Sir Martin's Newsletter & Bookclub December 2020

Churchill's Lessons of Leadership
Sir Martin's December Books
Churchill, The Power of Words
Extracts from Churchill's most powerful and important speeches, each introduced with Sir Martin's insightful comments

Arab-Israel Conflict Atlas
Is the political map of the Middle East changing?  Here's the background to this age-old conflict
 For ebook discount, enter DC 360
        at checkout. 
Sir Martin's Blog
Sir Martin on Churchill and Leadership

“Mansbridge One on One”

A CBC Interview by Peter Mansbridge

Published in Finest Hour, #135, Summer 2007
1800 words/6 minute read

Peter Mansbridge is a British-born Canadian journalist, for twenty years the chief correspondent and anchor of The National, CBC Television’s premier nightly newscast.  This November 2006 interview is published by kind permission of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Peter Mansbridge and Sir Martin Gilbert.  Finest Hour thanks Mike Campbell in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for arranging permission with the CBC.  (And thank you to David Freeman, editor of Finest Hour, for allowing this reprint.)

Mr. Mansbridge began by saying that although he would like to talk about all of Sir Martin’s thirty books on Sir Winston Churchill, the show was unfortunately only a half hour long.  He then asked Sir Martin what defines leadership and great leaders.

Sir Martin Gilbert
I think a great leader has to have a sense of moral purpose, he has to know exactly where he stands on the crucial issues of the day, and, if he is going to be a leader of a western democracy, he must have a real sense that democracy matters, that it has to be defended; a real conviction in his beliefs, and, of course, an ability to transmit his convictions.  There are many people who have intense and good convictions but, for one reason or another, do not have the means to transmit them, to get them across — to you and me.  Continue Reading


Sir Martin in the News
“The Jewish Story Explained”

based on Sir Martin's book Letters to Auntie Fori
The Story of the Jewish People
Watch the latest videos:

The Macedonian Conquest, the Maccabees, and the Menorah

Was Herod Really So GREAT?

Read: Auntie Fori
                     From Esther Gilbert                                                        
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

8 March 1948 – 7 November 2020
I was sitting by the window which overlooks the Rocky Mountains above Canmore, Alberta when I received a call from a friend that Jonathan Sacks had died.  Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Member of the British House of Lords Baron Sacks of Aldgate, scholar, teacher, friend.  Tears came before words could be formed let alone uttered.  The mind freezes, the heart pounds, silence reigns.  The tears come, and then slowly, the breathing returns.
Like Martin, Jonathan Sacks left a great legacy, a wealth of scholarship in his published books, erudition articulated in his many videos, scholars and rabbis who he mentored, and legions of devotees. 
Continue Reading


Information to join the memorial for the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Read: Auntie Fori
Read Gilbert 
Baby Steps
700 words/3 ½ minute read

In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Although there have been low level under-the-radar communication for many years between these two Middle Eastern countries, this is the first such meeting at a high level. 

Welcome news though this “normalisation” is for many who have waited decades for Israel to be recognized and accepted by her Arab neighbours, several large questions remain to be answered. 
Continue Reading

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Sir Martin's Web Citings
The Jerusalem Post,, “Should Jews celebrate Balfour Day?” by Eli Kavon, posted 1 November 2020:
“While news of the Balfour Declaration electrified the Jewish world, the joy would soon be tempered by political reality.  The Ottoman Empire collapsed and was soon replaced by the British Mandate.  There can be no doubt that the power of the British Empire played a major role in England’s promises to the Jews.  Historian Sir Martin Gilbert states in his 1998 history of Israel that Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion 'sounded a cautionary note' to the news of the declaration.”

Read: Israel, A History
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Come Zoom with us!   

Shirli Gilbert 
Professor of Modern Jewish History,
Academic Director of the Centre 

Click on lectures for more information:

January Lectures:
January 14:  “'We have found our long lost brethren': Jewish and Christian army chaplains at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen”  Presented in partnership with the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

January 20:  “Music on the Brink of Destruction” Presented in partnership with the English-Speaking Union of Devon and Exeter.

January 31:  “Displaced Jews:  Renewal in the Shadow of the Holocaust” Presented in partnership with the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society.

January/February Classes:
January 17, 24, 31, February 7:  “Britain and the Refugee Crisis:  Then and Now” Presented in partnership with the University of Southampton's Parkes Institute, West London Synagogue, and the Lyons Learning Project


For more information or to register:

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