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David Miliband and the British Labour Party

Lawrence Bush
July 14, 2017

David Miliband, a British Labour Party leader and Cabinet member who now serves as CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in New York (after losing a leadership role in Labour to his brother, Edward), was born in London to Polish Jewish immigrants on this date in 1965. After studying at Oxford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Miliband was elected to Parliament in 2001 and served in several government posts, including as Foreign Secretary under Gordon Brown from 2007 to 2010 and as Environment Secretary in 2006-07. As head of the IRC (which was founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein, himself a refugee from Nazism), Miliband supervises humanitarian aid and development programs in forty countries along with a global staff of 12,000, with an annual budget of $450 million. He has consistently urged NATO military intervention in Syria; he supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine; he has also been a staunch opponent of Donald Trump’s immigration bans. A Tony Blair-style Labourite, Miliband has been highly critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leftwing politics. Of American immigration policy, Miliband says: “This is a test for the western world not just for America. It’s a test of whether or not we hold fast to the values of non-discrimination and to universal values of freedom from persecution, so the stakes are very high.”

“I think the wonderment of seeing my two sons developing makes me incredibly optimistic about human potential. It makes you think: ‘My goodness. It’s a miracle that’s going on here. What could the human race do together?’ ” --David Miliband

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.