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Jewish Labour boss Ed Miliband in The Jewish Chronicle

"Labour leader Ed Miliband used a Labour Friends of Israel lunch this week to emphasise his family connection to the country..."

"...a speech clearly aimed to allay fears that Mr Miliband did not have the same commitment to Israel as his predecessors Gordon Brown and Tony Blair..."

"A 'significant and important body of support for Israel' in the Parliamentary Labour Party was highlighted by Ed Miliband..."

"... winning the support of Jewish voters was important to him"

"Behind the scenes [...] the big beasts in the Jewish Leadership Council held private discussions with Mr Miliband..."

"Labour's first Jewish leader has paid tribute to his religion..."


Note: Underlines in articles below added by Radio Islam for sake of emphasis
 


 



Ed Miliband's links to Israel

By Martin Bright

The Jewish Chronicle, November 17, 2011


Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband used a Labour Friends of Israel lunch this week to emphasise his family connection to the country that gave refuge to his grandmother. In a highly personal speech to mark the publication by LFI of a collection of essays entitled Making the Progressive Case for Israel, he said: "I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the state of Israel". His mother's family were sheltered by Polish Catholics during the Holocaust, and his grandmother later settled in Israel. Mr Miliband also spoke about an emotional visit he had made to Yad Vashem with his mother to memorialise the Polish rescuers on the "Avenue of the Righteous".

In a speech clearly aimed to allay fears that Mr Miliband did not have the same commitment to Israel as his predecessors Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the Labour leader emphasised his admiration for Israeli democracy.

The audience included key members of the New Labour aristocracy, including Douglas Alexander, Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Tessa Jowell and Alan Johnson as well as rising stars such as Luciana Berger, Mary Creagh, Michael Dugher, Rachel Reeves and LFI chair John Woodcock.

Mr Miliband tackled the issue of his support for the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, which he recognised had been difficult for some in the room to accept. He said the task of leadership was to make difficult decisions, but in the context of the Middle East he always hoped he would make "the decision that will further the cause of peace". He added that the decision to back the change in the law of universal jurisdiction had also been a difficult and had also been unpopular in some sections of the party. He did not mention Labour's candidate for London mayor, Ken Livingstone, who continues to be a divisive figure in the Jewish community.

Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub revealed that he had met Mr Miliband two weeks ago and welcomed his "willingness to engage".

The LFI essay collection, which includes contributions from Ms Reeves and Mr Dugher, was inspired by the work of former LFI chair David Cairns, who tragically died earlier this year. Mr Cairns's powerful final speech is also included.

This ended with a challenge to opponents of Israel on the left: "It is not left-wing or progressive to ally oneself with those that seek Israel's destruction, or those who don't value one iota the type of society we strive for in this country. So I am appealing for all those who value peace and justice to support our values where we see them lived out, and to assist - not obstruct - those people working on the ground to resolve their conflict and build their progressive society."






Miliband backs Israel - and Livingstone

By Marcus Dysch

The Jewish Chronicle, February 16, 2012

A "significant and important body of support for Israel" in the Parliamentary Labour Party was highlighted by Ed Miliband when he addressed the Young Norwood current affairs group's annual reception.

In conversation with the Guardian's Michael White, Mr Miliband expressed frustration at the impasse in the Middle East peace process.

He added that winning the support of Jewish voters was important to him.

He criticised the comments made by Labour MP Paul Flynn questioning the loyalty of Britain's first Jewish ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, as "totally unacceptable".

Asked by an audience member whether Ken Livingstone's "unsavoury views" rendered him unfit to stand as Labour's candidate in the London mayoral election, Mr Miliband alluded to Mr Livingstone's "inexcusable" clash with Jewish journalist Oliver Finegold in 2005.

Nonetheless, he was "a strong supporter of Ken Livingstone and he will make an excellent mayor. I know from talking to Ken that he would like to rebuild his relationship with the community. He wants to reach out and build bridges."

The event, which raised £14,000 for Norwood, focused largely on issues of banking, bonuses and responsible capitalism.

MMr Miliband described the weekly Prime Minister's questions as a "nightmare. It's a terrible advert for politics and encourages the view that we are a bunch of schoolkids shouting at each other."







Ed Miliband: 'I'm a Zionist and oppose boycotts of Israel'

By Marcus Dysch

The Jewish Chronicle, March 7, 2013

Ed Miliband told the Board of Deputies of his opposition to anti-Israel campaigns

Ed Miliband has pledged to protect Jewish customs including brit milah and shechita if he becomes Prime Minister.

Speaking at a Board of Deputies event the Labour leader said he was opposed to boycotts of Israel and warned of the need to be “ever-vigilant”against antisemitism.

Asked whether he would work to ensure religious slaughter and circumcision practices could continue in Britain, Mr Miliband said: “Yes, these are important traditions. The kosher issue has recently been brought to my attention. Ways of life must be preserved.”

He added: “I take antisemitism very seriously. Any kind of delegitimisation of Israel is something we should call out for what it is and not tolerate it.

I think the boycotts of Israel are totally wrong. We should have no tolerance for boycotts. I would say that to any trade union leaders.”

But Mr Miliband warned the audience that while he was opposed to anti-Israel activities in this country, people must “understand the anger and dismay about settlements”.

He said that he considered himself a Zionist but was critical of some Israeli government policies. Asked about Labour’s support for the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, Mr Miliband said he wanted to “encourage moderate” Palestinians and work in an “even-handed” way.

The politician made repeated reference to his support for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict and said he hoped Britain could be an “honest broker” in the peace process.

Mr Miliband said former Labour MP George Galloway’s refusal to debate with a British-Israeli student at Oxford University last month was “shameful behaviour”.

“I was shocked by that. It’s one of a long line of things he has done and that’s the sort of behaviour we should not tolerate. The idea that he would refuse to debate him because he was Israeli is totally wrong and disgraceful.”

The leader of the opposition answered a range of questions on topics including immigration, education, housing, employment, the Israeli elections and American baseball.

Around 300 people attended the event in central London on Thursday evening.










How Ken went from total denial to unheard-of regret

By Martin Bright

The Jewish Chronicle, March 29, 2012


It was all supposed to be so convivial. On March 1 a peacemaking dinner was convened at the London Jewish Cultural Centre to bring Ken Livingstone together with concerned Labour supporters within the Jewish community.

At the former mayor's side was Simon Fletcher, Mr Livingstone's longstanding lieutenant, known to have been concerned at the deterioration of relations with London's Jews.

Because of the sensitivities involved, the meeting was due to be held under Chatham House rules, although in his opening remarks Mr Livingstone made it clear he was happy to consider the meeting as being "on-the-record".

We now know that those present from the Jewish side were a mixture of high-profile community figures and grassroots activists. The meeting was chaired by Adrian Cohen, the highly-respected and long-suffering chair of the London Jewish Forum. Abraham Pinter, the strictly Orthodox rabbi from Stamford Hill, was there, as was the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Danny Rich.

Miliband felt the need to hug his toxic candidate ever closer

Andrew Gilbert, the founding chair of Limmud, attended, as, crucially, did Guardian and JC columnist, Jonathan Freedland.

This was not the "Jewish leadership" as such, but genuine Labour supporters who wanted to be reassured about voting for Mr Livingstone.

The Labour candidate turned out to be characteristically uncompromising in his approach.

As the JC reported two weeks ago, far from seeking reconciliation, Mr Livingstone simply outlined his electoral programme and then proceeded to explain why he had been right to embrace the radical Islamist cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and take money from the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV.

Rabbi Pinter told the JC he was disappointed by Mr Livingstone's response, but worse was to come.

According to those present Mr Livingstone had not only been unapologetic but had suggested that Jews were too rich to vote for him. A group of participants, including Rabbi Rich and Mr Gilbert, decided to write to Labour leader Ed Miliband to express their concerns.

In the key passage they wrote: "Ken, towards the end of the meeting, stated that he did not expect the Jewish community to vote Labour as votes for the left are inversely proportional to wealth levels, and suggested that as the Jewish community is rich we simply wouldn't vote for him."

The letter, leaked to the JC, was dynamite.

In the days that followed the Labour high command was left in an impossible position. Ed Miliband felt obliged to hug his increasingly toxic candidate even closer, claiming there was not a prejudiced bone in Mr Livingstone's body and obliging the whole shadow cabinet to appear on the mayoral campaign trial.

Behind the scenes, the JC understands, the big beasts in the Jewish Leadership Council held private discussions with Mr Miliband at which he gave assurances that something would be done to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile a new development upped the stakes even further. Jonathan Freedland, who supported Mr Livingstone in 2008, wrote in the Guardian that he could no longer do so.

At this point, some within the Labour Party, including Mr Miliband himself, were still questioning whether Mr Livingstone had used the words attributed to him.

But the Labour candidate himself clarified matters when he told a local paper journalist on the Camden New Journal that he stuck by his view that voting patterns correlated with levels of wealth: "Every psephological study I've seen in the 40 years I've been following politics shows the main factor that determines how people how vote is their income level," he said. "And it's not antisemitic to say that."

While key Jewish Labour Party supporters continued to press the leadership for action, Simon Fletcher decided to act. Using contacts he had developed while Labour was in power in City Hall, Mr Livingstone's chief aide took advice from senior figures in the London Jewish Forum about how to take the heat out of the row.

As a result of these discussions, on Monday the decision was made to approach the JC with a conciliatory piece by Mr Livingstone paying tribute to London's Jewish community and suggesting a strategy for a new start.

No one person can take responsibility for making Ken Livingstone do the right thing and sign off an article that must have been one of the most painful to which he has ever put his name. Individual members of the London Jewish Forum and the Jewish Leadership Council and those who wrote the letter to Ed Miliband must all take some credit, as must the Labour leader himself.

Rabbi Pinter's words to the JC clearly also had a big impact. And on the Livingstone side, Simon Fletcher has also been working hard to mend fences.

But ultimately the decision to eat humble pie lay with Ken Livingstone himself, and though the Jewish community will never take him to their heart, some may at least give him credit for admitting he was wrong.

And as the paper went to press this week, the Jewish Leadership Council was meeting Ed Miliband for dinner and the Livingstone issue was the main item on the menu. With a month to go to election day, this is a story that will just not go away.








Mazel Tov: Ed Miliband marks wedding by smashing glass

By Jennifer Lipman

The Jewish Chronicle, May 27, 2011


Labour's first Jewish leader has paid tribute to his religion by smashing a glass at his wedding.

Ed Miliband married his longtime partner Justine Thornton earlier today at a small civil ceremony outside Nottingham. The couple tied the knot in the presence of Mr Miliband's brother David and their two sons.

The Milibands asked the 50 guests to make charitable donations instead of bringing presents. Mr Miliband wore a light grey suit from Harold Tillman's Aquascutum label.

Mr Miliband, 41, was elected as the Labour leader in September in a closely fought contest with his brother.

In his speech at the Labour Party Conferenec shortly after, he paid tribute to his late father, Marxist philosopher Ralph Miliband and his mother Marion Kozak, both of whom came to Britain to escape the Nazis.

He said: "Two young people fled the darkness that had engulfed the Jews across Europe.

"They arrived with nothing. This country gave them everything."








        David (left) and brother Ed Miliband

 

          Labour's Ed Miliband in 2013 posing with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and its Vice President
          Laura Marks
and Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, showing off a seder plate he received.





 
      The Different faces of Ed Miliband 





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