Miliband Threatens to Sue Paper Over Claim He Criticized Israel

The claim was contained in a Jewish Telegraph interview with media mogul Richard Desmond, who said the former Labour leader made the comments during a conversation.

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband reacts to the results of the count of his seat in Doncaster, northern England, Britain, May 8, 2015.
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband reacts to the results of the count of his seat in Doncaster, northern England, Britain, May 8, 2015. Credit: Reuters
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

Comments about Israel are at the center of a row between Ed Miliband, former leader of the British Labour Party, and the Jewish Telegraph, a local Jewish newspaper in the United Kingdom.

According to the Telegraph, Miliband threatened to sue the paper last Thursday night if it went ahead with publication of an article quoting "a verbal attack" the former Labour leader made against Israel.

The alleged attack was contained in an interview with Daily Express owner Richard Desmond, who alleged that Miliband had made the statement during a meeting between the two several months ago on Hampstead Heath, in north London.

A spokesman for Miliband warned the paper it would face legal action if the interview was published. “You should expect legal action and/or a complaint to the press watchdog if you go ahead with publication,” he reportedly said.

Desmond was revealed as one of the biggest donors to the right-wing U.K. Independence Party during the recent election campaign. He claimed that his conversation with Miliband took place without any other witnesses sometime between December and January.

“I was having a cup of tea when I bumped into Ed and asked him if it was true he had made all these comments about Israel,” he said. Miliband, according to Desmond, was “in such a rage. I couldn’t stop him – he was going berserk [about Israel’s actions].”

Miliband, who is Jewish has been critical of Israel in the past, particularly during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 when he openly condemned the actions that led to the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians.

“This is an untrue account of a chance meeting," the spokesman said. "There was no rage or row. Ed did not use the language ascribed to him. He expressed views he has expressed in public many times before.”

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff

U.S. President Joe Biden. Making a historic pivot to Asia.

Biden Does What His Three Predecessors Talked About Yet Failed to Do

Meir Kahane addressing his followers during a demonstration in Jerusalem, in 1984.

Why the U.S. Removed Kahane Chai From Terrorist Blacklist