Ed Miliband: I’m a strong friend of Israel but I was right over Gaza


Ed Miliband has defended his criticism of Israel during last summer’s Gaza conflict, saying he was right to describe the military action as “wrong and unjustifiable”.

In an interview with the JC to be published on Thursday, Mr Miliband said he was committed to obtaining “security for Israel and a viable and secure Palestinian state”.

As Prime Minister he would do “everything possible” to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to engage and restart peace talks, he said.

It was right, Mr Miliband argued, to have used the language he had in response to the IDF operation in Gaza last July and August.

But he added that he now wanted to “look forward at how we are going to restart a meaningful peace process for a two-state solution that I know so many people in the Jewish community and in Israel want to see”.

Responding to criticism from some sections of Britain’s Jewish community, the Labour leader said: “I consider myself a strong friend of Israel.

"Friends will disagree from time to time but it doesn’t in any way change my deep belief that we should seek to restart the negotiations, that we should have no tolerance with those who question the legitimacy of the state of Israel, that we should have no tolerance of proposals for boycott.”

The in-depth interview saw the man campaigning to be Prime Minister reveal his thoughts on the work of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, policies for tackling antisemitism, and his love of the Curb Your Enthusiasm television comedy series.

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