Skip to comments.Margaret Thatcher and Israel
Posted on 04/09/2013 11:03:27 AM PDT by Nachum
With the recent release of "The Iron Lady," Margaret Thatcher is all the rage. It is just over 25 years since Thatcher made her landmark visit to Israel - the first by a serving British prime minister. At the time, in May 1986, Thatcher received a rapturous reception, partly because of her support for the U.S. bombing of Libya a month earlier. The Israelis appreciated her support for what they perceived as an American operation against state-sponsored terrorism.
Yet Thatcher's attitude toward Israel was complex. Despite her clearly warm feelings for British Jews, her outspoken support for Soviet Jewry, and the presence of a remarkable number of Jews in her various cabinets, Thatcher had a nuanced and unemotional approach toward Israel.
She clearly admired Israel as a democracy in a region of autocracy. Initially, she also tended to view it as a strategic buffer against spreading Soviet influence in the Middle East. But her position gradually changed over her 11 years in power.
Exaggerated claims have been made regarding the impact of Thatcher's Finchley constituency, which she represented as an MP. She was sensitive to the views of her many Jewish constituents, but this had little influence over her government's Middle East policy. By the early 1980s, with the resurgence of Cold War tensions, Thatcher feared that the Soviets and others would exploit turmoil in the region to expand their influence there. She began to see certain Israeli policies as a liability for Western interests, fearing they would exacerbate regional instability and undermine the security of Britain's Arab allies. Thatcher strongly agreed with her Foreign Office on the urgent need to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict as a way to defuse regional tensions.
Already, during a difficult meeting with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, in May 1979, Thatcher expressed concern over
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
The clashes that divided Thatcher and Israel
Secret papers reveal the former PMs true feelings about her Israeli counterpart
UK Leftists Celebrate Thatcher’s Death (Did You Expect Different?)
Rush Limbaugh.com | April 9, 2013 | Rush Limbaugh
Posted on 04/09/2013 3:45:23 PM PDT by Kaslin