Unlike Obama, we're thrilled to have a bust of Winston Churchillrid the White House of a bust of Winston Churchill, which had been a gift from Tony Blair to George W. Bush. Here in Jerusalem, we've just gotten our own bust of Sir Winston, who was a strong supporter of Zionism and a Jewish state.
According to Uri Dromi, the director general of Mishkenot Shaananim, there was no more appropriate place in Israel for a bust of Sir Winston than the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the old city at the initiative of Sir Moses Montefiore, who also secured financial support for the project.Maybe one of Churchill's descendants would consider running for Prime Minister of Britain? It would be nice to have someone friendly in that position.
The dedication ceremony took place in Yael Garden, a plaza outside the original houses – refurbished and updated, but retaining an old world charm, and now part of the Mishkenot Guest House.
The bust, cast from an original by sculptor Oscar Nemon – who found sanctuary in Britain after fleeing Nazi Germany – was the brainchild of Labor MK Isaac Herzog and of Anthony Rosenfelder, a trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation.
They were both inspired by the book Churchill and the Jews written by Winston Churchill’s biographer, the noted historian Sir Martin Gilbert.
On the morning prior to the ceremony, Randolph Churchill received a message from Lady Esther Gilbert telling him how thrilled she and her husband were to have Jerusalem as a permanent home for Winston Churchill’s bust, because he had been such a steadfast supporter of the Zionist cause.
British Consul General in Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean remarked that Churchill “knew and loved Jerusalem the Golden” and had even written that no two cities counted more with mankind than Jerusalem and Athens, which had each given so much to civilization.
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