How Clement Attlee Saved a Jewish Child from Hitler

Nov. 27 2018

If not an anti-Semite himself, Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of Britain’s Labor party is at the very least someone who finds anti-Semitism entirely unobjectionable. But it was not ever thus. As has been made public only recently, Clement Attlee—Labor’s then-leader—took a German Jewish child named Paul Willer into his home in 1939. Rajeev Syal tells the story:

Willer was raised with his younger brother by his Jewish mother, Franziska, in the Bavarian town of Würzburg. Their father, Johannes, a Christian, left their mother in 1933, began a new relationship, and declared himself to be a Nazi sympathizer. Willer’s mother, a doctor, struggled to find work and look after her children. She decided she must leave Germany after witnessing the anti-Semitic violence of Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. . . .

Her plan was for all three to escape to London, while she would retrain as a midwife. But with no money . . . she could leave [Germany and enter Britain] only if she found someone to guarantee to look after her children. [She] wrote to a German church official in January 1939, “I am in such despair and so despondent that I can’t see a way out.” A faint hope eventually came after her London-based brother Otto contacted the Reverend William Hewett, . . . who then found two local families willing to take a boy each.

One of these families was the Attlees, who were regular churchgoers and occupied Heywood, a beautiful home with a walled garden. At the time, Attlee was fifty-six and had been the leader of the Labor party for four years. Europe was sliding closer to war and Labor was opposing the policy of appeasement being pursued by the then-prime minister, Neville Chamberlain.

Attlee’s decision in 1947, when he was prime minister, to end the British Mandate over Palestine would make possible the creation of the state of Israel, although his government would hardly distinguish itself as a friend to the Jews in the process.

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Read more at Guardian

More about: History & Ideas, Holocaust, Labor Party (UK), Neville Chamberlain, United Kingdom

Maintaining Security Cooperation with the PA Shouldn’t Require Ignoring Its Support for Terror

In accordance with legislation passed last year, the Israeli government has begun to deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) an amount proportional to what the PA pays to terrorists and their families. Last year, a similar law went into effect in the U.S., suspending all payments to the PA so long as it continues its “pay-for-slay” policy. The PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, has retaliated by refusing to accept any tax revenue collected by Israel—raising concerns that the PA will become insolvent and collapse—while insisting that payments to terrorists and their families are sacrosanct. To Yossi Kuperwasser, Abbas’s behavior amounts to mere extortion—which has already worked on the Europeans to the tune of 35 million euros. He urges Israel and the U.S. not to submit:

Abbas [believes] that influential Israeli and European circles, including the security establishment, view strengthening the Palestinian Authority, and certainly preventing its collapse, as being in Israel and Europe’s best interests. They will therefore give in to the pressure he exerts through the creation of an artificial economic crisis. . . .

[T]he PA leadership’s insistence on continuing wage payments to terrorists and their families, even at the price of an artificial economic crisis, shows once again that . . . the Oslo Accords did not reflect a substantive change in Palestinian national aspirations or in the methods employed to achieve them. . . . If paying wages to terrorists (including the many terrorists whose attacks took place after the Oslo Accords were in force) is the raison d’être for the PA’s establishment, as Abbas seems to be saying, . . . one cannot help asking whether Israel has to insist on maintaining the PA’s existence at any price.

True, Israel cooperates on security issues with the PA, but that serves the interests of both sides. . . . The short-term benefits Israel gains from this security cooperation, [however], are of less value than the benefits enjoyed by the Palestinians, and worth even less when measured against the long-term strategic damage resulting from Israel’s resigning itself to the constant incitement, the promotion of terror, and the political struggle against Israel carried out by the PA. Israel should not do anything to hasten the PA’s breakdown, because it has no desire to rule over the Palestinians and run their day to day lives, but it also should not feel more obligated to the PA’s continued existence than do the Palestinians themselves, thereby leaving itself open to continuous extortion.

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Read more at Israel Institute for Strategic Studies

More about: Israeli Security, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror