David Frum

03.10.13

Ed Miliband's Cowardly Display of Semi-Zionism

Oli Scarff/Getty Images ()

Alex Massie excoriates Ed Miliband's cowardly semi-Zionism:

For a few hours this morning it looked as though Ed Miliband might do something uncharacteristically courageous.

The Jewish Chronicle reported that the Labour leader had described himself as a Zionist at a meeting organised by the Board of Deputies. It may be sad that this would need to be considered, as Dan Hodges put it, ‘a brave and welcome statement’ but that’s the modern British left for you.

Mr Hodges wondered if Miliband would ‘stand by’ this statement. His scepticism was sensible. And sure enough, word comes that Miliband’s views have been ‘misinterpreted’ by the Jewish Chronicle. As Hodges relates the story:

‘Asked at the event whether he was a Zionist Miliband reportedly responded, “Yes, I am a supporter of Israel”.

But I’m told he wasn’t using the word Zionist to describe himself, but merely reaffirming his strong support for the state of Israel, and warning that we should – in the words of a Labour source – be “intolerant of those who questions Israel’s right to exist”.’

In other words, Miliband wants British Jews (and others) to know that he supports Israel but he doesn’t want to be considered a Zionist. Well, half a cake is better than no cake, I suppose.