Margaret Thatcher’s premiership changed the face of modern Britain. Yet few people know of the critical role played by Jews in sparking and sustaining her revolution. Was this chance, choice, or simply a reflection of the fact that, as the Iron Lady herself said: ‘I just wanted a Cabinet of clever, energetic people and frequently that turned out to be the same thing’?
In this book, the first to explore Mrs Thatcher’s relationship with Britain’s Jewish community, Robert Philpot shows that her regard did not come simply from representing a constituency with more Jewish voters than any other, but stretched back to her childhood. She saw her own philosophical beliefs expressed in the values of Judaism – and in it, too, she saw elements of her beloved father’s Methodist teachings.
Margaret Thatcher: The Honorary Jew explores Mrs Thatcher’s complex and fascinating relationship with the Jewish community and draws on archives and a wide range of memoirs and exclusive interviews, ranging from former Cabinet ministers to political opponents. It reveals how Immanuel Jakobovits, the Chief Rabbi, assisted her fight with the Church of England and how her attachment to Israel led her to internal battles as a member of Edward Heath’s government and as Prime Minister, as well as examining her relationships with various Israeli leaders.