Miliband claims he would be "the first Jewish prime minister"
Ed Miliband has been in Israel, discovering his Jewish roots.
According to the Daily Mail, he said: "I would be the first Jewish prime minister if we win the election." This appears to corroborate an interview he gave to Haaretz: "In a little over a year from now, Ed Miliband could well be the first Jewish prime minister of the United Kingdom," it begins. It is undeniable that he made the claim himself: as well as this journalistic introduction, he has been directly quoted.
This is curious, because the Conservative Party gave the United Kingdom its first Jewish prime minister a while back - in 1868, to be precise; a full century before minority rights and PC quotas became a political obsession. He was called Benjamin Disraeli: an indication of his Semitic ethnicity may be found in the name. But Ed Miliband seems to be unaware of this, which is a little odd, considering his audacious appropriation of Disraeli's 'One Nation' slogan.
So popular was Disraeli with the Conservatives that they kept him as their leader for 13 years, and the people re-elected him to a second term in 1874. You may argue that he was only a practising Jew up to the age of 12, when he converted (or was converted) to the Church of England. But Ed Miliband is not an observant Jew either, and has never been: he was raised in a sceptic-humanist-atheist household, and is himself an avowed atheist. So we are not concerned here with matters of religious orthodoxy or observance, but with ethnicity.
And on that count, Benjamin Disraeli was irrefutably the UK's first Jewish prime minister.
Perhaps Harriet Harman might make a better leader of the Labour Party, at least in terms of a grasp on history. One doubts that even Ed Miliband would hail her as the first woman prime minister.