 10:36 PM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
Join Date: 15 October 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 11,841
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Well, it turns out that Churchill did say it. It's on hardback page 120 of Sir Martin Gilbert's eleven pages of quotations from, and discussion of, Churchill's secret testimony before the 1937 Peel Commission on the future of Palestine. The context was that Churchill was being pressed on the question of why Palestine, which at the time had a population only 27 percent Jewish, shouldn't be self-governing. He was accused of only being in favor of democracy in Palestine when there was a Jewish majority. Given the widespread anti-Jewish pogroms in Palestine at the time, I think the answer is obvious: a self-governing Palestine would then have stopped immigration of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, been massively discriminatory against Jews in other ways, and might even have resulted in the wiping out of Palestine's Jews. A self-governing Israeli state, while imperfect, treats its minorities much better. Of course, this is hardly complementary to Palestinian Arabs as a class, and some might like it no more than they like Churchill's racist explanation.

In his testimony, Churchill did make the point that Jews fleeing the Nazis would be stopped by a Palestinian democracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
I fail to see how pointing out the less admirable qualities of a famous person is trying to make him seem like an ass, much in the same way that pointing out the few good things I feel Margaret Thatcher did for Britain is not me an effort to have her canonised.
Consider Karl Marx:


Quote:
Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew.

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. . . .

The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.
Now what would possibly possess me to pick out such an obnoxious (but scrupulously sourced) quotation from Marx's large body of works? You guessed it -- I am trying to make Marx look like an ass. Now, if Amy Iggulden really was trying to present a balanced picture, I apologize, although a web search fails to find her ever writing about another side of him. As for the idea that she is just presenting a voice never heard, I don't know about Britain today, but wasn't anti-Churchill historian A.J.P. Taylor a fixture on British television from the 1950's to 1980's?

Gilbert gives a balanced picture and is as trustworthy a scholar as I can think of.
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