Netanyahu Thatcher funeral 370.
(photo credit: Screenshot CNN)
Former British leader Margaret Thatcher was a great leader whom “I admired and
loved very much,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday
after her funeral in London.
Netanyahu was one of the 11 prime ministers
who attended her funeral in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Thatcher, who was prime
minister of the UK from 1979- 1990, remains the only woman to have held that
post and the only leader in that office to have served for so many consecutive
Known as a staunch ally to the Jewish state and a good friend to
the Jewish people, Thatcher was also the first British prime minister to visit
“She was a great leader, not only an economic leader, but a world
leader helping along with president Ronald Reagan to end the Cold War
bloodlessly,” he said. “That changed history.
She evidently changed the
history of Britain, the history of Britain’s economy, but in doing so and in
doing everything else that she did as she led this country, she inspired many
around the world with conviction, determination and courage.”
said that Thatcher was the second most important British prime minister of the
20th century, after Winston Churchill.
“I think everyone felt that,”
“I knew Margaret Thatcher in a very personal way,” added
Netanyahu. “I really appreciated her and we had a very warm
He recalled how she had sent him a hand written note when
he lost the prime ministerial race in 1999.
“She wrote, ‘I am sorry for
your loss.’” “It was very typical of her,” he added. “In our meetings, she
always talked straight and to the point.”
Netanyahu explained that he
admired her philosophy for restoring economies.
“She was sympathetic to
Israel and its struggles,” he said.
When he was finance minister, he
said, he and his wife visited her in London where she hosted them. He recalled
how at a dinner, she moved from table to table to make sure that everyone was
cared for and had received their meals.
Netanyahu said her funeral was
very emotional. The Biblical references to Jerusalem in the eulogy, he said,
made him very proud to represent Israel as he sat in the cathedral.