Visiting Israel in 1972, Gilbert discussed Winston Churchill's influence on the evolution of the Zionist ideal with the Israeli leader, David Ben-Gurion, at whose last meeting with Churchill in 1960, Churchill declared: You are a wise leader of a brave people. Born into a British class and society that was far from well-disposed towards Jews, Churchill rejected anti-Semitic attitudes. In the early 1920s, as a senior member of the British government, Churchill took a lead in securing for the Jews a National Home in Palestine that would be open to Jewish immigration from all over the world. In 1948, Churchill urged immediate recognition of the State of Israel, and, in 1951, strongly supported Israel's right -- denied by Egypt -- of free passage through the Suez Canal. The book also details acts of rescue initiated by Churchill on behalf of European Jewry during the Second World War. When Churchill was asked to bomb the railway lines leading to Auschwitz, his response was immediate: Get anything out of the air force you can. Gilbert follows this story to its unexpected conclusion, and the saving of more than 100,000 Jewish lives. Many times during fifty years of public life, Churchill was called upon by the Jews of Britain to intervene on their behalf both nationally and internationally. His responses made it clear to them that he was, as he once expressed it, their friend.