The project was conceived in partnership with the Jerusalem Foundation Labor Member of Knesset Isaac Herzog, son of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog, after he attended a reading of historian Martin Gilbert’s book Churchill and the Jews.
“The book laid out in crystal clear form that Churchill throughout his life was a passionate believer in the cause of Zionism,” Antony Rosenfelder, a British co-trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation, told the Guardian.
The sculpture used was formed from a cast made by internationally acclaimed Croatian-born Jewish sculptor Oscar Nemon.
Churchill has a mixed legacy among Israelis and Jews. Some are upset at his failure to bomb Nazi concentration camps and the British policy towards Jews during the mandate era, including restrictions on Jews fleeing Europe. However, Herzog and others hope that this statue will shed light on his support for Zionism and strong leadership in the face of tyranny.
“During times like these, when the free world is faced with the threat of a nuclear Iran and global terrorism, it is important to preserve Churchill’s legacy, having led the world to victory against the Nazi tyrant, in Jerusalem, the city of peace of freedom,” Herzog told Israel Hayom.
The event was attended by a number of Israeli and British dignitaries, including Jerusalem’s mayor, the British Ambassador to Israel and Churchill’s grandson, Lord Randolph Churchill.