Saturday, December 31, 2005

Margaret Thatcher's Jewish links

Margaret Thatcher appointed Victor Rothschild as her unofficial security adviser. In 1994, Roland Perry's book The Fifth Man claimed that Victor Rothschild may have helped Israel to gain important nuclear secrets.

Jonathan Freedland, 31 10 2003, in The Guardian:

"(Margaret Thatcher had) a Cabinet which included no fewer than five Jews: Lord (David) Young, Malcolm Rifkind, Leon Brittan, Nigel Lawson and Keith Joseph. "More old Estonians than old Etonians," joked the aged Harold Macmillan, a gag that struck many as an attempt by the old Tory guard to set a limit on Jewish progress." Guardian Unlimited The Guardian Profile: Michael Howard

From Jewish tribal review: "As half of one percent of the British population, Jews in the Margaret Thatcher era held 5 of 20 cabinet positions. Her high office Jewish contingent included Nigel Lawson (Chancellor, who resigned over the "Westland Affair"), Leon Brittan (Trade and Industry Secretary), David Young (Minister without portfolio, Malcolm Rifkind (Foreign Secretary), and Keith Joseph...

"I was born to a Lithuanian father and am of Jewish descent," noted Minister David Young.

"My only brother, Stewart, is chairman of the BBC. My father used to say, 'One son deputy chairman of the government, another chairman of the BBC -- that's not bad for immigrants."


FO concern at Thatcher Jewish links

29 December 2005

Foreign Office officials were so concerned about Margaret Thatcher's pro-Israeli sympathies when she became Tory leader they wanted her to break off links with local Jewish groups, according to newly-released official papers.

Files released to the National Archives in Kew, west London, under the 30 year rule reveal that diplomats feared she would be seen by Arab countries as a "prisoner of the Zionists".

One official even suggested that she should give up her Finchley parliamentary seat in north London - with its large Jewish community - for somewhere more palatable to Arab opinion.

The issue of Thatcher's membership of groups such as the Anglo-Israel Friendship League of Finchley and Conservative Friends of Israel was raised during a visit by shadow foreign secretary Lord Carrington to Jordan in 1975.

"He asked the ambassador's advice on this and was assured that such a connection, which would inevitably do much harm in the Arab world, should if at all practicable be severed," noted Michael Tait, an official in the British embassy.

"Carrington agreed that Mrs Thatcher might most painlessly and with some justification get herself off the hook by resigning from all constituency obligations of this sort on the grounds of the rather wider obligations she has now to assume.

"Such a stratagem might resolve the problem in Finchley but if Mrs Thatcher is indeed a prime mover in a wider parliamentary grouping of pro-Israeli MPs then the difficulty would be trickier to bypass.

"While we as Government and not opposition officials may have no particular brief on Mrs Thatcher's behalf it is presumably in the national interest to do what we can to counter Arab fears and suspicions that the leader of HM opposition is already a prisoner of the Zionists."


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