Secretary of State for War, 1937-40
Having succeeded at the Ministry of Transport, in 1937 he was controversially appointed by Neville Chamberlain as Secretary of State for War replacing the popular Alfred Duff Cooper, who later resigned from the government over Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. There were voices within the Conservative majority that such a high-profile appointment should not have gone to a Liberal National, although it is also likely that Hore-Belisha's Jewish faith aroused anti-semitism amongst his Conservative colleagues, who labelled him a warmonger and a Bolshevik. Even those who were not strongly opposed to him took to nicknaming him "Horeb" or "Horeb-Elisha" as a pun on his race: Horeb is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where the golden calf was made and to which Elijah fled. Pressure mounted on Chamberlain to remove Hore-Belisha from the Cabinet at the earliest opportunity.
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