Columnist claims Ed Miliband believes hostility towards him is fuelled by antisemitism


Ed Miliband believes antisemitism may be behind some of the hostility towards him, a leading journalist has claimed.

Columnist Rachel Sylvester wrote in The Times that, although Mr Miliband may well be the most English Labour leader for the past 40 years, he privately believes many people see him as an “outsider” and “strange” because of his Jewish heritage.

According to Ms Sylvester, the Labour leader feels people see him as less English because he cannot say his family “has sat under the same oak tree for 500 years”.

However, she said Mr Miliband’s “tendency to talk as if he is as at an academic seminar”, was a much more important factor in alienating voters.

This is not the first time that critics of Mr Miliband have been accused of antisemitism. In September 2013 a Daily Mail exposé on the Marxist background of his father Ralph, a Jewish immigrant to the UK, was accused of having anti-Jewish undertones.

Mr Miliband has made several attempts to strengthen his ties with the Jewish community since he became Labour leader. He told guests at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner in March this year: “I feel more part of the Jewish community than at any other time in my life.”

During his visit to Israel in April he emphasised his personal connection to the Jewish state, and described Israel as "the homeland for the Jewish people" during a meeting with Hebrew University of Jerusalem students.

Mr Miliband is due to give his keynote speech at Labour’s annual conference this afternoon in Manchester.

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