Ed Miliband ranked 20th in world’s most influential Jews list

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Labour leader came just three places behind New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg and four behind social networking whizz Mark Zuckerberg

Jerusalem

Ed Miliband may be struggling to convince voters at home that he is the man to lead the country after the next election, but that has not stopped a leading Israeli newspaper from giving the Labour leader a top 20 billing in its annual list of the world’s most influential Jews.

The Leader of the Opposition has largely eschewed religion since being elected in 2010, carefully telling the BBC just after the Labour leadership election that while he respected those that have faith in the divine, “I don’t believe in God personally”.

His atheism has not stopped the Jerusalem Post from ranking Mr Miliband as the 20th most influential Jew on the planet, coming just three places behind New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg and four behind social networking whizz, Mark Zuckerberg, who gave the world Facebook. He even beats such luminaries as the Sara Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister’s wife, and Bar Refaeli, the supermodel.

If elected prime minister in two years’ time, Mr Miliband would be the first Jewish premier in the UK since Benjamin Disraeli left Downing Street in 1880. However, Mr Miliband may be a disappointment for those hoping for an ardently Jewish statesman. His well-known father, the Marxist Ralph Miliband brought up Ed and his brother, the former foreign secretary, David – who incidentally does not make the top 50 – in a strictly secular household.

David’s children attended a Church of England school, before he resigned his Commons seat and moved to New York to head the International Rescue Committee.

Earlier this year, the London-based Jewish Chronicle newspaper even questioned Mr Miliband’s commitment to Israel after he got himself into a pickle over whether or not he is a Zionist. Asked during a question and answer session whether he was a Zionist, Mr Miliband, who is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, replied that he was, and was also a supporter of Israel. “But it doesn’t mean that I’m not critical of the government of Israel, and I think there’s a distinction, and I think it’s very, very important that we are able to make that distinction,” he said.

The comments drew criticism from pro-Palestinian Labour figures, forcing Mr Miliband’s office to issue a statement saying that he had “not used the word Zionist to describe himself”, but said he had “made absolutely clear that he is a strong supporter of Israel”.

The Jerusalem Post decided that Yair Lapid, the Israeli TV host-turned-politician, is the world’s most influential Jew. Mr Lapid, who was recently appointed the country’s finance minister, despite not having any economic background, has become a maligned figure in Israel after his recently announced budget imposed tough income tax rises and public spending cuts.

Mr Lapid replaced the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has now been pushed into third place behind Jack Lew, the new US Treasury Secretary.

Mr Miliband also finds himself placed behind Jon Stewart, the American satirist who was ranked in seventh place and the film director Steven Spielberg, who was 13th.

In its citation of Mr Miliband, the Jerusalem Post, said: “On his way to the top, Ed Miliband, 43, had to step on a few heads. It just so happened that one of them was his brother, David, whom he only narrowly edged out in a run-off for leader of the UK Labor [sic] Party in 2010… when he was elected at age 40, Miliband was the youngest person ever to lead the Labor Party, and he is credited with maintaining party unity after the fractious primary. He has recently expressed plans to move the party in a different direction from his predecessors Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.”

'Manchester United’s new Jewish manager’ David Moyes fails to make list - because he's a committed Christian

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing