(The image of Winston Churchill which I have used to accompany this rant, is taken from the movie ‘The Darkest Hour’ which to my mind sums up exactly the position we are in currently. Darkness, dictatorship, and repression are rapidly descending on the State of Israel.)
Mention the name Winston Churchill and depending on the age group of the audience, the name will be met with adoration or hate.
For the ignorant woke brigade, Churchill is a monster, a murderer, and a racist.
For those of us who are now in our ‘golden years’, Churchill is a hero. And yes, like all of us, he had his faults. But, it is because of Churchill and other like-minded people I can sit at my PC and write these words. And it is because of Churchill that the woke brigade lives in a world where, for the most part, free speech and thought are allowed, encouraged, and tolerated.
The woke brigade criticize Winston Churchill for his actions during certain events in history, which they believe resulted in the loss of human lives. For example, they argue that Churchill was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 800,000 to 3.8 million Bengalis who perished from starvation, malaria, and other diseases aggravated by malnutrition, population displacement, unsanitary conditions, and lack of health care during the Bengal famine of 1943. It is critical to keep in mind that the devastating famine was caused by a combination of factors including a cyclone, wartime inflation, and government policies.
It can not be denied that Churchill diverted resources from India to support the British war effort, despite the severe food shortage in Bengal.
For those who are educationally challenged, 1943 was smack bang in the middle of World War II, and Churchill as well as other Allied leaders were somewhat occupied with other issues. That is not to make excuses for events, but it is worth remembering that it is easy to look back on actions while sitting comfortably and criticize measures that at the time appeared to be correct.
Churchill’s actions during World War I are also heavily criticized particularly his 1915 Gallipoli Campaign which cost the lives of 130,000 British and Empire soldiers, as well Turkish (Otterman) troops.
And while Churchill was certainly the archet of the Campaign, the failure is not his alone.
Further back in history, some criticize Churchill for his actions during the Boer War in South Africa, where he ordered the use of concentration camps to imprison Boer civilians, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people.
Not to make light of the above, it is worth remembering that US President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830, which embraced the idea of genocide and ethnic cleansing as a solution to what would later be called the ‘(native) Indian problem’. And the US Army employed ‘emigration depots’ as an integral part of the official US Indian removal policy.
While Churchill is regularly praised for his leadership during World War II, some people, as I have outlined above view his actions during these other events as morally questionable and therefore may refer to him as a murderer. However, it is important to note that there are differing opinions on Churchill's legacy. For my generation, he is a hero for his contributions to British history.
Winston Churchill was generally regarded as one of the most powerful and inspiring orators of the 20th century. Below are three examples of his orator skills and the galvanizing effort his words had on listeners.
"Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat" (May 13, 1940): This speech was Churchill's first as Prime Minister, and it set the tone for his leadership during World War II. In it, he acknowledged the difficulties that lay ahead, but also expressed his confidence in the British people, stating, "You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalog of human crime."
"We Shall Fight on the Beaches" (June 4, 1940): This speech was given by Churchill just a few days after the evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II. In it, he reassured the British people that despite the setback, Britain would continue to fight against Nazi Germany, declaring, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
"Finest Hour" (June 18, 1940): Churchill's "Finest Hour" speech is considered one of the most iconic speeches in British history. It was delivered on June 18, 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, during which the Royal Air Force (RAF) fought against the German Luftwaffe in the skies over Britain. At the time, Britain was the last remaining European power standing against Nazi Germany, which had already conquered much of Europe.
Churchill's speech was a call to arms, urging the British people to rally behind their country in its hour of need. He acknowledged the gravity of the situation but also expressed his faith in the people of Britain and their ability to overcome adversity.
"The Iron Curtain" (March 5, 1946): In this speech, Churchill warned of the dangers posed by the Soviet Union following the end of World War II. He famously declared, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent."
(I recently used Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ metaphor to describe the curtain that from north to south is rapidly falling across Israel and heralding an era of darkness and despair.)
I’ve invested many lines in praise of Winston Churchill. Why? Simply put Israel needs a Churchillian figure to lead the country back from the abyss. To rally the people of Israel to fight and overcome the tyranny being inflicted on the country by ultra-rightwing zealots.
Just when I thought matters could not get any crazy, a sledgehammer weald by another crazy come hurtling into focus.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of cohorts have passed legislation that repeals the prior order for the evacuation of four (Jewish/Israeli) West Bank settlements.
This follows dipstick Bezalel Smotrich, Israel’s ministry of finance who blatantly proclaimed that the Palestinian people were “an invention” from the last century. https://www.timesofisrael.com/far-right-lawmaker-bezalel-smotrich-declares-himself-his-family-real-palestinians/
And then yesterday the ultra-rightwing MK, Orit Strock, who no doubt needs medical attention urgently for mental shortcomings proudly announces that following the re-establishment of the four West Bank settlements:
“Then we retake Gaza: Hardline minister hails repeal of West Bank Disengagement Orit Strock says eventual return to the Strip ‘will involve many casualties’ but it is part of the Land of Israel and must be resettled” https://www.timesofisrael.com/then-we-retake-gaza-hardline-minister-hails-repealing-of-west-bank-disengagement/
The poor woman is deranged and needs locking up posthaste, for her safety.
Israel’s opposition leaders; Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz, Merav Michaeli, and Avigdor Liberman are decent people, but, in my opinion, they lack drive, leadership skills, charisma, charm, and oratory skills.
Maybe like me, you are of a generation that remembers Ronald Reagan or further back in history Franklin Roovsovlt.
OK, so Reagan was a former actor, but think how both men used their voices and projected personality, leadership, and assurance.
UK singer Bonnie Tyler, who is actually from Wales, had a massive 1984 hit with a song entitled ‘Holding Out for a Hero’.
The opening words of the song are “Where have all the good men gone”. (And good men is a metaphor for both men and women.)
So, where have all the good men gone?
Is there not one person in Israel who can rise to the challenge and show leadership?
We don’t need a Messiah-type figure or a biblical Prophet. With Pesach (Passover) just days away, we perhaps need our own Moshes to lead us, to smoke the tyrants that would engulf us, and to bring us to our Camelot.
Currently, we are being engulfed in a sea of despair which is rising daily and threatening to drown us.
We need a Churchillian hero, now!