Miliband ‘not a friend of Israel’

By staff

The Jewish community have reportedly offered a mixed reaction to the election of Ed Miliband to the Labour leadership.

The Jewish Telegraph, based in the North of England, expressed a lukewarm image of Mr Miliband, who is from a Jewish background.

Its leading article argued that he had “nailed his colours to the Palestinian mast” during a fringe event at the Labour party conference.

It also claimed that he “has rarely publicly associated himself with… the Jewish community”.

But the new Labour leader made a point of visiting the Labour Friends of Israel fringe event at the party’s conference in Manchester.

An LFI spokesperson told Mr Miliband said he would challenge anyone who questioned Israel’s right to exist as a state at the event.

Mr Miliband’s background has not been a feature of the leadership campaign or any serious media attention, though his foreign policy stance might represent a break from New Labour – and indeed from his brother’s approach.

The new leader indicated he would take more critical position towards the United States during his speech on Tuesday – in stark contrast to the relationship cultivated under Tony Blair’s premiership.

The article concluded: “Only time will tell whether he proves to be a Labour party leader and prospective first Jewish prime minister in the same pro-Israel mould as his two most recent predecessors.”

Mr Miliband, son of renowned Marxist intellectual Ralph Miliband, is an atheist.