Britain’s Ed Miliband wants to be 'first Jewish' PM, forgets Disraeli
The Labor Party leader is under fire after saying he wanted to be the country’s 'First Jewish Prime Minister,' a title already taken by Benjamin Disraeli
Britain’s first Jewish prime minster? Not so much. But Labor Party leader Ed Miliband may be Britain’s most historically ignorant politician.
Prominent British politician Ed Miliband is under fire after announcing he wanted to be the country’s “First Jewish Prime Minister,” a title already taken by the late conservative, Benjamin Disraeli, The Huffington Post reported Friday.
Disraeli twice served as the country’s prime minister in the late 1800s. While he converted from Christianity before becoming prime minister, historian and Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley says Disraeli was still the first Jewish prime minster as Miliband was referring to being Jewish as an ethnicity, not a religion. Morevover, Miliband himself is an atheist, Stanley said.
"Ed Miliband doesn’t even believe in God and describes himself as a 'Jewish atheist' – so we’re talking about ethnic identity here, not religion. And Disraeli was keenly aware of his ethnicity, calling himself 'the blank page between the Old Testament and the New'," Stanley wrote.
Social media was abuzz making fun the politician’s remarks with many pointing out there was even more irony to his slip up; Miliband has adopted the campaign slogan “One Nation,” a phrase coined by Disreali himself.
The Labor Party leader, whose father came to Britain fleeing the Nazis and whose mother survived the Holocaust, announced his ambitions during his visit to Israel.
During his trip, Miliband told his Jewish audience that anti-Semitism existed in Britain but that he didn’t think it would hurt his chances of being elected.
He said: "Someone asked me if I thought it was a disadvantage that people would be less likely to vote for me because I’m Jewish, and I said absolutely not.”
“That’s one of the great things about Britain. There are elements of anti- Semitism, and it is really, really important to tackle those and have no truck with them. I have said I hope that I’ll be the first Jewish prime minister if we win the election, but it is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.”