Saturday 2 January 2010

Blog-log Day 4 - Hampstead Liberal in Tel Aviv

So just howdoes the main road along Tel Aviv coast end up being named Herbert Samuel Esplanade?

Herbert Samuel, later Lord Samuel, has largely dropped from public knowledge in the UK but in terms of several elements for me he's a crucial piece of a local jigsaw.

On a simple and political level Herbert Samuel was leader of the Liberal Party - not the most prestigious period from 1931-1935 - and is one of the Leaders during an almost 'dark ages' following the splits with Lloyd George and well before the Grimond Revival.

Further, Herbert was a school boy at UCS, University College School - then in Gower Street, now in Frognal, Hampstead. Thus making him an Old Gower (as frmer pupils of UCS are known).

And finally and crucially he was the first Governor (Commissioner) of Palestine under the British Mandate - making him the first Jewish ruler of what is now Israel since ancient times. It's for this third role that he generate the kudos to gain the main street in Tel Aviv being named after him... There's a short video on him here:

I just wonder how many other UCS boys have a main road in a city named after them?

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